Photograph: Durva Simone Bose

Naomi Bailey-Cooper is a fashion textiles designer, artist and researcher exploring values that could shape ethical and long-lasting fashion. Her work places an emphasis on the sensory tactility and aesthetic appeal of materials, working with ahimsa silk, Tencel, banana fibre and less traditional materials seen in textiles such as glass yarn, wild rubber and those sourced from pre-consumer waste streams. Focusing on a more conceptual approach to fashion design outside of the traditional system, Naomi aims to inspire creative methods by which fashion and textiles professionals could incorporate alternative materials and circular life cycles.

Naomi received a funding award from the Victoria & Albert Museum and London College of Fashion for her PhD by practice where she pioneered embellishment alternatives to fur and exotic animal materials (2019). These novel embellishment prototypes manipulated unconventional natural materials as an alternative to some of the appeals of fur and exotic animal materials. This work has been published in the journal of ‘Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption’ and in ‘Fur: A Sensitive History’ by Jonathan Faiers (2020). She was a Resident at Leeds Creative Labs at the University of Leeds developing a project that merges fashion textiles and geology and palaeontology to communicate changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration through geological time and its relationship to life on Earth, to project a future climate (2020). During her doctoral studies she was awarded an Art for the Environment award for her residency with Labverde in the Amazon Rainforest, recording exotic animal species using textiles (2017), and was a Resident in the ‘Big Do Making Lab’ University of Borås, developing methods to renew classic wardrobe staples within a circular system (2019). She has previously worked as a researcher for Gucci and Burberry (2012-2014).

Naomi is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Climate Reality Leader, and is listed in the Crafts Council Directory. Her work is regularly featured in various exhibitions and publications and through invited talks at conferences, universities and businesses: Most notably, Fashioned from Nature at the Victoria & Albert Museum UK and associated world tour (2018-2021) and Design Research for Change at the London Design Festival UK (2019). Previously graduating from BA Fashion Womenswear, Central Saint Martins (2012), Naomi presented a collection featuring biodegradable crystal embellishment, sponsored by Swarovski Elements, shortlisted for the Re-act Sustainable Fashion Award (2012) and published in ‘A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion’ by Alison Gwilt (2014).