My Account

Aude Le Guennec

Assistant Professor
Heriot-Watt University, School of Textiles and Design

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I have three children and they have all been involved in the experimentations for my research on children and clothing.

Tell us about your career journey so far, from school to now.

At school, I wasn’t very sure about what I wanted to do: I loved crafting, reading and telling stories. Without a strong idea about what this was, I started a BA (Hons) in Archaeology at the Sorbonne University: I specialised in dress anthropology. After an eye-opening Masters in Research degree, studying the collections of the Fashion and Textile Museum in Paris (France), I decided to work as a Museum Curator. I was the Director of the Textile Museum in Cholet (France) for 9 years and worked on the development of publications and community engagementon the history of childhood and clothing. Because the topic of children’s fashion was so fascinating, I decided to embark on a doctoral degree in Fashion Anthropology and changed my career to work in Higher Education. I started working at Heriot-Watt University, School of Textiles and Design in 2013 as the Director of Fashion studies. I then became Academic Lead for Public Engagement, as working with and for people has always been at the heart of my professional practice. I will start a new job this year, and join Glasgow School of Art as a Research Fellow in future heritage: a way to join the dots of a career which has started in the heritage sector and continue a research topic which is passionate to me!

What is your job and what is your favourite thing about it?

My job is extremely varied and stimulating. I design research projects, and love networking to invite colleagues from all around the world to work alongside myself. I am also helping the fashion industry to innovate and design the future of our communities. As a lecturer, I make sure that my research feeds into everything I teach and lead my students to transform areas of design. I am passionate about mentoring students and contributing to the brainstorming of their projects and ideas.

 Are there any women who especially inspired you to go into your career?

I have been inspired by my PGT mentor, Mrs Lydia Kamitsis. Lydia was my lecturer in Fashion history and anthropology. She invited me for an internship at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Paris, and this is where I found my research and career path. But it is maybe by watching my mum mending, making, knitting, and by steering at her fascinating sewing tool-box, that I developed a real passion for clothes as objects to observe, to interpret and nurture.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

Having a sustainable approach to clothing is crucial to secure the future of our planet. To this end, it’s important to understand how clothes are made and from which materials. Recycling, upcycling, making, are important skills that everybody should experiment in: as we’re all wearing clothes! This is the purpose of the activity that I would like to propose. Maija Nygren is a Knitwear designer based in Edinburgh. She is passionate about education in clothes making and invites children to make and customise their clothes in her collection “Puzzleware” by Almaborealis. In this tutorial, Maija invites children to knit a mini-textile from the materials and tools they can easily find in their house.

You can find out more about Maija’s tutorials via the below YouTube videos!

Hacking the hand knit- Episode 1Hacking the hand knit - Episode 2Hacking the hand knit - Episode 3

This page is part of our#BreakTheBias blog series for International Women’s Day 2022. We’re sharing the career stories of some of our incredible women YAS members. We hope this will give a snapshot of the wide variety of jobs that women work in today, and inspire girls & young women into careers that they may not yet have considered. To illustrate part of their job, each member has also suggested a fun activity for you to try at home!

To see more snapshots of YAS members, please return to our main International Women’s Day Gallery.

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