Textiles students receive golden opportunity
The British Museum and The Dorchester hotel are just two of the prestigious outlets stocking a luxury London 2012 item designed by students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham.
BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion & Interiors students, Alice Howard-Graham, Katy Harper and Emma Colyer, approached Farnham-based accessories label Ella Blake who were looking for fresh ideas for a unique scarf to commemorate London's Olympic year.
The iconic cityscape design has been a success: the scarf is already on its second production run and the recent graduates have received six more paid commissions from Ella Blake.
Sarah Little, co-founder of Ella Blake, said: "We knew we needed some young fresh design ideas and luckily for us we didn't have to go far, as Europe's second biggest Arts university is in Farnham.
"We are extremely pleased with how the scarf looks. The brief that we set the students was interpreted very well and we were delighted when the British Museum contacted us to sell the scarf - it shows how good the product is."
UCA student Alice Howard-Graham, who is 23 and from Berwick, East Sussex, said: "The collaboration with Ella Blake was an amazing opportunity for us all while we were still at university. Not only did we add some amazing work experience to our CVs but we also learned about legal contracts, invoices, copyright laws and we got paid, which was brilliant."
Fellow student Katy Harper, 21, from Bexhill-on-Sea, said: "It was really exciting to work on our first ever paid project and a thrill to be designing something that could be made and sold worldwide.
"I think the inside view of the industry we were given so early on in our careers will really set us up for the future and we're really looking forward to seeing more of our designs being produced."
The success of the collaboration has led to Ella Blake wanting to work with more UCA students in the future.
Ella Blake's Sarah Little said: "We have learned a lot from the process and we are now able to guide the students to produce an effective range for us.
"We would certainly like to work with UCA again, perhaps taking three students on each year, as it helps them in their final year and gives them a taste of what life is like after their course."
Course leader, Hannah White, said: "I am very proud of how professionally Alice, Emma and Katy carried out their design commission for Ella Blake. They followed the brief well and produced some unusual and striking designs.
"Projects such as this are the perfect opportunity for students to gain industry experience in addition to their dedicated work placements in the second year."
The London 2012 scarf, priced £99, is available at selected stockists or online at www.ellablake.com.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939