Andrew Groves is Professor of Fashion Design at the University of Westminster and the Director of the Westminster Menswear Archive, which he established in 2016. It holds over 2000 examples of some of the most significant menswear garments from the last 140 years. Its users include students, researchers, curators, museums, and industrial designers.
Before entering academia, Groves worked as a designer in the fashion industry, both under his own label and others, most notably Alexander McQueen. Groves was senior design assistant to McQueen until the mid-1990s when he enrolled in the MA Fashion programme at Central Saint Martins, where Professor Louise Wilson taught him. Upon graduation, Groves exhibited his work as part of a series of runway presentations at London Fashion Week over five years. His radical design practice, which began in the mid-1990s, is now widely regarded as both groundbreaking and controversial, and his work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum, Somerset House, ICA, Fashion Museum, Design Museum, and Moda Florence. In addition, several examples of Groves' work are held in the National Collection of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A Museum and the Fashion Museum in Bath.
Groves sits on the steering committees for the British Fashion Council's Colleges Council, the Association of Fashion and Textiles (FTC), and The Textile Institute.
Groves has commented on the fashion industry for numerous media outlets, including BBC News, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, Vogue Business, The Financial Times, Vogue, Esquire, WWD, The Evening Standard, i-D, Another Man, Mr Porter, 1 Granary, Business of Fashion and Channel Four.
Professor Groves founded the Westminster Menswear Archive in 2016 to establish object research as a central methodology for teaching and understanding material culture and to generate new approaches to design practice. The archive purposefully rejects a hierarchy of design, instead proposing a parity of clothing-based objects, interspersing workwear, uniforms, and designer garments and challenging the orthodoxy of dress collections.
This diversity of objects has made it a critical resource for both industry and students to inform new design research and practice and generate new knowledge about menswear's history, materiality, and social meaning. Researchers from industry include Burberry, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Dunhill, Bottega Veneta, Rapha, Versace, Umbro, and CP Company.
The archive includes garments from A-COLD-WALL*, adidas, Aitor Throup, Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garcons, Aquascutum, Barbour, Belstaff, Berghaus, British Army, Burberry, C.P. Company, Calvin Klein, Carol Christian Poell, Craig Green, Grace Wales Bonner, GMP, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott, Joe Casely-Hayford, John Flett, Kim Jones, Levis, Liam Hodges, Maison Margiela, Meadham Kirchhoff, Mr Fish, Nicholas Daley, Penfield, Ralph Lauren, Royal Air Force, Stone Island, Umbro, Vexed Generation, and Vivienne Westwood.
Fashion curation, fashion pedagogy, fashion collections and archives.
My research is concerned with fashion's material culture and its use as a primary source for research analysis and reinterpretation to generate new knowledge that can be used to inform design processes. The establishment of the Westminster Menswear Archive is central to my research and teaching practice, as it serves as a point of conjunction between academia and industry.