Ashley Jess Knight is a Woven Textile and Fashion designer based in South East London, with her studio at Cockpit Arts. Her work is easily recognisable for her use of bright colours, varied textures and brand ethos of ‘Happy Design’.
Her work is inspired by pop culture and nostalgia from her childhood and teenage years, taking inspiration from vintage toys, anime, emo culture and the act of play. Using this inspiration of nostalgia to try to trap memories and sensations of growing up into her textiles. Using bright bold colours, varied textures and a sense of play and exploration, with what has been described as a ‘Tongue and cheek’ or eccentric style.
Ashley is passionate about sustainability and is always looking at creating as little environmental impact as possible with her designs. Through using deadstock yarns and fabrics, upcycling and Zero waste design in her aim to work within sustainable production and create long lasting products.
Ashley Graduated at Middlesex university London with a first class honours in Fashion and Textile Design, specialising in Woven textile design. Where she gained experience with hand, dobby and Jaccard looms, alongside experience in printed, knitted, embellishment and embroidered textiles, alongside fashion design and pattern cutting. She was awarded the Ede and Ravenscroft ‘Exemplary student’ award in 2019 while studying at Middlesex.
Ashley also focused on fashion theory work, focusing on second-hand and sustainable fashion, gentrification, and her own experiences with fashion, with her dissertation recognised by her university.
She also runs a second-hand fashion blog on Instagram which has allowed her to work with brands and charities such as The British Heart Foundation. She has spoke at multiple conferences about this topic alongside writing sustainable fashion articles for magazines such as Our Culture.
After Graduating Ashley decided to focus on her passion for woven textiles and the craftmanship and processes that goes into weaving. While discovering a passion for the details and qualities of woven fabrics and how the fabric itself can tell its own story and communicate for itself through textures, colours and design. Alongside how this can create an emotional or sentimental connection with the end user of the fabric.
This led Ashley to focus on the textile development side of the industry. Allowing her to create high quality bespoke textiles that can be used by other designers and creatives who want to focus on design but still want personalised custom fabric.
However, Ashley still uses her experience in Fashion design to inform her textiles about properties and handles needed for fashion design, alongside creating her own side-line of bespoke handwoven garments and interiors, launching in 2022.
In September 2021 she won the Cockpit Arts/ The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers Award 2021, which granted her a studio space in Cockpit Arts business incubator where she is currently based.
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