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DMU students win prestigious awards for sustainable leather creations

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-08-17 13:37:43 – United Kingdom

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have won prestigious prizes from a famous historic livery company for their innovative and sustainable use of leather.

The Leathersellers' Company set a live brief for final-year DMU students across fashion, textiles, art, design, and architecture subjects. Founded by royal charter in 1444 to control the sale of leather in London, and now devoted to supporting charity and education around the British leather trade, The Leathersellers' Company set a live brief for final-year DMU students across fashion, textiles, art, design, and architecture subjects.

The Leathersellers’ Company, which was founded by royal charter in 1444 to control the sale of leather in London is now devoted to supporting charity and education around the British leather trade. It set a live brief for final-year DMU students across art, design, fashion, textiles, and architecture subjects.

Students were encouraged to ‘think beyond the box' when it came to incorporating creative and technologically improved applications of leather into their creations and were given a thorough briefing during an online lecture with top leatherseller Alistair Tusting.

There were 18 prizes totaling $5,000 up for grabs. Ellie Jones, a Contour Fashion student, won the first prize of £1,000 after impressing the judges with a hooded cowl neck playsuit and hooded cropped jacket in suede leather created using cutting-edge technology.

Ellie employed technologically advanced printing processes, including GRDXKN®, to create her surface print design, which was motivated by the link between the Fibonacci sequence and the skeletal system. GRDXKN®, often known as "grid-skin," is a newly developed technological ink that, when heated, transforms into flexible polyurethane foam.

Ellie was able to achieve a 3D embossed look on her clothes using GRDXKN®, which has non-slip, stabilizing, sound-refracting, insulating, and shock-inhibiting properties, adding a contemporary edge to a traditional textile.

Ellie said that it's incredible. She is ecstatic to have been chosen as the winner of such a prestigious award, especially considering the caliber of the other finalists. She is also grateful to Bastian Müller, the Munich-based founder of GRDXKN®. She learned about the technology through Pinterest, and when she approached Bastian about it, he agreed to fund her studies with such authenticity and willingness. Months of video conversations, learning about the grid-skin print process, design creation, sample, final print manufacturing, and shipping fabrics and prints across countries comprised their cooperation. During a worldwide epidemic, she couldn't have hoped for a greater working relationship.

Head judge Alistair Tusting, said that DMU students have once again risen to the challenge, demonstrating their innovative talents in the use of leather across many different disciplines. Their grand prize winner, Ellie Jones, showed true ingenuity by combining leather with modern printing technology and generating finished outfits with a knowledge of how they may be turned into commercial items.

Ryan Roddy, the second-place winner, received £500 for his formal high-end men's shoe influenced by classic football boot designs.

Rpddy said that he was ecstatic to win. It's given him more confidence, and as a budding designer, the money is always welcome. He wanted to mix features of current football boots with materials utilized in the classic designs, such as kangaroo and stag leather, for his research and inspiration.

The Footwear Design student won the worldwide Prospect 100 Global Design Competition earlier this year. With features in Vogue, High Snobiety, WWD, and Tred, as well as a six-month mentoring program with famous shoe designer Jeff Staple, it resulted in significant exposure.

Gabrielle Nwenwu, a Fashion Buying with Design student, and Zara Roberts, a Fashion Buying with Marketing student tied for second place with a luxury basket bag produced by weaving leather.

Gabrielle said that they wanted to make something recyclable for when you're out shopping, but it also looks nice. He is really pleased with their second-place finish. It was really challenging but he is glad that they did it. 

Elisha Quarman of Contour Fashion, Penny Kowalkowski of Fashion Textile Design, Isabella Kelley of Design Crafts, and Charlie Jones of Textile Design were among the other prize recipients.

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