Award-winning fashion designer inspires next generation in Hartlepool

Nabil Nayal with Lianne Hubbert, lecturer on the BA (Hons) Texture and Surface Design degree at CCAD.
Nabil Nayal with Lianne Hubbert, lecturer on the BA (Hons) Texture and Surface Design degree at CCAD.

An award-winning fashion designer inspired the next generation in Hartlepool as he delivered a talk to students.

Nabil El Nayal, who has earned the praise of the likes of renowned fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, retailer Louis Vuitton and magazine US Vogue, brought his expertise to Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) at the university-level campus in Hartlepool.

Nabil Nayal and lecturer Lianne Hubbert with student Sarah Walker.

Nabil Nayal and lecturer Lianne Hubbert with student Sarah Walker.

He spoke with students from the BA (Hons) Textile and Surface Design degree programme about his career progression.

Mr Nayal is behind the ready-to-wear brand Nabil Nayal, while in the past he has won the prestigious Royal Society of Arts Award, the Graduate Fashion Week ‘Best Womenswear’ Award and the British Fashion Council MA Scholarship Award, which enabled him to pursue a masters at the Royal College of Art.

He spoke to students about the creation of his capsule collection for River Island, which sold out within three days, and producing commissions for Crown Paints as part of a national competition.

He was also the first designer to use 3D printing on the catwalk.

Mr Nayal now sits on the ‘Harrods Launches’ panel, a platform for showcasing new design talent, after his collection was bought by the London-based department store.

Complimenting CCAD on its facilities, which he compared favourably with the Royal College of Art, he said: “The students are using the facilities at CCAD as tools that permits them to translate their creative visions into exciting, challenging and often thought-provoking outcomes.

“There is a uniquely ‘northern’ energy that I was drawn to; anything seemed to be possible.

“It was wonderful to observe the passion of the team and the enthusiasm of the students.”

Lianne Hubbert, lecturer on the BA (Hons) Texture and Surface Design degree at CCAD, said: “The textiles students were really lucky to work with Nabil on their current project he is a true visionary and offered excellent feedback for their design work as well as future career advice.

“We are hoping that he can come back to give a final critique to all the textiles students who are breaking new boundaries in their design work, we are all very excited about what the future has to offer our undergraduates.”

Student Sarah Walker, 19, who is in her second year studying at the college, said: “I found it motivating to hear Nabil talk about his journey, from establishing himself as a student to a well-known name in the fashion industry.

“My current project is about being experimental, incorporating digital aspects into design work, so his feedback really hit home.

“When Nabil visited my workspace to look over my designs and portfolio, he advised me on possibly constructing 3D drawings to make my work more innovative and exploring the potential of the digital facilities we have access to at CCAD.

“Here we have the freedom and encouragement to be experimental and inventive on the course, so I am looking to now blend print and embroidery together in my designs.”