As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently working hard on the first Design and the Market Assignment: “The Group Enterprise Research Project.”
We have chosen a designer to research, to find out more about them and the running of their business. Working in a group, we have done just that! Two fellow textile designers from my group went to meet Judy R Clark and spent a lovely hour and a half with her.
If you hadn’t already guessed, our chosen designer is Judy R Clark, an award-winning women-swear designer based in Edinburgh. Her designs consist of Harris Tweed, lace and silk, she certainly has a very distinct style. She produces both commercial and couture clothing. Judy has had her work shown across the world and all around the UK. She has recently won the JOLOMO award for creativity and innovation and was also nominated as designer of the year 2009/2010 at the Scottish Style Awards.
One thing that really grabbed me whilst researching her work, was the “Ford Dress” which Judy has designed recently (below). She was approached by Ford and challenged to create a dress out of car parts to celebrate Ford’s centennial year. I thought it was really interesting and this project was a big publicity boost for her. Her newest project, “Spencer Clothing” is being launched this week in London at PURE. I wish her all the best for that.
Judy graduated from Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels in 2006. She then went to live back at home in Fort William for one year selling her work in local boutiques, attending business courses, exhibitions, networking events and arranging fashion events. Through this, she met Sandra Murray MBE who took her on as an intern for a while. This taught Judy a lot about the industry. During this time she applied numerous times to Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood for internships. Her first few applications were unsuccessful but she was eventually taken on. Her internship with McQueen taught her how to run a successful studio, how to co-ordinate people and work as part of a team. Judy worked mainly as a textile designer and she said it was so hard, but she would go back if she was ever given the chance.
Judy then returned to Scotland after her internship to make her debut at the Scottish Style Awards and to set up her studio space in Edinburgh. She applied for NESTA starter for six funding and won £3,000. She attended the Starter for Six course and learnt many useful but “boring” things about running a business and managing accounts.
She is now working very hard in her West End studio in Edinburgh with a very bright and successful future ahead of her. She would really like to expand her business in the near future and possibly go down to London. She would also like an extra pair of hands and a bigger space to work.
Hearing all about the interview today, Judy has certainly given us a lot of information about herself, her business and a lot of advice and inspiration for us as designers.
I am sure I’ll be posting up more about her soon. Presentations are next week!
Thank you very much Judy!