The BA Fashion Design course has a proud history of producing some exceptional fashion graduates. Whether working in menswear, womenswear, or accessories they have helped to shape the global fashion industry with their vision, drive and ambition. Graduates from June 2011 have already secured jobs with Mulberry, Puma, Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch, Thom Browne, Armani and Roksanda Illincic. Whilst others are going on to study on the MA courses at Central Saint Martins, the Royal College of Art, and Parsons in New York.
Christopher Bailey | Chief Creative Director Burberry
Christopher Bailey is Chief Creative Director of Burberry, and is responsible for the company’s overall image including all advertising, corporate art direction, store design and visuals as well as the design of all Burberry collections and product lines. He graduated from Westminster in 1994.
Bailey, who was 41 in 2012, was from 1994 to 1996 he was the Womenswear Designer at Donna Karan and Senior Designer of Womenswear at Gucci in Milan from 1996 to 2001. He joined Burberry in May 2001 as creative director and became chief creative director in November 2009. Bailey is credited with transforming the fortunes of the company.
In 2008, Bailey, alongside Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, set up The Burberry Foundation, committed to dedicating global resources to help young people realise their dreams and achieve their goals and potential through their power and creativity.
Bailey also oversaw the design and development of the new 160,000 square foot Burberry Global Headquarters at Horseferry House in London and the newly opened 68,000 square foot Burberry Americas US Headquarters at 444 Madison in New York.
"The experience I gained surpassed all my expectations and prepared me fully to start my career as a professional designer in the Fashion industry.
The course was both creative and technical in its concept and approach and, though the three years were demanding and hard work, the excitement and the results were totally worthwhile."
Carri Mundane | Designer Casetteplaya
Carri Mundane, the designer behind the label CassettePlaya graduated from the Fashion Design course at the University of Westminster in 2003.The designer is stylist for Mercury Music Awards nominee M.I.A and new rave band The Klaxons. 'We have the same references,' she says.'I translate their sound into clothes.'
Although influenced by video games and Nineties rave's Day-Glo colours and pixilated prints, Mundane is adamant her look isn't retro or ironic. 'My clothes are quite cartoon, but I have no intention of making people look funny.'
Mundane sees Cassetteplaya as a global brand - 'I want it to be a recognisable name everywhere,' she says. World, you've been warned.
In 2007, she was nominated for "Best Menswear Designer" at the British Fashion Awards, alongside Christopher Bailey and Alexander McQueen. In 2008, she was named by Rolling Stone magazine as "Best Fashion Designer" of 2008 in their "Best of Rock" issue.
In July 2008, her work is presented in the "Fashion V Sport" exhibition at London’s V&A.
International outlets where her clothes sell include Dover Street Market in London, Colette in Paris, SlamJam in Milan, Seven in New York, and Side by Side in Tokyo amongst others.
Katie Hillier | Acessories Designer
Hillier graduated from the University of Westminster in 1997 and in 1999 Hillier was approached by Luella Bartley to design, what became the ubiquitous beaded belt, for her second show, entitled “Daddy I Want a Pony.”
In 2002, Hillier left Luella to set up a design consultancy that collaborated with leading fashion designers including Hogan, Hugo Boss, Victoria’s Secrets, Miss Sixty, FrostFrench, House of Jazz, New Look and Markus Lupfer.
In 2003 Hillier started work at Marc by Marc Jacobs where she remains as a Creative Consultant for accessories. In 2005, Katie Hillier Ltd was established, designing and consulting for an equally broad range of designers, including Hugo Boss, Luella, Clements Ribeiro, Bill Amberg, Giles Deacon, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Sophia Kokosalaki, Armand Basi, Daks, House of Holland, Loewe and Norton & Sons.
As the company expands Hillier continues to work on specialized commission based projects for individual companies and has recently collaborated on the Gap Red project curated by Katie Grand. To date, Hillier continues her involvement with Pop magazine as Contributing Fashion Editor, building Hills and loving accessories!
Stuart Vevers | Creative Director Loewe
Stuart Vevers graduated from Westminster in 1996. His first job was at Calvin Klein followed by Bottega Veneta, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton where he worked with Marc Jacobs. He joined Mulberry as Creative Director in 2005 and has been instrumental in the company's success, transforming their leather goods into into the must-have 'It' handbags of the season.
He has also collaborates with Luella Bartley and Designer of the Year, Giles Deacon. In 2006, he won the British Fashion Council's Accessory Designer of the Year award, In september 2007 he became creative director for Loewe.
What was the most useful thing you learned from the Fashion Design course at Westminster?
Really it was that fashion was about hard work. And I changed a lot while I was there.
My style and taste when I left was very different to when I arrived - more grown up, more aware of the world and of fashion.I think that's a direct influence of Westminster because my friends who went to different colleges didn't show such a big change.
It was because all the tutors were very experienced and we had great external people who came in to talk to us, like Galliano, Chalayan and Nicholas Knightley.
With his refreshingly unique style and artful way he redefined everyday basics, his graduate collection was bought by London boutique Koh Samui. It was in quick succession that he was awarded the British Fashion Council’s New Generation Award in 2001, providing the platform to begin showing on an international level the label that bears his name.
Markus Lupfer became a regular on the London Fashion Week schedule before becoming Design Director at Armand Basi in 2006. In 2008 Markus Lupfer won ‘Best Designer of the Year’, at the Prix de la Mode Awards in Spain. Lupfer’s talent and expertise have created opportunities for collaborations and consultancy projects with international brands Ruffo, Cacharel, Mulberry and of course, Armand Basi One.
In 2010, Markus reintroduced his collections to the London Fashion Week schedule with immediate global success.
Lupfer is renowned for his humorously subversive knitwear and inspired approach to jersey daywear and tailoring. His innovative and often surreal use of print, embroidery and graphic embellishment, continues to earn him a devoted celebrity following. Fans include Madonna, Beyonce, Rhianna, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch, Edie Campbell, Anna Friel and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester and Blake Lively.
Michael Herz | Head of Womenswear Bally
After 10 years at Aquascutum as Head of Design for womenswear in addition to devising a creative brand concept and overseeing a team of designers and assistants, Michael moved to Switzerland to become Head of Womenswear at Bally in 2010.
"After ten seasons of what has been an amazing journey, it feels like the perfect time to move on to what will be a fuller international challenge," explained Herz and Fidler, who met at Aquascutum seven years ago as head of womenswear and menswear respectively.
"This is an opportunity to bring together all that we have learnt from our joint previous experiences to an exciting and multi-faceted role at Bally.
Bally is a Swiss luxury heritage brand with a huge potential. We will explore what is at the heart of Bally, not just its archives but also its charm, its mentality and its intelligence."
What was the best thing about your time at Westminster?
'I was probably not the best student because I always wanted to do my own thing. But the tutors were fantastic. We had Nigel Luck and others who were all very encouraging and supportive and positive.'
Mark Maidment | Creative Director Ben Sherman
Mark Maidment studied Menswear at Westminster, before graduating in 1993.
After working for a number of brands in the UK and USA he joined Ben Sherman in 2002 as their Design Director.
Following three successful years he was made Creative Director, expanding his role to include, interiors, marketing and bringing the whole brand identity, concept and dream together.