Monthly Archives: March 2014

Comp Shop


We went to Leeds shopping to have a look at the type of competition there was between high street shops that dealt with both fashion and interiors, we looked at 4 shops for all audiences and made notes on what we observed; 


bhs1 bhs2

Lots of staff.
Items displayed in a funky/ fun way.
Eye catching presentation.
Displays offering free delivery.
Clear sale section.
Good quality for money.
Neat and clean displays.
Wide selection of things –well stocked.
Fresh S/S 14 collection with bright colours.
Spaced out and accessible.
Prices are quite expensive but good hard-wearing quality.
Rather feminine due to colour themes.
bhs3 bhs4

Urban Outfitters 


Not many staff about for assistance.
Really loud music which could be quite distracting.
Aimed at younger customers- due to the funky/trendy look.
Home ware scattered all over the shop – on two levels. Hard to find what you are looking for.
Mixed in with fashion.
Offers free Wi-Fi and seating areas – creating a chilled atmosphere.
Quite a distinct taste – not much variety.
Not one distinct theme – lots of random products.
Pricey products aimed at the middle/upper class.


next1 next 2

Friendly approachable staff.

Offer incentives to get you to shop there again.
Customers seem to linger and look carefully.
The store was clean and tidy.
Directory and look books.
Carefully used lighting.
Products look fresh S/S 14 
New stock, no sign of sale.
Target audience: Families, middle class, rather feminine.
Well executed displays.
Attractive and approachable. 
Reasonably priced products. With an average cushion costing only £8.
Trend catalog.
 next4 next5


pri1 pri2

Staff dotted about but not very approachable.

Colour co-ordinated displays.
Mix of full price items and sale.
Mis match of S/S 14 and A/W 13 collections.
Not a great deal of stock.
More accessory based.
Price reflect quality.
Target Audience: Students- easy and affordable way to decorate student homes on a budget.
Quite a hectic, rushed atmosphere.

 Not as fashionable. 


(Both Primark and Urban Outfitters wouldn’t allow photo’s taken so the ones I have used here are not taken by me or a member of my team,)


When we had all got out notes sorted out we put together a presentation with much of the information on this post about what we found on our trip. 



Comerical Designer Summary


A commercial Designer works for large companies designing for a brand appose to for smaller niche markets. It’s a broad spectrum as the textile industry is huge, this means they design for not just soft materials but hard as well, things like accessories and furniture, hats, bags, clothing and interiors. Unlike a designer maker they do not make the items they simply design them based on trends, the audience they are designing for amongst other factors but they are only in charge of one aspect of the process and are usually part of a large team who work together to make the end product.  

There are many different roles in this industry such as product designer, product developer. You may be sent to research and look into yarns or maybe your focusing on the whole fabric, either way a design team is made up of many different people who all have a different part to play in the making of a garment or interior.


Trade fairs are one of the most crucial parts of being a commercial designer, places like premier vision and Texworld are huge events held often annually that show off the latest deigns and trends often 18 months in advance. When working mainly in Europe we tend to stick to this continent for our trade fairs due to costs and travel however there are many worthwhile shows in Asia that are important to see when working in this business. Going to a trade fair will often bring inspiration to a designer who will then take back what they have found, swatches, books, photographs and work back at home on a collection. These fairs though are not cheap and deciding which one to go to and who to send is a serious matter.

premvis texworld

Trends are probably the most important part of being a designer, Pantone are the leading brand for colour trending and making sure you’re up to date with your colour pallets this season is a big deal. There are also trends for fabrics, patterns and even just style in general, a trend is just what is predicted that people will want at a certain time and these are affected by global events such as the Olympics, weather and historical fashion. A designer will work with these trends sometimes years in advance of when the trend is predicted to be trendy to create fresh up to date textiles.


One trend that Is big on the market right now and I don’t see it going anywhere is sustainability, we are all concerned about the environment and so we should be, but a designer can influence people and this poses the question; is it the customers job to request eco friendly products or is the designers responsibility to get the customers interested in sustainability?

Competition is hard in this industry and therefore designers must always be on the lookout for who they are up against, they must always know what is going on in there market area, weather that be high street or luxury there is always competition

h&M H&M2

To conclude, a commercial designer is designing for the masses and therefore has many roles and jobs to do, its not just about designing something that looks nice, they must think about who the product is for, when a collection will be released and therefore what trends will be in as well as looking after the environment and promoting a good message to keep the process as sustainable as possible.

Drappers, What textile trade shows will you be visiting next season? (on line) Available at;

Figure 1
Premier Vision, Presentation (online) Available at;

Figure 2
Texworld, September 2013 Fabric Experience PICTURES (online) Available at;

Figure 3
Yarn Obsession, how safe is my yarn? (online) Available at;

Figure 4
Pantone (online) Available at;

Figure 5 & 6
H&M, Sustainability report (online) Available at;