Matthew Needham is a multi-award-winning British/Czech designer and artist known for his approach to upcycling and contributions to sustainability within the British fashion industry.
Needham's work reflects fashion’s yearning for radical ideas, as he attempts to champion a new approach towards clothing design. He has most notably been recognised for his approach to upcycling and material innovation. Utilising fly tipped waste and materials most of us would find 'unusable' is a recurring theme throughout his work and mode of storytelling. From dressing environmental advocates, to working closely with the global movement that is Fashion Revolution, he is questioning the relationship we have with our clothing and the influence it can have on our evolution.
Needham was born in Nuneaton, England to a carpenter and a Czech native who immigrated to England in 1990 after the Velvet Revolution.
At the age of 19, Needham moved to London where he studied an Art & Design Foundation at Kingston School of Art before securing his place on the BA (Hons) Fashion: Womenswear course at Central Saint Martins. During his studies, he worked for global fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Chanel in Paris, France where he honed his skills of craftsmanship and construction. Upon graduating in 2017, he established his namesake label and began working closely with the not-for-profit global movement Fashion Revolution.
In 2018, Needham received sponsorship from the British Fashion Council and Kering Sustainability Fund to attend the eponymous MA Fashion Course at Central Saint Martins from which he graduated in early 2020.
His work has been exhibited around the world, including Dutch Design Week in 2019, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Gallery in 2020, and most recently at The Design Museum, London, England. In 2019, Emma Watson wore a custom white dress and 'handkerchief sleeves' made for her by Needham for the 2020 Pirelli Calendar, photographed by Paolo Roversi.
MATTHEW NEEDHAM studio is based in London, England.
Fig. A (Above) Matthew Needham photographed in his studio for More or Less Magazine, London, 2021(Image: Alexandros Pissouris).
MADE IN LONDON
MATTHEW NEEDHAM studio is a responsibly-focused design studio based in East London, that creates conceptual clothing and objects from post-consumer and low impact materials. The studio represents the zeitgeist of today and champions the use of unorthodox upcycling processes, whilst questioning the societal relationship we have with our clothing.
"Subverting desire and openly discussing the emotional value and attachment of our garments is what I believe sets this studio apart from the majority.
I believe in only producing garments and products today that have history, integrity, and authenticity. All of which I believe to be traits embodied within the work we produce." - Matthew Needham.