UK Design Competition People’s Choice Winner 2022 : Abigail Hobbs


UK Design Competition People’s Choice Winner 2022 : Abigail Hobbs

21st January 2023

Recently graduated from Loughborough University, Abigail specialised in Multimedia Textiles Design & Innovation. With a keen eye for colour and detail she found that the possibility of experimenting with materials within fashion design is such an exciting and rewarding process. Abigail particularly enjoys the conceptual research process behind developing a collection, correlating and sourcing imagery through photography exploring exhibitions and discovering new upcoming designers.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

Growth and movement are fundamental components that are essential to humans and are complex processes that are often overlooked. Throughout this project I investigated the intricacy of human condition, drawing attention to the fluidity of their natural, internal structures. The design of our bodies provides structure and support for many diverse, internal systems which all rely on each other to operate efficiently.

I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from photographing and drawing diverse museum taxidermy collections, with and without their exterior features. Conceptually, I wanted to inform others of the complex interior structures of the body, through decorative stitch and material manipulation. Through creating my design, I have transformed the expressive, organic qualities of the human form, using different creative textile design processes and technologies to evolve the fundamental and the ordinary.

What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?

During my final year of my degree, I focused a lot of my experimentation with materials on utilising and upcycling natural leather. I gradually developed my own decorative style by combining linear, illustrative stitch design with manipulated surface qualities. Leather is such a versatile material which has a beautiful, luxurious quality that I enjoy working with.


What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?

Designing and creating sustainably is essential in the modern fashion industry and leather is such a unique and ideal material with so much potential. Not only is it a by-product of the meat industry, but it is also durable and long-lasting, easily repairable and recyclable. Unlike faux leather, it is micro-plastic free and organic, so is much kinder to the environment. It is crucial that we utilise materials with qualities such as these over other synthetic materials, so that we can buy higher quality products and therefore are buying less, as these are much more long-lasting.


How has this competition influenced your view of working with leather in the future? 

I have been so grateful to have had this opportunity in this competition to raise awareness for the advantages and the potential of using natural materials, such as leather, within design. It is becoming increasing important to practise sustainable design in the modern day, being mindful of materials and I hope to continue working by this ethos throughout my design career.


LinkedIn: Abigail Hobbs

Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.