Millfield student sets up sell-out clothing brand in lockdown

Millfield Upper Sixth artist Will Smith has launched a successful clothing business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by his studies at Millfield, Will used his time at school where he studies BTEC Art and Design and A level Photography to learn how to set up his exclusive leisure-wear brand ‘Wills Way Clothing’, which is manufactured in the UK.

The eighteen-year-old from Warwickshire, who joined Millfield Prep in 2014 and attends Millfield on an art scholarship, said the BTEC course had “changed his life.”

Will’s first t-shirt design featured a sketch that he drew during his BTEC course; the range sold out online in less than two hours when it was launched in November 2020.

He said that the modules on the BTEC course, which include silk screening and digital design using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, have been the perfect foundations for him to launch his business: “I absolutely would not have been able to launch my brand without the framework that my course at Millfield offered – it really is a training ground for anyone wanting to pursue a creative outlet like fashion or design.”

Will is now expanding his range with a collaboration with former Millfield student and friend Mila Nikcevic, who is currently studying Menswear at the University of Westminster.

The school is well-known for producing successful entrepreneurs: notable business alumni include James Shapland, founder of the Coffee #1 chain and Emma Macdonald, founder of The Bay Tree Food Company. Fellow Millfield Upper Sixth student Ailbe Bartlett, who studies BTEC Business and Entrepreneurship, also recently won £1,000 after pitching his sustainable bike-upcycling business to Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones CBE.

Millfield artists have received offers to study Product and Industrial Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Design, Foundation year in Art, Fashion Design Menswear, Media, Communications and Culture and Natural History Photography at notable universities such as Central St Martins, Brunel, Falmouth University, Kingston School of Art and I.E University in Madrid.

Students undertaking Art, Design and Technology courses at Millfield have the chance to make use of university-level resources including over 20 printmaking, sculpture, printing and photography workshops and studios. Millfield’s Art department has a team of 14 teachers, as well as a nationally recognised art gallery, The Atkinson Gallery, which holds major contemporary exhibitions each year.

The programme includes an annual series of activities, workshops and lectures in the Atkinson Gallery. Recent events have included artist's talks, workshops and residencies by Stewart Geddes, Adam Berry, Mark Elliot Smith, Duncan Elliot and Turner Prize winning artist Mark Leckey.

Learn more about Millfield's Art, Design and Technology Department here.

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