Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 15.29.33A north east art and design college was invited to join a select group of education institutions from around the world to exhibit at an international trade textile show in Brussels as part of a ‘Creative Talent’ initiative.

Top trade show Indigo Brussels Home Edition opened its doors to emerging talent and staff and graduates from the textiles department at Cleveland College of Art & Design’s (CCAD) university level campus in Hartlepool were honoured to be one of three institutions who exhibited their works to designers and creative companies.

Only the best and strongest institutions were invited to join, as they were considered to be the leading institutions for the new generation of textile designers, and the specialist art and design college was approached by Trendease’s Jennifer Castoldi after a successful exhibition at the New Designers show in July.

As part of the creative talent initiative, two graduate textile designers from CCAD each created a new collection and showcased their work at Indigo Brussels Home Edition.

CCAD technician demonstrator Victoria Graham and newly graduated Lianne Cooley and Rosie Hutchinson attended the event in Brussels last month to represent the college.

22-year-old Lianne from Newcastle and Rosie, 21 from Sunderland, both graduated this summer with degrees in textiles and surface design, and are now carving their careers as freelance designers, and the event proved a perfect launch pad.

For CCAD, the exhibition was a success and has resulted in some possible new business for the young interior surface designers, as Victoria explained:

“Rosie and Lianne were each able to showcase a fantastic new collection of wallpaper and fabric designs that they created just for the show, and which generated a lot of attention from designers, suppliers and textile companies. As a result, two companies from Liverpool and Scotland have expressed interest in their work and will be making contact in the near future.

“As well as the chance to sell designs, it is the opportunity to build up contacts within the industry, as well as promoting the college and the textiles courses. Also, our students and graduates love the trade fair and the experience, as they have the chance to work on the stand and learn new skills. They are involved in the organisation of the trade fair stand, booking arrangements and liaising with suppliers, which builds confidence and gives them a good idea of how it all works.”

Rosie and Lianne also took part in the events’ popular ‘Trend and Technology Talks’, which are invaluable for students and graduates looking to create their collections.  This year featured speaker Marie Rouillon from Global Color Research – the organisation behind industry publication Mix Magazine – and Marie made a point of visiting both graduates and taking photos of their work, as well as their contact details.