Westminster University creates world’s first public menswear archive

The world’s first archive of menswear spanning a century of men’s fashion design has been opened to the public at the University of Westminster’s Harrow campus.


University of Westminster

Featuring thousands of individual, rare pieces, the archive covers military, workwear, industrial, social and designer fashion from WWI military clothing to directional, contemporary designer garments.

Designs from brands such as Stone Island, Adidas, Jean Paul Gaultier, Belstaff, Barbour, Burberry and Comme Des Garcons are on display and can be used as a resource tool. There is also large collection of rare Alexander McQueen menswear, as well as Aquascutum and Jeremy Scott creations.

The University of Westminster said the archive was created to inspire and educate the next generation of menswear designers. It was formally launched in October 2016 and is now accessible by appointment to any member of the public as part of the university’s new Menswear MA course.


The initiative was led by course director Andrew Groves, who believes a menswear archive can help inspire the next generation of designers - University of Westminster

"There isn’t a [dedicated] menswear archive anywhere in the world that’s open to the public - which at the time I thought ‘there must be’," said Andrew Groves, course director BA Fashion Design, University of Westminster.

"At the moment it covers the last 117 years, so it starts at 1900 and goes to present day. We’ve got a collection of rare Alexander McQueen menswear which is bigger already than the collection at the V&A, right up to really contemporary designers like Craig Green."

“It's pulling together a social history of menswear in this country - which I don't think has ever really been properly looked at," Groves continued. 

Images of the garments taken with a StyleShoots photo machine are shared on social media via Instagram.

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