Meet the team

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Dilys Williams - Director and Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability

Professor Dilys Williams FRSA is Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a University of the Arts Research Centre based at London College of Fashion. She has extensive experience as a womenswear designer, having headed up international collections for Katharine Hamnett, Liberty and Whistles alongside a teaching and research portfolio based on fashion for sustainability, in a number of locations around the world. Her place on the Evening Standard’s London’s Progress 1000 list in 2015 evidences the public and academic influence of her work in exploring sustainability as a way for us to live well through fashion.

In establishing the CSF, Dilys has been able to embed sustainability into fashion education, business and research. Acting as co-secretariat to the House of Lords All Party Parliamentary Group on Fashion, Sustainability and Ethics she has enabled the CSF to use its expertise in bringing the subject of sustainability in fashion to the attention of key political figures.

Dilys is a member of the Observer Ethical Awards judging panel, advisor to a number of businesses and academic courses and a regular contributor in the media, including the Guardian, ShowSTUDIO and Salt magazine.

Trained at Manchester Metropolitan University and holding a UAL professorship, she publishes widely on fashion and sustainability in academic journals and published books.

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Nina Stevenson - Education for Sustainability Projects Manager

Nina is a skilled project manager and communicator, and enjoys developing complex ideas into creative and measurable projects.

Nina’s work is to lead the CSF vision to pioneer world-relevant teaching and learning for fashion design, business and communication. This involves leadership at London College of Fashion through the Education for Sustainability Transformation Strategy, working with academics and support staff to ensure excellent student experience and preparation for careers in a changing world.

Nina is leading Fashion Design for Sustainability as curricula through co-creation with partners including luxury group Kering to find new experimental spaces for learning both in the classroom and online. The delivery of these models informs the research work of the CSF and enhances our understanding of the essential skills and capabilities for practitioners and creative thinkers for future fashion systems.

Previous projects have seen Nina collaborate with organisations such as the British Council, Higher Education Academy, United Nations and Defra.

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Renée Cuoco - Centre for Sustainable Fashion Manager

Renée has a background in law and fashion and textile design. She applies a range of communication, creative and analytical skills to devise and deliver impactful projects with team members and a range of partners. With experience working in high-end design and luxury brands Renée has a holistic understanding of the fashion industry from conceptual design and craftsmanship to the driving factors behind commercial business.

Renée oversees the running of the centre, projects and development opportunities, working across research, business and education to ensure CSF’s vision is achieved. Exploring design for sustainability and education for sustainable development principles Renée is interested in cross-discipline collaboration and the role of arts and design in the facilitation of social and ecological resilience.

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Kate Fletcher - Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion

Kate Fletcher’s work is both rooted in nature’s principles and engaged with the cultural and creative forces of fashion and design. Over the last two decades, her original thinking and progressive outlook has infused the field of fashion, textiles and sustainability with design thinking, and come to define it. Kate’s pioneering work in the field, which ranges from developing ‘slow fashion’ ideas and practice to directional sustainability projects, including Fashion Ecologies and Local Wisdom which has engaged thousands of people worldwide with the ‘craft of use’ and ‘post-growth’ fashion.

She also works as a consultant with companies, educational establishments and non-governmental organizations to foster change towards sustainability and is a regular keynote speaker.

Kate has over 60 scholarly and popular publications in the field. She is author of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys (2014, 2008).  She is co-author of Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change (2012). Together with Mathilda Tham she edited the prestige reference work The Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (2015) drawing together contributions from more than 30 scholars in the field and setting the research agenda for fashion and sustainability for the next decade. Her book Craft of Use: Post-Growth Fashion published in 2016 explores fashion provision and expression beyond consumerism.  Her forthcoming book, Opening Up the Wardrobe: a methods book (2017) is a co-edited collection of 50 research methods for investigating the ‘life world’ of clothing beyond the point of purchase. Latterly she is co-editing a Special Issue of the Journal of Fashion Practice on Fashion Localism.

Kate is Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London. Her strategic leadership on fashion-sustainability research permeates the Centre’s activities, including its role as co-secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion at the House of Lords. It also takes her into the woods with fashion professionals and students to foster connection with nature.

In 2015 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada for her pioneering work in the field of sustainability, design and fashion.

