Walsall College Fashion students were given a backstage tour of designer goods being manufactured on the production line when they visited the Brady Bags factory in Walsall.
Established in 1887, Brady Bags began as a Birmingham company that produced leather cases and fishing bags. Over a century later, Brady replaced their range with women’s handbags, which are handmade in their warehouse in Walsall. It is now a renowned name around the world.
The Level 3 and HNC students have also been set a live brief by the brand to come up with original designs for a travel/trolly bag that could end up on the production line and be launched to an international market.
The brief is to come up with a bag design aimed at a younger trend conscious market but in keeping with Brady’s trademark style. Students were encouraged to take a risk with their design, and to consider features such as buckles, studs and magnetic locks, as well as the colour burnt orange to fit into their autumn range.
Students have been given a month to work on their ideas and each will receive individual feedback from the firm. Five ideas will be shortlisted for the next phase of the project and students will be asked to develop their designs further, before pitching them to Managing Director at Brady Bags, Peter Wilkes. The two best designs will then be selected and each winning student will be awarded with £250 for their efforts.
Curriculum Manager for Fashion, Christine Taylor, said: “This is the fourth consecutive year that Brady Bags has chosen to work in collaboration with the college to offer our students this incredible opportunity. We are delighted that this partnership is providing our budding fashion designers with high value industry experience as they work towards their career goals.
“It is also a great credit to previous students that have worked with the company as their designs have been considered to be of a very high industry standard. It helps to demonstrate that they are building a solid foundation of creative design skills and have the makings for great careers in the fashion industry.”
Peter, who also delivered an inspiring talk to students about his illustrious career in the fashion industry, said: “It is great to be working in partnership with the college again and I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas they come up with.”