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The Story of H&M and US so far…

Summer 2015…

Shortly after New Designers in London, a team from H&M Design Headquarters contacted Surface Pattern Design Swansea to offer warm congratulations for the standard of the work exhibited there by our graduating students, and the professionalism of those who they met and chatted with on our stand.

This prompted H&M to invite students still studying on the Surface Pattern programme to apply for their three month paid internship scheme over the summer. This resulted in one of our 2nd into 3rd year students, Daisy Jenkins, embarking on a tremendous placement experience in Stockholm.

What did Daisy Jenkins think about….

…Living in Sweden?- The city is beautiful, surrounded by water, history, inspiration and beautiful architecture- a brilliant place to have lived and experience the culture.

…Working at H&M - I gained so much knowledge of the whole design process, from idea to development across all sections of the design team - print, garment design, pattern cutting etc, right up to the finished product. I Saw how everything I have learnt at Uni translates into industry- Photoshop, catwalk research, creating patterns etc. The best part was seeing the finished garments in store and knowing what was going to come out over 6 trends and being able to wear garments i had designed and worked on.

…How it has helped her in her studies – It really improved my trend analysis and research skills needed prior to a project. It helped me think more about pattern placement on a garment and helped me learn about building a collection with a balance of statement prints and co-ordinates.

Autumn 2015…

While Daisy was still in Sweden, the Surface Pattern team was contacted again to ask if a print designer and a member of HR could visit the programme in November to speak to the students about future placement opportunities, and to interview our graduates for Print Design roles. We welcomed Simone Lindblad, Human Resources, and Roisin O’Reilly, Printed textiles Designer, to Swansea College of Art. They generously spoke to the students about H&M; the company history and ethos, the importance of understanding the customer profile and the ins and outs of working at the global high street phenomena that is H&M.

The culmination of this visit was the offer of a significant live brief for the programme in Autumn 2016, with significant rewards proposed for those selected as most successful in response.

Autumn/Winter 2016/17…

From the October briefing visit to Swansea by Simone and her Print Designer colleague Ana San Jose Cortajarena, the students’ design process has led them through drawing, shop reporting, competitor research, customer profiling, mood boarding, colour analysis, pattern development and fashion drawing, punctuated in November by a WebEx link up to Stockholm HQ for a mid-project critique. The project has made new demands on the students; that they are succinct in their design choices, constantly focused on the brand and the customer profile at the same time as ensuring that there is a sound creative vision in response to the trend, and their designs are original and inspiring!

January 2017…

We are now proud to be able to present the outcome of this collaboration to date; an exhibition of student work in response to the H&M live brief tailored to the BA(Hons) and MDes(Hons) Surface Pattern Design programme here in Swansea College of Art. Continuing students from the 2nd and 3rd year have fully embraced the opportunity to address this trend-focused, highly targeted, commercial live brief. They were given four separate AW 2017 trends to respond to and asked to address one of the key H&M customers using the H&M Fashion Triangle working method.

We hope you agree that the work on show is knock out, and shows off the students’ creative skills and employability skills in equal measure. We are pleased to welcome back Simone and Ana to judge the live brief and select their winners and runners up. We are beyond grateful for the generosity of H&M for facilitating such a beneficial liaison for our students, and look forward to future opportunities to work together and feed our highly skilled and experienced graduates in their direction. We’ll keep you posted with the progress of the talented winners and those additional talented students accepted onto the placement programme and how they get on.

What we love about H&M

  • We love their products!

  • They are passionate about creativity and are committed to the same rigorous design process that we teach here.

  • They nurture talent and very generously share their vast experience and knowledge with the next generation of designers.

  • They are interested in the wellbeing of their employees and have excellent placement and relocation programmes for students and new recruits.

  • They like cake and stop every Friday afternoon on mass for Fika!

  • is the Swedish word for 'meeting up for coffee and some cake and a chat'.

  • They have been a pleasure to work with. Thanks Simone, Ana and Roisin.

What they seem to love about us

  • The impact our students made at New Designers. Thanks graduates of 2015!

  • They must have loved Daisy Jenkins to call us back! Thanks Daisy!

  • They loved our studios and workshops, and the “old school” Art School vibe here in Swansea

  • The work they saw at the students’ desks in October and at the crit in November.

  • The photographs taken of the project journey by Photo AIR Dafyddd Williams. Thanks Daf!

  • They are bound to love the fantastic Zine produced by Brogan Evans, Rebecca Owen and Andrew Jones. Thanks BA/MDes(Hons) Graphics!

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