View Kate’s research outputs here

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Helen Storey - Professor of Fashion and Science

Helen Storey MBE, RDI is Professor of Fashion and Science at London College of Fashion. Her pioneering work over the last decade has brought the worlds of art and science together, producing hybrid projects and products that have broken new and award winning ground.

These include WonderlandCatalytic ClothingPlastic is Precious Dress of Glass and Flame, Dress For Our Time.

Helen is a social artist and designer living and working in London. She graduated in Fashion from Kingston Polytechnic in 1981, then worked with Valentino and Lancetti in Rome. She returned to London and worked with Belville Sassoon before launching her own label in 1983 with Caroline Coates. Storey’s late ‘80s and early ‘90s collections were noted for their questioning of traditional notions of glamour, expense and women’s image, including the launch of her 2nd Life range of clothes in 1992. In 1991, Storey won Most Innovative Designer Of The Year and was nominated for British Designer Of The Year by The British Fashion Council.

Helen was awarded Honorary Professorships at Heriot Watt University and King’s College London in 2001 and 2003 respectively and became a Visiting Professor of Material Chemistry at Sheffield University in 2008, she was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Arts’ in 2009.  In 2012 she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Science at University of Sheffield and Honorary Professor of Craft and Design at University of Dundee. In 2014 she was awarded Honorary Professor at University of Bournemouth and appointed an RDI ( Royal Designer to Industry) by The Royal Society of Arts.

View Helen’s research outputs here

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Sandy Black - Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology

Sandy Black is Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology at London College of Fashion, she has extensive experience in both the fashion industry and academia. As designer and director of the Sandy Black Knitwear label, she sold inventive fashion knitwear to prestigious stores internationally. Following this, Sandy entered higher education and directed academic programmes in fashion and textiles at University of Brighton then London College of Fashion, where she developed and led the innovative MA Fashion Studies multi-disciplinary masters provision.

Sandy focuses on inter-disciplinary design-led research, in the context of sustainability. Recent books include The Handbook of Fashion Studies and the acclaimed Sustainable Fashion Handbook.  Sandy also founded and co-edits the academic journal Fashion Practice: Design, Creative Process and the Fashion Industry. Recent projects focus on the role of design and new business models in addressing sustainability issues in the fashion and textile sectors towards a more sustainable prosperity. These include the FIREup project, funded by the AHRC.

View Sandy’s research profile

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Alex McIntosh - Course Leader MA Fashion Futures

Alex is the Course Leader for the ground breaking MA Fashion Futures programme, exploring the nature and purpose of design in a rapidly changing world. The course aims to build a generation of practitioners who are adaptable, experimental, eco-literate and culturally sensitive. The course places sustainability at the heart of fashion practice, touching on social, environmental, and technological agendas, whilst offering the freedom to create, speculate and imagine paths to a better future.

Alex is a skilled communicator, facilitator and consultant. He is highly experienced in the research, development and delivery of creative projects and campaigns. He has built successful and productive relationships with a wide variety of clients and collaborators inside and outside fashion and worked extensively with a broad spectrum of creative SMEs on everything from product development to communication and business planning. He was the Managing Director of the innovative menswear brand Christopher Raeburn for a number of years and continues to act as a strategic consultant for the brand.

Alex’s research interests revolve around the exploration of business models that nurture sustainable innovation, community engagement and creative thinking. Alex regularly delivers seminars, workshops, and presentations to international audiences on a variety of topics related to fashion and sustainability and is a regular contributor to consumer press.

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Lucy Orta - Chair of Art in the Environment

Professor Lucy Orta is a UAL Chair of Art in the Environment, her practice draws upon ecological and social issues to create visual responses employing diverse media, including drawing, sculpture, installation, couture, photography and film, as well as staging interventions and performances.

Amongst her most emblematic bodies of work include, Refuge Wear and Body Architecture, portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; HortiRecycling, the food chain in global and local contexts; 70 x 7 The Meal, the ritual of dining and its role in community networking; Nexus Architecture, alternative modes of establishing the social link; and Clouds and OrtaWater, addressing the increasing scarcity of this vital resource and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control, for which she was presented the Green Leaf Award for artistic excellence with an environmental message, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.

Two current projects include, Antarctica and Amazonia, which reflect on the value of the natural environment to our survival, and more specifically the effects climate change will have on future population displacement.

