Paul Smith fosters student exchange programmeFriday, 27 November 2009
The innovative link-up has come about because Sir Paul has strong links with Nottingham Trent University and the city of Nottingham – where he opened his first boutique in 1970 – and his clothing label is huge in Japan, where he has more than 200 shops.
Haruka Mori and Chihiro Konno have arrived from Bunka Women’s University and Musashino Art University in Tokyo to study MA fashion design and MA graphic design, respectively. They will spend one year studying in Nottingham, while four students from Nottingham Trent University – Rosie Legg (fashion design) Hengame Assadi (fashion design) Laura Green (textile design) and Tessa Acti (textile design) – are spending eight weeks at Bunka, one of Japan’s most respected fashion colleges.
Sir Paul said: “Travel continues to be the most inspiring thing for me and entering into the second successful year of this project gives me great delight. I have met the students in Japan recently and they are so full of energy and enthusiasm, it is very clear this will have a positive effect on them.’
Haruka said: "I am really looking forward to studying in the UK and to being given the chance to learn new and exciting design practices. I am eager to learn about fashion in a different environment, and in different ways than I would do in Japan. Nottingham Trent University has students from across the world and this will help me to broaden my horizons culturally, which should in turn link in to my fashion ideas and enable me to become more creative.
“While here I intend to take every opportunity to improve not only my fashion knowledge and skills, but also my knowledge of the industry itself, so that I am fully prepared when I begin my career. This is an excellent opportunity for me."
Chihiro added: “This scheme has given me an excellent opportunity to study in the UK which I would not have otherwise have had, and I am really grateful for that. Nottingham Trent University has a lot of international students, each with different backgrounds, cultures and talents. Such an environment will be a really valuable experience in enabling me to develop as both a designer and an individual.”
The four Nottingham Trent University students currently in Tokyo all did their undergraduate degrees in the School of Art and Design.
Rosie Legg said: “Travel and my surroundings have always inspired my work and this scholarship is a great opportunity to completely immerse myself in another culture. Tokyo is a truly inspirational city with both modern and traditional elements working together. I hope to use this opportunity to further my skills as a designer by learning and experiencing the Japanese fashion world and its techniques."
Julie Pinches, the head of fashion, knitwear and textiles courses in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art and Design, said: “This opportunity will benefit them not only with their masters study, but will hopefully be the foundation for their future career aspirations. The experience of different design practices, methods and theories in another culture, will allow them to develop their design potential in new and exciting directions.”
Image: Paul Smith logo