Adele Catchpole is an exciting new designer to watch for the future. Throughout her time with us she studied Textiles and Surface Design BA(Hons) and was a diverse and talented student who we knew would go on to great projects upon graduation. Adele attended New Designers last year with a selection of the other textiles students and was asked back again this year for One Year On. With huge interest from many major brands such as Nike and Moonpig, Adele’s future is extremely exciting. We caught up with her to chat all things New Designers, exciting plans and her next steps…
Hi Adele! Can you tell us a little bit about your time recently at New Designers: One Year On?
New Designers was a whirlwind of a week! It almost felt like first year of university, being put in a creative setting with a bunch of people I had never met before but instantly forming friendships and connections. I felt so lucky to have been selected as I was amongst some really talented designers and makers.
Amazing! Did you get to make some great contacts too?
I sent out invites to a number of bloggers and from there have had some promising email conversations about feature blogs and promotional material which is fantastic in terms of social media exposure! I invited editors of magazines I would be interested in collaborating with for features and heard back from Caboodle magazine who are planning to include my work in an upcoming photoshoot. Creative directors from Skinny Dip, Moonpig and Freedom jewellery visited me during the week and we have discussed the potential for freelance projects and future internships within those companies. Also Nike’s Design and Innovation recruitment manager spotted my work through New Designers website and I have since had a Skype interview about future design roles and they have included my online portfolio in a design review this week, so thats super exciting!
What kind of interest did you have in your brand?
The majority of people at New Designers were students and friends of those students so it was perfect in terms of my target market. I sold a handful of pairs of fruity earrings and it was great to spot people wearing them throughout the week! My work space drew a lot of attention due to how eye catching my colour palettes are and my hand painted spotty hangers were definitely a hit! For a while now I have had the idea to merge my pet portrait work and fashion designs together to offer a service where I can translate a portrait into a repeat print and then make clothing from that personalised printed fabric. I thought this would be fun for children’s wear and be a thoughtful gift idea and as I explained this to viewers of my work, it became evident that its something I should push and evolve into my business. I’ve had a lot of email queries about it following the show and have sold a set from my collection.
Can you tell me where you hope to be in 5 years time and what you hope to have accomplished?
I’d like to be settled in a lively city somewhere with my own studio and running a successful business with the idea I’ve spoken about. As I’ve said before there are still different avenues I would like to explore and I would love to work for any of the companies I’ve mentioned above. I really enjoyed taking part in the Leeds RAG Fashion Show this year so would like to continue collaborating with other designers and showcasing my work through shows and publications.
What’s your highlight moment from New Designers?
I was invited by Hallmark Creative to take part in a peg person painting workshop, me and a group of designers sat and painted little wooden pegs to look like ourselves. I literally could have sat there all day and painted away! Overall I had such a lovely week, I stayed with a gorgeous group of girls from uni and met up with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while! When I was looking around the show I spotted a girl who I recognised from Instagram and amazingly she had one of my pink cat stickers on the back of her phone which I gave to her at New Designers in 2017! More than anything just being there for me was such an opportunity and its given me some direction for where I want to take my brand next. I felt like I needed to sleep for a year after all the hard work I had put into preparing for the show but it was all well worth it and I’m so glad I took part.
How has The Northern School of Art prepared you for this transition from student to designer?
I utilised a lot of the skills I was taught at The Northern School of Art when having conversations with industry professionals at the show and couldn’t have produced the work I did without access to our Textiles Department. The opportunities the staff and university have offered me since I graduated has been superb and my education has helped me connect the dots to where I want to take my career.
Will you still be based in Hartlepool/ the North East?
I am looking at perusing creative jobs and freelance work closer to cities within the North and would like to move in the near future. For the moment I have my part time job here in Hartlepool and have continued taking on commission paintings so I can be based anywhere for freelance work. I love my little home on the Marina and have all my equipment set up in my spare room so its ideal for now.