Explore Collaborations: Barbour target a new fashion market

Planning the Collaboration

Tutors were asked the following question to help them to reflect on the issues and decisions considered before the project began:

How were the groups formed?

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What were the main reasons for setting up a collaborative project?
The tutor indicated a collaborative project was set up:

  • To simulate a 'real-world experience'

What were the client's expectations at the start of the project?

Tutor 1 womenswear - The designer/consultant from Barbour had other ideas about the expectations of the project and the project didn’t deliver on these, some students toned down their ideas to fit in with the current Barbour brand and could have been more innovative. A real problem with collaborative projects is that students feel a need to compromise, they feel they can’t learn by their mistakes – as they can’t have a disaster, it takes away the element of experimentation, the daring to experiment is curbed a little as there are time constraints.

Tutor 2 womenswear – it was not really a problem, Barbour were open to writing the brief with staff and open to negotiation.

Tutor 3 menswear – Barbour came to us because of our reputation. We had a representation from Barbour, earlier in the project, to clarify the brief and talk about Barbour’s history and the direction they were targeting and future development.

Tutor 4 textiles – I was never consulted. Snippets of information came from staff – second hand really – other members of staff decided it was appropriate for the textiles students.

How did you align the client's expectations with the module's learning objectives?

Tutor 1 womenswear – the project worked well in terms of goals. There was a balanced experience with this project and it lead on from other projects that built a level of experience. The module range requirements were those of concept and development followed by garment resolution and manufacture, the module descriptors were very flexible and the intention was that collaborative projects sit in these modules.

Tutor 2 womenswear – the idea was to create an authentic garment for the company brand and market so all goals were met.

Tutor 3 menswear – the students had to create something with more street credibility, a slightly younger market and slightly towards the smart rather than casual – slightly more tailored, yes, this fitted in with the module’s learning objectives.

Tutor 4 textiles – we had to slightly manipulate the module goals legally, there was a lot of twisting and turning to make it fit because of the appropriateness of the customer to a textiles student. The students became more focussed on the garment than textiles because the garment was an easier tool to communicate textile ideas. Therefore, the textiles students produced ‘garment fronts’ or ‘half garments’ to apply the textiles into a garment context – consequently the students had to learn pattern cutting, construct the garment and image develop, print the fabric and engineer the print.