Barnard Castle designer's clothes on shelves at Sainsbury
By David Wibberley - Reporter
A FORMER Teesdale School pupil’s ambition to design womenswear for a high street company has come to fruition.
Jennifer Healy, originally from Barnard Castle, revealed her first women’s fashion range designed for Tu at Sainsbury’s at its West Auckland store this week.
Last year Ms Healy was awarded a scholarship with Tu at Sainsbury’s. She said: “What a crazy year it has been. It has been a steep learning curve but it is just such an amazing experience.”
Ms Healy completed her fashion degree at Manchester Metropolitan University and exhibited her womenswear collection at the national Graduate Fashion Week, in London, in 2018. The annual festival celebrates the world’s best 1,000 graduating fashion designers.
Talking about her style, Ms Healy said: “My design style is quite extrovert and busy with clashing bright colours – and prints mixed with frills and shapes. The sixties have always been a huge inspiration for my work from the aspects of shape, materials and colour.”
She added: “I have loved fashion for as long as I can remember, saving up my pocket money to go to the charity shops as a child. After studying fine art and textiles at college I knew fashion was what I wanted to go into in the future.”
As part of the design process for her collection Ms Healy went to Istanbul to visit suppliers to see Jersey material being made and how digital printing was applied to the fabric.
Rob Jones, of London-based fashion designers Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, has mentored Ms Healy as part of her scholarship. She said: “To be able to work with such a famous designer has been amazing – it has done so much to help me develop.”
Teatum and Jones are currently the British Library’s designers in residence and are former winners of the prestigious international Woolmark prize for womenswear.
Ms Healy will continue to work with the womenswear design team. But she said: “Ultimately I would love to have my own design label.”
The full collection will be will be available in West Auckland and Darlington Sainsbury’s stores as well as selected shops across the UK and online.