Are you a fashion or textile designer?

Contribute to a knowledge landscape of the fashion and textile industry

A research project collecting data about connectivity within the fashion and textile industry.

We are calling on the fashion community to contribute insights about their current working practice to help provide a more complete picture of the complex networks involved in our industry. Read more...

Contribute to the research
Or scroll down to see our findings so far.

Which designers are working together, and on what type of work?

The graphs below display the connectivity within the fashion industry, from our research data. It shows which sectors tend to work together, and on what types of projects.

Note: this data is 'live' – every time someone contributes to our survey the report updates with the new data.


    This visualises the breakdown of the different types of designers involved in the fashion industry
  • Fashion design 54%
  • Textile design 38%
  • Footwear/accessories 8%

    Type of work?

    This shows the specific area of design carried out by designers in the industry
  • Womenswear 30%
  • Knitwear 26%
  • Menswear 17%
  • Printed textiles 13%
  • Woven textiles 4%
  • Embroidery 4%
  • Childrenswear 4%

    With who?

    This shows who designers work with most often
  • Fashion house 50%
  • Academic 12%
  • Clothing manufacturer 10%
  • Technology company 10%
  • Retailer 7%
  • Woven manufacturer 5%
  • Print manufacturer 5%
  • Knitwear manufacturer 2%

    On what?

    This shows what type of work is carried out by different sectors within the fashion industry
  • Sampling/testing 22%
  • Design 19%
  • Collection: show piece 13%
  • Consulting 12%
  • Special projects 11%
  • New product development 10%
  • Collection: production of orders 8%
  • Collection: sample range 6%

    Collaboration or service?

    What was the nature of the working relationship, from the designer's point of view?
  • I provided a service/worked freelance for this company 46%
  • This was a collaboration/co-brand 32%
  • This company provided a service for me 23%

A map of the industry

FIRE has developed an interactive network mapping system that brings to the forefront many hidden parts of the fashion and textile supply chain in to order to encourage and enable micro and start-up businesses to find appropriate collaborators and partners for their work. It allows you to navigate through fashion networks and connections using searchable keywords and categories. This is an anonymised version.

Quotes on collaboration

Our workshops spent some time focusing on the nature of collaboration in the industry – both the opportunities and challenges. The following are a selection of quotes from the workshops. Our illustrator also captured some of the sentiments.

Illustrations by Josie Willey.

On sharing contacts and trusted networks

“Our attitudes have completely changed now, I’m not that worried anymore about sharing. If I have a friend that is a fantastic knitwear designer and another friend that has her own label, I’ve handed over my contact to them.”

– Textile designer, London

On sharing contacts and trusted networks

“We've all got to share a bit more, the world is round and we've got to stop being so greedy. The way to stay afloat is by working with good people and giving a good deed back.”

– Textile designer, London

The need for change in the fashion industry

“We've been doing things in the fashion and textile industry the same way for years and years... other creative industries have moved on and shifted how they work — and we haven't.”

– Textile designer, London

Trusted networks and collaborations

“So much of the creative industry is based on the freelance lifestyle, putting together teams, finding the right people, being cross-disciplinary, having people around you in your network.”

– Womenswear Fashion Designer, London

Recognition for work

“Very often, textile designers are not named.”

– Textile Designer, London

Collaboration – power and mutual benefit?

“As a textile designer it works best to co-brand, otherwise you don’t get credited. The culture is that you don’t get credited even if you have had a very big part in the design. There used to be a lot more credit for the textile designer.”

– Textile Designer, London

IP and ownership

“Certain designers I work with think that because they have set the brief that means they have full ownership of the design, despite the fact that they have no clue how to make a hat. I propose materials, I propose shape, I propose form, but it is still to their brief so therefore they believe that they have full intellectual ownership of it.”

– Milliner, London

Recognition and the power in a relationship

“If they don’t pay you, you do get credit, and if they do pay you, you don’t get credit.”

– Accessories Designer, London

The work of a designer today

“I used to define my business as three tiered, now it's four tiered: collaborating with designers for their collections, their catwalks or special projects; creating a collection, then retailing it; special projects, private clients; now consultancy; and teaching – a fifth tier.”

– Milliner, London

Collaboration – power and mutual benefit?

“Collaboration is about the power in a relationship. It is really hard to introduce boundaries at the start of a creative process.”

– Accessories Designer, London

Get involved

If you would like to participate in this ongoing research, please click the button below.

Project team

Professor Sandy BlackProject Lead, London College of Fashion

Gabrielle MillerResearch Assistant, London College of Fashion

Basil SafwatInteraction Designer, Minified


This is a FIRE project. This project is a collaborative project between the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and digital research and development studio Minified. It has been funded by Creative Works London.