Burberry's iconic camel trenchcoat

Leeds Students to Hack Burberry at London Design Event

Five University of Leeds students will get the chance to redesign an iconic British fashion staple at a very special competition hosted by Future Fashion Factory partner Burberry.

The Burberry ‘Hackathon’ sees students from several universities invited to take part in a one-day event on Thursday 11 April. They will be put into teams and asked to develop their own unique takes on a classic Burberry trenchcoat.

Burberry’s coats are still designed and manufactured here in the UK, using high-quality fabric from home-grown suppliers. Mills in the Yorkshire region supply Burberry along with many other world-leading brands, from Prada and Gucci to Mary Katrantzou and Chanel.

The Leeds students were selected by the Future Fashion Factory leadership team, with support for their travel and accommodation provided through the programme.

Good luck to all five entrants! Find out more about the students:

Alexis Charrier is a student at the University of Leeds

Alexis Charrier (MSc Textiles)

My research project is on the mechanical and thermal properties of graphene enhanced polymer fibres for textile applications. I am sponsored by two companies: Versarien PLC (an innovative material manufacturer) and Vivobarefoot (a minimalist/barefoot shoe brand based in London).

I did an 8-month internship in 2018 at Vivobarefoot during which I alternated work on material innovation and travel between London and China. I worked on projects with Versarien during my internship, which initiated the sponsorships by these two companies.

I have always been in competitive sports and am currently in a professional Swim Run team (Team Envol). We are sponsored by several companies and are actively involved in the development and testing of new products.

Clarissa Chong is a student at the University of Leeds

Clarissa Chong (BSc Product Design)

My course combines both design and engineering to create innovative yet aesthetic products to improve the daily lives of others. I find myself focusing on user-centred design alongside consumer electronics & wearables. I hope to integrate technology into the future of fashion, showing that form can follow function. For my final year project, I’m designing and building a device which helps young adults with anxiety adhere to their daily medication routine. The device would make their medication more portable and appealing to carry around, while providing comfort during a panic attack.

Although I have yet to do an internship in Product Design, I have done numerous graphic design, merchandise design and photography work for societies, expanding my skills to other design fields. In my personal time, I enjoy drawing & painting with both traditional and digital mediums. I also enjoy listening and making music, and hope that I could incorporate both my specialism and hobbies into my future career.

Hannah Dean student member profile

Hannah Dean (BA Fashion Design)

My work is driven by the concept of sustainability, utilising the ‘slow fashion’ model of design. My final collection aims to reimagine military surplus design. I have drawn inspiration from military uniforms’ links with the natural environment as opposed to urbanism in an attempt to create an environmentally sound collection with a new aesthetic.

I have completed a year in industry in which I worked as a design studio assistant at Margaret Howell. My experience has instilled in me a passion for British design and manufacture. The brand champions British mills and suppliers to make quality products, with a focus on sustainability and longevity. I have also gained internship experience within menswear design at Marks and Spencer and within product development at Salonwear Direct. Following graduation, I aspire to work as a fashion designer within the luxury sector.

Lucy Howell is a student at the University of Leeds

Lucy Howell (BSc Product Design)

I love the combination of creativity and science that allows me to make projects that are not only exciting but actually work effectively too. My final year project is a product that helps older adults with limited hand strength/dexterity to play guitar, with the aim of building their mental health and overall wellbeing. The mix of art, music and social culture into my technical projects is something I find really interesting, allowing me to combine my hobbies and extra-curricular activities with my academic work.

I have taken up multiple internships over the past few years in the creative industry, having worked with graphic design companies, photographers and even a glassworker! As well as this, I have done my own freelance work in the form of graphic design and painting. In the future I would love to combine all of my technical knowledge with my creative skills and take on a career that allows me to do both.

I find that I have a particular focus on sustainability running throughout all of my work. I enjoy making my own clothes and bags from scraps/old clothing, in addition to taking on modules in Business and Sustainability, so this is definitely something I would like to look into further in the future as well.

Rosie Walpole student member Future Fashion Factory

Rosie Walpole (BA Fashion Design)

My dissertation topic is ‘Transformable Garments: The end of fast fashion?’ looking at how sustainability can be implemented through clever design, which increases interactivity with the user, gives greater variety within one purchase and should therefore increase product longevity. I chose to focus on this as I feel that much of the stigma with sustainability and fashion comes down to fibres and fabrics alone, when it is in fact the aesthetic of garments and trends which typically drive over-consumption.

As part of my garment technology and innovation module, I have designed a 24-outfit collection for a collaboration between Stella McCartney X Eco Age, and made two of the transformable garments, visually inspired by the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

I undertook a 14 Month full-time placement at Cohen and Wilks International, an outerwear supplier. Working as a Garment Technologist with retailers like Debenhams and Baker by Ted Baker, completing the whole sealing process from initial buying sample to production. This placement was extended for an extra 4 months during semester 1 of my final year, working 1 day a week.