Jill Kirkham

Home / About / Staff Profiles/ Design / Jill Kirkham

Programme Leader for Fashion Design and Promotion

I came into lecturing after working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, specifically in design and product development. I've designed for high street brands such as Topshop, River Island and Miss Selfridge. I specialised in design and product development for tailoring at Marks & Spencer and had my own business producing bespoke clothing and millinery.

My passion for all things to do with the fashion industry prompted me to share my skills and experience in education and I love helping students to understand the creative process and to find their own voice. I am a massive fan of tailoring and I also get really inspired by utility wear; the idea of combining elements of the two can keep me awake at night!

Teaching and supervision

I teach all students on BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Promotion and support MA students working in the fashion area.

Research interests for potential research students

I offer support to any research concerning industrial manufacturing practices within the fashion industry, fabric uses and development, critical path practices in a global environment and the maintaining of traditional skills.


My research interests are in the field of keeping alive traditional skills and cottage industry, including cloth weaving and dyeing, millinery, bag making and quality clothing manufacture. The concept involves the consideration that if we buy top quality garments less often but are invested in the design, manufacture and personalisation of them, we can cherish clothing instead of consuming more just to throw away.

Areas of expertise

My main areas of expertise within the fashion industry are range planning, garment design and development for manufacturing, properties and colour for textiles and design management. Within education, as well as the academic and practical aspects of my subject area, I also have a great deal of experience in guiding research and enabling students to find inspiration and motivation.

Last updated 26 November 2018