Bra design degree wins support

January 23, 2004

An international businessman has given Britain's only bra-design degree course a £100,000 financial lift.

De Montfort University is the only academic institution in the world to offer a degree in designing lingerie, and now the 110 students on the three-year course will be visiting underwear manufacturers throughout Europe and Asia to bring their design skills up to international level.

Hong Kong businessman Andrew Sia has brought a syndicate of 20 international lingerie manufacturers and suppliers together, and given £100,000 funding, to launch the Ace Style Institute at the university - named after his own lingerie company.

Mr Sia said: "I thought it was time to sponsor a university. Because De Montfort is the only academic institution in the world to teach about the design of intimate apparel in a degree course, it makes it very special.

"By visiting suppliers and manufacturers overseas, students will find out what the industry wants, which puts them one step ahead."

Last year's 25 top graduates from the course have all found good jobs, designing for household names such as Debenhams, Matalan and Ann Summers.

The university's fashion lecturer, David Morris, said: "Our students will now be able to get first-hand knowledge and experience of the international lingerie industry because of this funding."

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