Professor Andrew Groves launched the Westminster Menswear Archive in 2015. Before his academic career Andrew Groves worked as a designer in the fashion industry both under his eponymous label as well as for others, most notably Alexander McQueen. Until the mid-1990s Groves was Alexander McQueen’s senior design assistant.
Several examples of Groves’ work are held in the National Collection of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and additionally the Fashion Museum in Bath.
Dr Danielle Sprecher is Menswear Archive Curator at the University of Westminster.
A dress historian and curator, Dr Sprecher has worked with a wide range of dress and textile collections. These include the Goldsmiths Textile Collection, Leeds Museums and Galleries, the collection of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles, and Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service.
Her AHRC funded doctoral research project ‘Fashion for the High Street: The Design and Making of Menswear in Leeds 1945-1980’ revealed the often overlooked but highly significant role of the Leeds multiple tailors in the history of British men’s clothing and fashion. These companies included the national chains of Montague Burton Ltd (now Arcadia) and Joseph Hepworth & Sons (which became Next in the 1980s). The study took a dress historical approach combining object study, oral history and personal accounts, company archives and trade literature to look at the design, production and consumption of the men’s tailoring made by the Leeds multiples. The research was undertaken in collaboration with Leeds Museums and Galleries.
The history of menswear and masculinities is the main focus of Dr Sprecher’s research. She is particularly interested in the use of methodologies such as object study and oral history to reveal the richness and diversity of men’s experiences and relationships with their clothing in the past. Her research also investigates the relationships between design, production and consumption of fashion and clothing with an emphasis on mass produced and everyday menswear.