Professor Andrew Groves is Professor of Fashion Design at the University of Westminster, London. Over the last 15 years, he has led a radical rethink of how fashion education is delivered and has transformed fashion education both at the University of Westminster and globally.
In 2018, he aligned the BA Fashion Design course with the international fashion calendar which, together with its outstanding reputation, meant that the course became the first undergraduate course in the world to be invited to show on the official London Fashion Week schedule.
Groves said “I have long believed that fashion education needs to provide our students with the most realistic and industry-ready educational experience. By showing their collections in February rather than June, it enables our accomplished final year students to become truly part of the industry."
In 2016 he developed the MA Menswear programme, the world’s first and only two-year menswear course which showed their first graduating cohort at London Fashion Week Mens in June 2018.
Westminster Menswear Archive
In 2015 he launched the Westminster Menswear Archive, the world’s only publicly accessible menswear archive, which has over 1600 examples of menswear from British designers and brands including Craig Green, Liam Hodges, Kim Jones, Aitor Throup, Vivienne Westwood, Mr Fish, Belstaff, Barbour, Burberry, Vexed Generation, and Aquascutum.
The archive is an essential destination for students studying design, and visitors include students from the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, Manchester Metropolitan University, Kingston University, London College of Fashion, as well as industry visitors including Burberry, Liam Hodges, Rapha, Versace, Hunter, Umbro, Charles Jeffrey, Matthew Miller, Perry Ellis, Jigsaw, Alexander McQueen, H&M, British Fashion Council, The Financial Times, Esquire and Vogue.
British Fashion Council
As well as driving the direction of fashion education at Westminster, Professor Groves has, for the last decade, sat on the steering committee of the Colleges Council, which advises the British Fashion Council (BFC) on education issues.
Founded by the BFC in 1993, the Colleges Council is designed to create an interface between education and industry and to provide opportunities for students to engage with fashion companies through events, internships, bursaries and competitions. It has recently been responsible for devising national guidelines on fashion internships and producing a student placement learning agreement to be used by all members of the BFC.
Sarah Mower MBE, chief critic for Vogue US and the British Fashion Council’s Ambassador for Emerging Talent, said: “Professor Andrew Groves has enhanced the standing and effectiveness of fashion at the University of Westminster immeasurably. I often think that BA students graduating from Westminster are as accomplished as post-graduates from many other places.
“The standards he upholds, as a forward-thinking former practitioner, produces exciting, well-honed individualists, within an ethos which is caring and challenging from within, and relevant to the industry outside. Meanwhile, his establishment of the Westminster Menswear Archive provides an inspirational resource for education and for brand researchers.”
Before his academic career Groves worked as a designer in the fashion industry both under his eponymous label as well as for others, most notably Alexander McQueen. Until the mid-1990s Groves was Alexander McQueen’s senior design assistant before then joining the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins, where Professor Louise Wilson taught him.
Groves exhibited his work as part of a series of runway presentations at London Fashion Week over a period of five years. His radical design practice from the mid-1990s onwards is now widely seen as being both ground-breaking and continues to be the subject of much critical analysis, and has been disseminated within the public domain through exhibitions at the V&A Museum, Somerset House, ICA, Design Museum, and Moda Florence.
Several examples of Groves’ work are held in the National Collection of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and additionally the Fashion Museum in Bath.
Professor Groves has commented widely on the fashion industry and fashion education for numerous media outlets including BBC News and Channel Four.
Professor of Fashion Design at the University of Westminster
Director of the Westminster Menswear Archive
30 years of fashion industry experience, both private and public sectors
15 years directing fashion at the University of Westminster
20 years teaching fashion design
10 years executive member, steering committee British Fashion Council's Colleges Council
15 years experience as an external examiner for fashion courses including Central Saint Martins, Kingston University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and London College of Fashion