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Joe Whitbread

MA work

Are You Man Enough?



Strength. Power. Dominance. Machismo.


Societal ideas around what MAN is are many and homogenous, mainly basing themselves around the construct of a strong force. A leader and provider, allowed conditions around behaviour and emotional responsibilities. Men are restrained and controlled in all circumstances, never weak or vulnerable to physical or mental damage.


In terms of fashion and design, masculine identity is synonymous with muted colour, stripes, geometric design and simplicity. To be male is to wear blocks, squares and lines to define a physical space in every situation. When decoration is used, it is often attached to a specific placement. In a sea of clones, a tie or pocket square can give the wearer some small semblance of a personality. 


This rigidity of style and colour, devoid of decorative content and joy, is tragic. It is also potentially the reason that men struggle to create a place where they can emote, be vulnerable and express themselves. To break the mould is to be truly brave, to create a niche, be proudly other.



  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Textiles, 2017



  • As a hand weaver and jacquard designer, the basis of my work stems from the craft and heritage of UK textile manufacturing. I aim to integrate traditional motifs and techniques with the subversive elements of street style and counter culture. It is essential that my cloth is refined and well balanced, but showcases a bold and unique approach to design.

    My main focus of work at RCA has been looking into how the fashion industry markets textiles to the menswear market. I am fascinated with the social language of clothing and how the textile is integral to projecting an image and identity. In exploring sociology, history and design theory I am able to have a more grounded approach to my practice and can reflect on my works wider impact.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Textiles, Falmouth, 2014
  • Experience

  • Studio assistant, Dash + Miller, Bristol, 2016; Textiles buying assistant, Jigsaw UK, Kew, 2016; Studio assistant, CTD Studio, New York, 2013