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Simons encourage creative talent in construction with Fashion Student Project

Simons Group have been working with University of Lincoln students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design programme, to support the property solutions business’ ‘Building Safer’ and ‘Building Greener’ initiatives.

The students, who are currently in their second year of study, were presented with a live brief which tasked them with creating proposals for an engaging character to act as a mascot for Simons Group, which could communicate health, safety and environmental messages to children on future construction sites.

The project began when Simons Group challenged primary school children across Lincoln to submit creative designs for their ‘Simon Says’ character. More than 200 designs were submitted before a final shortlist was presented to the University of Lincoln group to take the campaign to the next phase of development.

Working in groups of three, the budding designers worked to refine these ideas and create technical sketches incorporating the best ideas from each of the shortlisted designs from the schoolchildren, to further develop a brand-appropriate character based on the principles of health, safety and sustainability.

Speaking about the project, Victoria Bellandini, Deputy Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Design at the University of Lincoln, said: “This project has provided our students with a fantastic opportunity to work to a live brief for a large external organisation, and we are delighted with the designs they have created.

“The experience has been invaluable, as our students have received extensive feedback from Simons regarding their designs, from the brand associations of their characters to the fabrics they have selected for their costumes. This process of critique furthers their understanding of how the creative industries work outside of the studio. They have engaged in a programme of professional consultation with Simons, and we are confident that this practical business experience will stand them in good stead when they graduate from Lincoln.“

Simons Group selected a winning entry from the proposals submitted by the Lincoln Fashion students, which could go on to further development as the company explores possibilities to develop a physical mascot, as well as opportunities for comic strips, animations and graphic design to promote key messages to children.

Speaking about the winning design, Izy Hodgkinson from Simons said: ,

“The students have gone into great detail, from a technical manufacturing process, all the way to the logistics of having a novelty costume on site. The winning design by was of an exceptionally high standard and incorporated so many aspects that need considering. It is a marketable design that incorporates a lot of the great ideas from the schoolchildrens‘ designs. Costings were proposed for all of the materials which helped us to envisage a developed business model for the ‘Simons Says‘ character. We really hope that all the students have enjoyed the project, as well as gaining experience on a live project and appreciation for the breadth of creativity in construction. They’ve done an incredible job.”

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