Frances Turner

Personal statement

Frances Turner is a practicing designer of textiles, apparel and accessories, researcher and Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Skills for Fashion and Textiles at Bath Spa University. 

Her professional career and experience in the Fashion and Textile industry is in Design, Product Development and Buying. Technical production knowledge, combined with creative design skills in knit, print, weave, garment and product design enabled her to work for high profile brands including Alfred Dunhill Limited and The National Trust.

During a 15 year career with Alfred Dunhill she was responsible for the design, product management and buying of exclusive product ranges for this luxury British design house and retailer of premium men's clothing, accessories and leather goods. As part of the Richemont luxury group of prestigious brands that include Chloe, Mont Blanc, and Azzedine Allaia, Frances was based in London but travelled extensively working with specialist international manufacturers to develop and source bespoke product ranges for global markets: knitwear, casualwear, technical performance sportswear, swimwear, shirtings, and leather products. Accessory collections include hats, scarves, gloves, hosiery, umbrellas, and sports accessories.  

Working with specialist international garment and textile manufacturers, fabric and yarn mills in the UK, USA and Far East she developed collections that were marketed  internationally through retail and wholesale distribution and Frances was actively involved in the presentation and marketing of the ranges to an international audience. Some of the international companies that she has regularly worked with include: 

  • Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, Loro Piana, Borsalino, Solbiati, Ratti Group, Zegna Baruffa, Christian Fischbacher, Loewe, Albini, Ballantyne, Swaine Adeney Brigg, John Smedley, Jaeger, Crombie, Dents Gloves, W.L.Gore (Goretex).

Products and designs have been exhibited at many international trade fairs including: Pitti Uomo, Sportswear trade shows in the USA, Germany and Far East. 

Frances practices as a freelance designer and brand consultant, designing sourcing and developing exclusive product ranges, advising on brand development and marketing to micro fashion start-up businesses. 

With experience in retail and wholesale buying as Textile Buyer for The National Trust (Enterprises), the remit was to increase profitability in two key product areas  through the design, development and UK sourcing of exclusive ranges in the categories of homeware (textiles with co-ordinating ceramic ranges) and clothing (including accessories).The collections were sold through National Trust retail, property shops and catalogue.

The role included buying from local artists and craft makers: searching out emerging talent whilst working closely with artisan makers to develop products and provide support for launching and marketing the ranges by providing a narrative. She worked with a number of British manufacturers to develop bespoke products in keeping with the National Trust brand, they included:

  • Ulster Weavers, Pantherella, Poole Pottery, English Country Pottery, Portmeirion, Crown Trent China.

 Summary of recent research undertaken:

  • Current research involves networking with museums and private collectors of glove collections produced in England over the last 400 years. Industry partners including manufacturers, tanneries, conservationists and accessory designers will participate. The impact of the  research will include:
    • Museums - supporting strategies for collection management and approaches to conservation of glove collections
    • Museum audiences - engagement of new and existing audiences with the heritage of glove-making
    • Industry and designers - glove and accessory design and manufacturing
  • Academic papers:
    • 'A Quintessentially English Glove Legacy' has recently been published in the International Human Sciences Review. 
    • 'The Defiant English Glove Revival' for X Fashion Conference in Pamplona, Spain. This paper was written after research into English glove manufacture including The Fashion Museum in Bath, Dents glove manufacturers, and leather tanneries including Pittards
    •  'An English Eccentric: Lady Ottoline Morrell and the self styled wardrobe' was presented  in Milan at the Modacult Centre for the study of Fashion and Cultural Production of the Universita Cattolica del S. Cuore.The research involved working with the clothing and accessory collection which had been bequeathed by her family to the Fashion Museum in Bath. Frances linked the collection with the life of the wearer, whilst researching literature, photographs and portraits.
  • A recent research commission as part of the University of Bristol SPHERE project, was to design, develop and produce a wrist strap that could be worn with a wearable sensor. Bristol engineerd a wearable device as a system to monitor behaviour and movement of people in their own homes for medical research trials. 

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Textile Design, University of Leeds.

Professional qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Learning (PGCPL) in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Bath Spa University
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Teaching specialism

  • Marketing, Entrepreneurial Skills and Small Business Development for Fashion and Textiles
  • Professional Practice 
  • Textile, Fashion, Accessory Design 
  • Product Design and Development 

Current scholarship

  • Research into English glove collections and manufacturing over the last 400 years including, design, make, and industrial heritage.  She intends to continue with this research and welcomes related enquiries.

Research interests

Please contact Frances if you are interested in the following areas:

  • Historical accessories and manufacturing, particularly gloves
  • Glove design including embellishment and fabrication
  • Associated advertising of the above.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Edit profile | Website feedback to