For more details on these projects view Lucy’s website www.studio-orta.com

Major solo exhibitions include: Natural History Museum, London (2010); Shanghai Biennale (2012); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome (2012); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2013). Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, USA and Parc de la Villette, Paris (2014); London Museum Ontario (2015); Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester (2016); Humber Street Gallery, Hull and Frieze Projects, London (2017).

View Lucy’s research outputs here

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Katelyn Toth-Fejel - Research Assistant

Katelyn Toth-Fejel is an artist, designer and natural dye specialist. Over the last decade her teaching has focused on increasing the take up of plant dyes as a local and ecological option for vibrant colour with particular emphasis on those dyes which are seasonally available and allow for uniquely regional hues, foraged in urban settings or cast off from agriculture. This work has been featured in numerous UK publications including the recent book: Lost in London, Adventures in the City’s Wild Outdoors.

Katelyn is a partner of the design collective Here Today Here Tomorrow with a studio and shop in East London. The shop showcases different elements of sustainable fashion and accessories such as high quality handmade craftsmanship, durability, localism, recycling, organic materials, individuality, fair trade and transparent production as well as featuring Katelyn’s natural dye work.

In her role at CSF Katelyn facilitates the Local Wisdom Network, an international research project exploring satisfying and resourceful practices associated with using clothes.

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Emma Rigby- Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Emma Rigby is a postdoctoral research fellow. Her research and teaching explores fashion design as an interconnected relationship between social, material and environmental contexts. Emma’s doctoral research uses clothes laundry as a medium through which to examine how fashion design, resource consumption and sustainability are tied into social practices. Her research approach is practice-led and draws on empirical and observational methods to access user experience as a place from which to engage theory with design practice.

Over the past decade Emma has developed a broad and varied experience of both teaching and curriculum design spanning across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has worked for various design companies in London and Melbourne, and was a previous partner of Here Today Here Tomorrow: a collaborative studio and shop based in East London.

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Camilla Palestra - Associate Curator

Camilla’s curatorial interest lies in artistic practices that reflect on aspects of our contemporary society, understanding history as a trajectory towards the future. Her professional approach is connected to the socio-political environment and its diversity, seeing art as a tool to challenge our knowledge and perspective.

Camilla worked as a writer and researcher at SKIRA publishing house, as Public Programme Curator at MART Museum, Trento (Italy), and Research Associate at Culture + Conflict before joining the University of the Arts London as Curatorial Research Assistant in 2007. From 2015 she is CSF Associate Curator. At UAL she co-ordinated and curated a series of projects including the European project EU-Roma (2007-2010), Voice for Change and Relational Geographies exhibitions at the UAL Showroom (2015) and the ongoing Art for the Environment International Residency Programme.

Camilla holds a BA in History of Art and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London.

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Zoe Norton - Research Centre Administrator

Zoe’s background is in Textile Design, specialising in printed textiles predominately for interior products and with a focus on digital print. Her work looks at the connection between designer and consumer, aiming to create prints that hold a connection and evoke emotion to the user and in turn create product longevity. Zoe is the co-founder of textile collective Print, Tuft and Fold, exhibiting at leading design shows such as Tent London and 100% Design.

At CSF Zoe uses her creative, analytical and strong interpersonal skills to lead the Centre’s research voice. This includes supporting CSF’s Professors with current and incubation projects, planning and managing the Centre’s publications as well as assisting the wider team with events. Zoe also offers support to CSF’s early career researchers and PhD community, alongside the Centre’s PhD recruitment.

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Lizzie Harrison - Research Assistant

Lizzie is a researcher, educator and designer working across academia and industry to explore how fashion in its broadest definition operates in local systems to offer ideas for a more sustainable future. Her work spans different locations across the UK where she has worked with communities to explore materials reuse, skills sharing, repair and (re)manufacture, community based fashion services and making as a tool for resilience and community development. She works closely with local makers, manufacturers and waste handlers across the supply chain, engaging local residents in participatory activity and action based projects.

Lizzie also runs Antiform, a sustainable fashion label with the aim to experiment with the findings of her research to experiment with fashion business models, local supply chains and manufacturing possibilities. The label has received international acclaim while remaining a small flexible test bed for new ideas.

Lizzie joins CSF to work on the Fashion Ecologies Project with Dr Kate Fletcher. For more information visit www.fashionecologies.org