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Class of 2015: BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Accessories and Product Design

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Published date
11 June 2015

Up next in our Class of 2015 blog series is Rowan Sharp, BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Accessories and Product student (now Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories). Rowan discusses her floating studio and his ‘The Black Water’ collection. Rowan’s work is now on display at the BA15 Exhibition.

LCF News: Where are you from?

Rowan Sharp: Cheshire UK

LCF News: Give us one interesting fact about yourself…

RS: I’ve commissioned a 900sqft boat to be built. This will be the design headquarters for my accessories label UNUM MORI. As a floating studio the boat will be a contemporary workspace as well as a unique flagship store for the UNUM MORI brand.

LCF News: Talk us through your final project…

RS: Like most other designers my inspiration comes from the environment around me. The difference is that my environment is far from ordinary. I’ve been brought up on and around boats all my life. For me, in this world, rope represents a thin, tenuous but crucial life line, an umbilical cord to everyday life. The Black Water Collection encompasses a novel rope re-engineering technique which brings rope into the 21st century, propelling it from function to high fashion.


LCF News: What do you love about what you do?

RS: My imagination can be manifested through leather.

LCF News: What is the story behind your final piece of work?

RS: My collection is an expression of the potential boundaries of the spectrum for my new label UNUM MORI. I see the new techniques I have developed as a platform for my future brand. There is more to my pieces than meets the eye and I am designing for those who, like me, have a creative, conceptual mind.

LCF News: What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work? 

RS: I’ve encased over 133 metres of rope in leather using a technique I have developed which clashes tradition with avant-garde.

LCF News: What’s the best thing about LCF?

RS: LCF offers you freedom, support and technical expertise to fully reach your potential. LCF pushes you both creatively and commercially.

LCF News: What’s the best thing about your course?

RS: The ability to express yourself in an affirming but challenging environment that you can tailor to become a springboard for your future.

LCF News: Have you won any prizes?

  • RS: SEED Fund ‘Try it’ Award 2014
  • UAL ‘Do It’ Award 2015
  • Cordwainers Industry Collaboration Project Winner – Bill Amberg  2013
  • Accessories Designer- Winner – Jimmy Choo Awards 2015

LCF News: Have you been in the media?

  • RS: Wallpaper centre spread feature collaboration Veuve Clicquot and Ferarri, December Issue 2014.
  • Pigeons and Peacocks magazine. Leather accessories featured in fashion editorial piece Issue 7 2014.
  • Huf Magazine. Leather accessories featured in annual magazine 2013.
  • I am currently working on a commission for a British Bi- Annual Print Publication, Front Cover May 2015.
  • Accessories Collection exhibited at Pure, Olympia London 2013

LCF News: Describe your work in five words…

RS: Flotsam, jetsam, lagan, derelict and poignant.

LCF News: What inspires you?

RS: I can see problems worth solving, in anything from the banal to the exquisite.

LCF News: Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?

RS: I’ve begun the journey of UNUM MORI, I’m excited to continue it.

LCF News: What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?

RS: Be prepared, open your mind.