Rachel Heeley

Rachel Heely

Role and Responsibilities

Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for BA(Hons) Fashion.

About Me

I graduated from Northampton University with a First Class BA (Hons) Fashion Design in 2004. After gaining considerable press coverage at Graduate fashion week, I set up my own fashion label which I sold in The Fashion & Textile Museum London, along with other boutiques and privately commissioned work.  During this time I also undertook visiting lecturing.  I later moved on to freelance events management, and worked on national “themed” events as well as prestige events such as Grand Prix, Silverstone and Goodwood Festival of Speed. During this time I completed a PGCE in post compulsory education in 2008.

In 2009 I took up a full time fashion and textiles lecturing post at Gray’s School of Art, RGU, Aberdeen.  In this role I was responsible for student, placements, study trips and live projects.  I also ran a womenswear fashion label with a business partner called SynoymouS, to familiarise myself with current marketing strategies.

In recent years I have become very interested in fashion communication and have worked on many collaborative projects, styling my work and other designers’ work. Building upon practical experience, I have just completed in 2016, a MSc in Fashion Management with Distinction at Robert Gordon University.


  • MSc Fashion Management – Distinction - 2016

  • PGCE Post compulsory – 2008

  • BA (Hons) Fashion Design – First Class – 2004



Fashion and Textile design, events management, fashion communication, through styling.

Research interests

Research interests include:

  • The evolution of the fashion image through digital media.

  • The benefits of collaborative working in creative/design practice.

Selected publications

Conference papers:

Fairburn, S. Heeley, R. and Pengelly, J. Crossing over, into and back: Design disciplines and identities. E&PDE, Denmark September 2016.

  • This paper outlines a strategy to engage students in developing a design identity through collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects.

Hardingham, L. and Heeley, R. Body of nursing as seen through the NHS nurse’s uniform. Futurescan3, Scotland November 2015.

  • This paper aims to analyse the current NHS nursing uniform, how the uniform impacts upon the identity of the modern day nurse and how efficient the uniform is for the role required.

Conference Exhibition:

Hardingham, L. Et al. Alex x 6. Enhancing Nursing through Educational Research (ENTER) Conference, Aberdeen, Scotland November 2014.

  • Gender neutral ‘Alex x 6’ represented over-worked and under-staffed nurses on an interactive exhibition stand.

Current teaching

I teach on the new BA(Hons) Fashion degree at Staffordshire University.

My vison for the course is to teach creativity alongside a commercial understanding in preparation for the fashion industry.

Please see the course page for further information.

Social Media





Rachel Heeley
School of Creative Arts and Engineering
Staffordshire University
Flaxman Building
College Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294454
e: rachel.heeley@staffs.ac.uk