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Susan Postlethwaite


  • Biography

  • Susan has worked as a womenswear designer in design studios in New York, London and Milan and for Georgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Jean Muir. She has taught at University of the Arts London, where she was course Leader for MA Fashion and the Environment and developed the MA Fashion Futures course at London College of Fashion. She has a strong background in sustainability. Currently, she is developing research in the areas of micro factory design and tooling, 3D weave and digital desk top factory/ designers bench systems for fashion-testing approaches to practice based and practice led research. She is co-investigator for AHRC funded Creative Clusters 5-year research project Future Fashion Factory: Digitally Enabled Design & Manufacture of Designer Products for Circular Economies and was involved at the inception of the Burberry Material Futures Research Group at the RCA. Her aim is to position the RCA as a leader in Fashion Thinking making key challenges in postgraduate fashion education which might inform sustainability, reshoring/Industry 4.0 policy making and circular economy agendas, whilst also developing an approach to blended learning.


Research interests

Susan's research is focused on investigating ways in which designers can be more involved in the creative process of applying, co-developing and implementing new industrial digital technologies in collaboration with supply chain manufacturers and other technology experts, in the high value luxury fashion sector. Developing a new skill set for designers is central to her research, focused on developing new creative design processes, products, service and business models. 

She is currently developing research for new postgraduate fashion design programmes to address the identified skills gap in the industry where multidisciplinary designers trained in a unique combination of art, design, science and technology competencies linked to STEAM+D pedagogies will answer the need for a newly skilled workforce which also aligns itself to the School of Design's research strategies.

Susan works with industry partners, academics, NGO’s and policy makers and other academics assessing,from a designer’s perspective, how new technologies can be configured and implemented as they are developed.She is also exploring the disruptive influence on the way that business in fashion design is done having secured funding through the Future Fashion Factory (FFF) research project.