THE BEST OF JEAN SCHOOL
During guest lectures and projects with professionals from the denim industry, students frequently design their own special garments. Here you find a selection of these designs.
C&A Design Challenge
The C&A Design Challenge is an annual competition to offer young talent the opportunity to get their own design into production. Several third-year students of Jean School participated. The assignment: recreate a denim classic. This is a selection of the designs.
Jozef da Costa
This piece by Jozef da Costa (then second-year student) has been made for the Kuyichi Salvage project, recycling old garments to create brand new items.
Julie van Luit
The design of Julie van Luit for the C&A Design Challenge. She graduated in July 2015.
John Randy Anthony
John Randy Anthony graduated in September 2015. He was one of the four winners of the C&A Design Challenge. The jeans he designed were sold in European chains of C&A, as well as online.
A design by Dong Tran (then second-year student) for the Kuyichi Salvage project, recycling old garments to create brand new pieces.
The first group of students has been graduated. Curious to hear where they ended up? Read their stories below.
“The past year only consisted of highlights. I have successfully completed my internship at a weaving mill in Valencia, I graduated and have then participated in the Global Denim Awards.
I went through the Jean School in an accelerated pace –in one year-. I was working as an underwear developer and, after an intake interview and a successfully completed assessment, I was allowed to start in the second year. After my internship I immediately started the graduation process.
I graduated with my internship collection which I have expanded a little, and that same collection also was the base for my participation in the Global Denim Awards (GDA). At the GDA young designers work together with premium denim weaving mills in order to achieve innovations in denim. Within a determined period you develop a collection that consists of five entire sets with the fabrics of the manufacturer. My exam collection was already durable for 92% but I have adjusted it for the GDA to 100%.
I would not have succeeded without the guidance of my teacher, Mira Copini. We have done so many cool projects with real brands at school. That provides you with an excellent insight in the denim industry. At the moment, I am working on my portfolio and I have enough beautiful things to show. I am hoping to be able to work at an international brand as designer or developer. At Levi’s in San Francisco for example. That would just be fantastic.”
Donna van Langen
“We received a lecture of C&A-designers. Every year they organise the C&A Design Challenge, in which they give young designers the opportunity by means of a competition to have their design taken into production. This year the Challenge was held at the Jean School. They gave us the assignment to redesign an iconic piece of clothing. That had to result in four designs: for the woman, the man, boys and girls.
I have chosen for the Westwood denim shirt, the first real cowboy shirt with press studs and pointed collar. For the new design I focused on the functionality, the C&A-woman wants a practical piece of clothing. Eventually I have won the C&A Design Challenge with the women’s’ shirt. The other winners and I were allowed to work for a few days and a couple of times at the design department of C&A in Düsseldorf to further develop our design.
You have to take all details into consideration: the stitches, the size of the stitch, the eyes. I have learned a lot there.
After I graduated, I received a telephone call from the head of the design department of Garcia Jeans. I had followed my last internship with them and they asked if I wanted to come work there. I am now working as a style assistant and I design accessories, such as scarfs and belts.”
“In December I will start developing my own jeans collection. That was a spontaneous process. During the education I caught the attention of the right people and I gradually ended up with my partners. We felt an immediate connection. We arranged to meet a couple of times and exchanged ideas. I followed a brief meeting-internship at their office so we could figure out how to continue. All contracts are signed at the moment. Initially we only start with jeans but I am hoping to be able to expand the collection to multiple pieces of clothing in a few years’ time.
It is exciting because I only have little experience, but I do believe in myself. Thanks to the Jean School I now have a network. In those three years I have also learned what the structure of the denim industry is, what the process is for technical matters related to a product, in which way the products are designed and I am now able to work with programs such as Illustrator.
For the final exam we had to propose a collection with a collection book (including sketches, materials and atmosphere) and really had to manufacture two items from the collection. I have won a prize with that collection, so I was allowed to go to San Francisco to work at the head office of Levi’s for a week. That was amazing. I have shadowed the head designer for the premium lines of Levi’s and looked in the lab where they have a laundry that works with the latest techniques and possibilities.
Since I started at the Jean School, I have done so many things and seen so many places. I never expected that. The most important thing now is to develop an own identity with my collection and to establish a fixed concept so we can really start selling our jeans.”
On the photo Soufyan (right) with Simone Kukenheim and James Veenhoff.
“I work for Edwin Europe as Denim designer & developer for the Men’s collection. I design, but mainly focus on the development of jeans and –as soon as denim is involved– sometimes also tops. During the last two months of my study I started building up a portfolio with the work I made at school. Just before I received my diploma, I started sending open applications and Edwin was ranked on top of my list. It was good to hear that my portfolio played an important role in being invited for my first interview.
Immediately from the start I had to work very hard. We work in a small team and therefore I received a lot of responsibility. I work closely together with three French guys who are only a couple of years older. Creative and nice blokes. We live in the same apartment in France. Every evening after work we drive home together and cook together.
The Jean School has really taught me all the ins-and-outs. The knowledge I have acquired in those three years is perfectly aligned to the function and the industry I am now working in. Thanks to the education, I am doing something I have been dreaming of for years. It absolutely is a dream-job.”