About Anita McAdam

Originally from Brisbane, Queensland, I trained at the QLD College of Art under the tutorage of skilled technicians and artists.  

Was fortunate enough to get a job designing belts for a national brand in Brisbane

Manufactured in a bunch of tin sheds on the outskirts of Brisbane, the House of Hughes belt company had been established for fifty years and the majority of the technology was from a similar era.  Despite that, we were able to produce exciting belt ranges for men and women using the creativity and tenacity of the dedicated production team.

Decided to travel overseas to see what there was to see……….

After travelling around parts of Africa and Europe for six months I landed in Chichester UK.  A bout of local fringe/tent theatre costume design was enough to convince me that my heart was truly in the design & production of great fashion.  Immediately moved to London and started to freelance in the local fashion industry.

Lucky enough to stumble across the concept of ‘freelance design’ and spent five years in London freelancing to local and offshore,  design and manufacturing companies.  The majority of my work was design and range development for a large variety of men’s and women’s product.

My very first freelance client was Jane Cheeseman of the Viyella group.  I worked with Jane for several years as a complimentary design and research resource with her inhouse design team.  A wonderful beginning to an exciting career choice.

My time as a freelance was challenging and inspiring as I tackled new product design on a regular basis and spent much time researching the diverse markets and products of the fashion industry.

To compliment my commercial practice in design, I harboured the desire to teach design and pattern making.  In 1991 I secured a senior lecturer position at the Manchester Metropolitan University that quickly converted to full time.   Activities encompassed the teaching of design and patternmaking, plus academic research.

Spending all that time in formal education has given me a deep and abiding respect for exceptional teaching practice.  My early teaching experience was supported and enhanced by the generosity of my teaching colleagues. To this day thank my lucky stars that I landed in that particular staff room!

After ten years as a lecturer I decided it was time to come home and the only choice I had to make was where to live.   I landed in Sydney and have spent the past sixteen years continuing to work in an industry that still holds so much excitement for me.   All that time I have been fortunate enough to be able to combine the best aspects of my career and run a design studio where I consult with local industry and run professional development workshops for the passionate fashion geek.

At the very least I am dangerously passionate about great product. 

And at my best I will infect you with the same passion and creative energy.


My work for Design Intelligence, forecast publications, in 1986-7. Developing design ideas for leather clothing using a sports related theme.Trend forecast boards for sportswear based on the Barcelona Olympic theme and my first encounter with computer aided design graphics.Design development and first sample patterns for Ellevens Heaven, 2004-5.  A diverse clothing range for tall women.My first full-time desig job out of college.  Belt designer for The House of Hughes, Brisbane, Queensland. A wonderful job that encompassed design, materials sourcing, first sample production and range release sales across the deaprtment stores of Austral
Trend forecast and design development for mens sports jackets, London, 1987-88.KAS are another outstanding family company based in Sydney that produce the most amazing range of interior textiles.  In this one-off project I designed about half a dozen catwalk costumes from these beautiful textiles to launch a new season.The Schaverien family produce umbrella's in the UK and I had the privilege of working with them for a few years designing umbrella's for the fashion market.Theodora and Marthe, womens upmarket clothing.  Sample patterns and product specifications, Sydney, 2006.
Theodora and Marthe, Sydney based client where I produced the first sample patterns for these challenging designs.Viyella is a long established textile producer  (19th century) that more recently (20th century)  developed a fashion range.  They were my very first freelance client in the UK.

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