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Quinn and Epson collaboration ‘one to watch’

The last few years must have been a whirlwind for fashion designer Richard Quinn—from graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2016, to winning the H and M Design Award and creating costumes for Lady Gaga in 2017, to his recognition from The Queen this year.

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Quinn uses Epson software to create his designs before printing onto paper and using a heat press process onto fabric

As Quinn’s printer manufacturer of choice, Epson recently held an event taking us, ‘From Concept to Catwalk and Beyond’. Quinn explored issues like reducing waste and bringing manufacturing back to England, as well as talking us through his vintage inspired pieces with modern twists, describing the style as “familiar but unsettling”.

“We were very keen for people to understand what technology can do,” says Heather Kendle, market development manager at Epson Europe.

She continues: “We have been working with Richard Quinn for the last 15 months, he’s just launched his latest collection, and won an award from The Queen, so we thought it was a good time to get people together to understand what it means for textile and fashion design in Europe today. Digital is now beginning to play a serious role in fashion design.”

Fashion is a really aspirational business but for some reason textiles isn’t, it’s seen as an old-fashioned technology. The challenge now is getting youngsters coming in to do some of the textile design fulfilment

Epson’s technology has greatly expanded what is possible creatively for Quinn. Kendle explains: “You print on the paper, using Epson software to get the design, then you heat press it onto the fabric. Your consistency is that you’re always printing onto paper so if you’re running lots of fabrics, you don’t have to keep changing the printer set up. As Richard has demonstrated, you can play around with lots of different fabric types this way.”

In his studio, Quinn uses the Epson SC-F9200 and is soon to own the SC-F9300, which is ideal for medium to large-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing—perfect for Quinn’s requirements. It has a speed of 108.6m2/h and will allow Quinn to produce one-off items and multiple items with ease.

Familiar with the eye-catching helmets sported by models in Quinn’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection? The colourful designs were made possible with Epson’s Sure Color S80600. Kendle also tells me that Quinn will soon start using the SC-F2000 t-shirt printer for promotional items.

Kendle continues: “We’ve worked with him since the beginning of last year when he demonstrated to us the things he was doing and he was really keen on using Epson technology. He’s such a personable designer and focused on what he wants to do, so we decided we’d like to work with him.

Richard Quinn talks to journalists at his studio in Peckham, which he opened in 2017 equipped with Epson Sure Color printers

“At The Print Show last year he provided all of our outfits, promoting what the technology could do and we had his clothes on display there too. We’ve worked together with him on how he develops his business going forward.”
Epson also continues to work with universities to make sure they have access to the technology, with Kendle saying it is important to get young designers thinking about not only creating the design, but how you output it.

Kendle mentioned during the event that digital print in textiles is not big today, but that it is growing. She has similar hopes for the textile industry in general. She says: “Fashion is a really aspirational business but for some reason textiles isn’t, it’s seen as an old-fashioned technology. The challenge now is getting youngsters coming in to do some of the textile design fulfilment.”

Quinn is well-deserving of the attention, and from his high-end pieces on Matches Fashion to his Debenhams collection set to go on sale this May at a lower price point, he is certainly one to watch.

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