Students studying Fashion Management & Marketing at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Epsom have designed this season’s kit for local popular netball team The Downs.
The England Netball Premier League 1 team was presented with five different design ideas from groups of second year fashion students, and the winning design was produced as the team’s kit for this season.
“The students had clearly put a lot of work into the ideas that they presented and knew their stuff,” said Hannah Reid, The Downs Team Captain, who was shortlisted for the England Netball long squad for the Commonwealth Games 2014. “There were no rubbish ideas! They’d taken our comments into account and come up with some great suggestions.”
Fashion Management & Marketing student Amy Blacker, 19 and originally from East Yorkshire, was part of the winning design team.
“We wanted to create something that was a bit different to a normal netball kit design, but that still matched the existing colours and logo of The Downs team,” explained Amy.
The group’s research included looking at existing professional netball kits of other teams as well as different materials available for sports kits.
“All of the groups that were putting together ideas for the netball team met with the players and we had the opportunity to ask them lots of questions about what they were looking for,” continued Amy. “Our group made sure to ask about the materials they wanted us to use as well as the fit so that they were comfortable whilst playing.”
The winning design is a racer back vest dress made of stretchy dark blue material with a light blue and white windmill design across the front of the dress. The Downs’ logo is on the front of the dress and the UCA logo sits on the back.
Fashion Management & Marketing students Amy Blacker and Lea Bernetic with some of The Downs team
“We chose this design for a couple of different reasons – we liked the colour and shape of the dress, but also the fit and the material that the students had picked,” explained Hannah. “It’s a flattering style and something that suited everyone, so it was the popular choice.”
“It was a fun process and was really nice to have something that was especially designed for us. We really liked that they’d incorporated the windmill design from our logo.”
The project was part of the Fashion Management & Marketing course’s Buying and Merchandising unit in second year. Helping students to understand the whole journey from a concept to consumer, the unit enabled the students to work with a live brief, including direct contact with consumers and the chance to liaise with suppliers.
“I really enjoyed working on this project,” said Amy. “Live projects like this are motivating as you get to see the final result created for a real purpose which makes it rewarding to be a part of. I think it’s really good that they’re part of the uni course as the results of live projects are also really useful for take to interview as examples of work!”