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Fashion retailers Urban Outfitters ‘astounded’ by creativity of Northumbria students

4th February 2016

Northumbria fashion students have been praised after collaborating on an exciting live project with retailers Urban Outfitters.

A highly successful and reputable brand in the fashion industry, Urban Outfitters is popular for its quirky clothing, accessories and home-décor items.

Urban Outfitters - Chanel Brown - To EmbedTaking the initial working title of ‘artisan’, meaning, a person or company that makes a high quality or distinctive product in small quantities – the second year BA (Hons) Fashion students were asked to develop a new small range for the retailer. This involved the designing and development of menswear, womenswear, textile, and constructed knitwear designs, all of which were recently exhibited in the School of Design CCE2 foyer exhibition space.

Lizzie Dawson, Head of Womenswear Design at Urban Outfitters and Bekki Gregory, Senior Designer, attended the presentation and were able to speak with the students involved, offering professional feedback on their work. Both Lizzie and Bekki are Northumbria Fashion alumni and were able to offer current fashion students valuable industry insights, as this group of students embark on their placement year in the fashion industry.

“Urban Outfitters were honoured to be part of such a creative project, we were astounded by the level of craftsmanship and creativity showcased by the students of Northumbria University”, said Bekki. “Work shown was beyond the years of experience gained, the level of detail and design was, in areas, of professional level; the students’ understanding of the Urban core consumer was commendable. We as a company believe it is vital to invest time and energy into the future of the fashion industry and thoroughly enjoyed our involvement in this project from beginning to end.”

Year 3 BA (Hons) Fashion student Molly Marshall has just returned to Northumbria   following a year in industry within the Womenswear Design Team at Urban Outfitters at their central London Headquarters.

Urban Outfitters - Penny Gibbs - To Embed“During my time at Urban Outfitters I got to work closely with the design team which gave me a great insight into working in the industry and for a major US brand”, she said. “I was able to build on my experience of working with a high street brief from my second year university project and am taking forward with me from my placement, flat drawing and design skills as well as an industry approach to design development. It will be a great benefit for my CV to enhance my employability in the future and I have made so many connections from the process.”

Northumbria offers a range of Fashion courses with graduates going on to work for a wide range of global brands such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, Givenchy and many more. Last year, Northumbria also celebrated 60 years of teaching fashion at the University.

Christine Saunders, Principal Lecturer in Arts Design and Social Sciences added “Overall this was a very enjoyable and successful collaborative project with Urban Outfitters in which students developed their knowledge and skills necessary to help them succeed in the fashion industry.”

To find out more about studying Fashion BA (Hons) at Northumbria University please visit

Visit Urban Outfitters site here:

Images: Banner - Designer Megan Morgan, Image 1 - Designer Chanel Brown exhibiting in CCE2, Image 2 - Designer Penny Gibbs.

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