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Mrs Ann Kirkbride

Senior Lecturer - Fashion and Fashion Design & Marketing

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Ann Marie lectures in; Fashion Trend Research, Design & Illustration, Research Report & Marketing Plan. Ann's research interests are in Exploring Diversity through the medium of Fashion Illustration; also interested in responsible design practices and enterprise.

Having studied and taught at Northumbria (Newcastle Poly) in the 80s, I returned as a fashion illustrator tutor in January 2010, having previously worked as a freelance illustrator and knitwear designer for a range of clients ranging from forecasters to the High Street and the upper middle markets.  I continued my teaching career at Cleveland College of Art & Design where I worked in various capacities for 25 years, including writing and running the BA Fashion Enterprise degree, before moving into a new role of Fashion & Textiles Skills Co-ordinator for a One North East funded programme designed to ‘upskill’ the regional creative industries.
In the early part of my career I won several awards for design and illustration and, although I enjoyed the challenges of Programme Leadership, I decided to return to professional practice and briefly retired from teaching to start a luxury children’s knitwear brand.   I was, however, tempted back by the fashion illustration tutorship and the opportunity to develop my commercial practice alongside my teaching and research.

Talking Point

The big questions or design issues that I am focusing on at the moment...
I have several interests that are woven into my teaching, business and research, including the art and context of fashion illustration, body image, the beauty ideal and sustainable and ethical design practice.  I am also passionate about fashion crafts such as dyeing and hand knitting, and their place in our culture.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Research Interests

A summary of the main elements or themes within my research...

As a new researcher I am presently exploring these opportunities and I am presently in discussion to take part in a fashion illustration exhibition at Northumbria next year.    I am particularly interested in using fashion illustration as a vehicle to explore the concept of beauty and style which I will also use to inform my teaching.  I hope to establish a fashion illustration blog to encourage a revival in manual drawing that I can use to support my teaching and make my limited contact time with students more efficient.

My business uses ethical and sustainable methods of materials sourcing and manufacture and is currently looking to take the ‘slow fashion’ concept into babywear.  Within this process it is the intention to support traditional skills by working with hand knitters, who are mainly retired women, and retain these skills in the region.  I have also started researching into environmentally friendly natural dyeing methods, specific to our needs.

I intend to study at Masters level, drawing upon my interests in fashion illustration, sustainable design and my own enterprise.

Teaching Interests and Modules

An overview of the courses and modules that I currently teach on...

I teach undergraduates fashion illustration on Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing programmes and also Contemporary Design Influences to Fashion Marketing.  I work over several modules and levels, usually in blocks as required.  CDI module is delivered via lecture and topics include The Beauty Ideal, Fashion and Conflict, Fashion Forecasting, Art & Fashion and Fashion and Responsibility.

Sponsors and Collaborators

A list of key academic/industrial partners that I’ve worked with recently...
In my most recent role I worked with approximately 300 regional creative SMEs and Skillfast-UK.  In my teaching for this academic year I am working with Traidcraft, Shipley Gallery, among others.

Key Publications

A list of recent or key publications that best represent my current research interests...
I have not yet published any research, however, I undertook research into work experience to contribute to the Sector Skills Council, Skillfast – UK’s Work Experience Blueprint published in May 2009.  I also contributed to Sandra Burke’s books , ‘The Fashion Entrepreneur’ and ‘Fashion Illustration’.


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