Leather jacket designed by DMU grad hits the shop rails

Gaining 40,000 social media views for her leather jacket concept has earned a Fashion Design graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) prized position in a national competition.


With Martin Foster, Lakeland Leather's Managing Director

With 55 per cent of the public vote, Brogan Thomson-Wood’s design was chosen for production by fashion retailer Lakeland Leather, and her luxurious suede jacket is now on sale in its 15 stores and website.

The 23-year-old said: "I can't believe I'm wearing a jacket I designed! I learnt so much from the competition, working with Lakeland Leather's design and production team to see the process through from start to finish.

“It was both exciting and surreal to see my winning design on sale in a shop. It literally has my name all over it as it’s called the ‘Brogan’ and is displayed on a special hanger tag with information about me and my inspiration behind it.

“It really is a dream come true and it feels great that 10 per cent of all sales are being donated to Breast Cancer Care."


The experience gave Brogan valuable insight into the world of retail and fashion with the chance to get involved in all aspects of the manufacturing process, from choosing the type of leather to placing orders.

“I worked with the designer on things like balancing the pockets out and making my original vision a bit more commercial,” said Brogan.

“I also had the chance to work with the buying team and learn how decisions are made about colours chosen and quantities ordered. It definitely highlighted the importance of knowing your customer base to me, which is something Lakeland Leather does really well.

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“When you study fashion design you can do what you want and be as creative as you like. But this experience of working in a commercial role was rewarding in a different way. Knowing you’re designing something people will actually buy and wear is really satisfying.”

Brogan entered the competition by the independent fashion retailer, which challenged designers to create an on-trend summer jacket, during her final year at DMU.

Her design was inspired by her research about the company and in particular founder Jack Standring’s spirit of adventure.


Brogan's winning competition entry

She said: “I wanted to capture a sense of adventure and exploration, just like the ethos behind Lakeland Leather. My stepdad is an avid climber himself so I paid close attention to his gear when I was designing my jacket.”

Bosses chose three finalists, of whom two were DMU students – Brogan and coursemate Hazel Symons, who went on the win the Christopher Bailey Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2016.

Martin Foster, Lakeland Leather's Managing Director, said: “We were delighted with the quality of the designs entered in the competition, it bodes well for UK fashion. Brogan's design was the clear winner capturing over 55 per cent of all votes cast on the shortlisted entries.”

Both Brogan and Hazel were encouraged to enter the competition by their course tutors, who research and share similar briefs with students throughout the year.

Brogan said: “Our tutors were brilliant like that. They pushed us to enter competitions so that we could gain recognition before we graduated and so that we could leave DMU with a strong CV and portfolio.”

Posted on Tuesday 1st August 2017

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