Professor Groves is leading a radical rethink of how fashion education is delivered worldwide and has restructured the BA Fashion Design course to align with the international fashion calendar. In February 2018 the course became the first undergraduate course in the world to be invited to show on the official London Fashion Week schedule.
Groves said “I have long believed that fashion education needs to provide our students with the most realistic and industry-ready educational experience. By showing their collections in February rather than June, it enables our accomplished final year students to become truly part of the industry."
Groves sits on the steering committee of the Colleges Council, which advises the British Fashion Council on education issues. Founded by the BFC in 1993, the Colleges Council is designed to create an interface between education and industry and to provide opportunities for students to engage with fashion companies through events, internships, bursaries and competitions. It has recently been responsible for devising national guidelines on fashion internships and producing a student placement learning agreement to be used by all members of the BFC.
Before his academic career 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 before then joining the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins, where Professor Louise Wilson taught him.
Groves exhibited his work as part of a series of runway presentations at London Fashion Week over a period of five years. His radical design practice from the mid-1990s onwards is now widely seen as being both ground-breaking and continues to be the subject of much critical analysis, and has been disseminated within the public domain through exhibitions at the V&A Museum, Somerset House, ICA, Design Museum, and Moda Florence.
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.
He has commented widely on the fashion industry and fashion education for numerous media outlets including BBC News and Channel Four.
As Course Director for BA Fashion Design at Westminster, Andrew Groves has educated a generation of fashion designers in menswear, womenswear and accessory design. These include Liam Hodges, Ashley Williams, Claire Barrow, David Ferreira, Katie Ann McGuigan and Roberta Einer.
Other graduates under his tuition in the last three years are now working as designers at fashion houses including Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Celine, Anya Hindmarch, Loewe, Max Mara, Mulberry, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Harrods, Versace, Jacquemus, JW Anderson, and Paul Smith.
The core of Groves' pedagogic approach is to facilitate the creation of both ‘communities’ and ‘places’ that allow the ideal conditions for students, tutors and industry to be co-located to enable the most transformative learning experiences to occur. The most recent example is the creation of the Westminster Menswear Archive which is used by industry and students on a daily basis to inform their design work.
Groves developed Westminster's award-winning internship programme that has allowed students to work for some of the most prestigious companies including Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, Dior, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Celine, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Burberry, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang.
As well as teaching at Westminster, Groves has also undertaken the role of External Examiner for many other universities, including the Central Saint Martins, Kingston University, Manchester Metropolitan University, London College of Fashion, University of Brighton, and the University of Salford. Additionally, he has served as an External Assessor for Central Saint Martins, University of Salford and the London College of Fashion.
Groves is the director of the Westminster Menswear Archive which he established in 2016. The Archive was founded to encourage and develop the study of menswear design from a technical and functional point of view and consists of over 1500 garments covering military, workwear, industrial, social and designer clothing. It is also intended to advance the general knowledge of menswear as a design discipline and is used by members of the menswear design industry as a primary research tool to inform contemporary menswear design.
The Westminster Menswear Archive has examples of some of the most critical and inspiring menswear garments covering the last 100 years. The archive includes garments from Alexander McQueen, Craig Green, Stone Island, Meadham Kirchhoff, Ralph Lauren, Liam Hodges, Carol Christian Poell, C.P. Company, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Flett, Kim Jones, Aitor Throup, Vivienne Westwood, Mr. Fish, Calvin Klein, adidas, Nanamica, Belstaff, Barbour, Burberry, Maison Margiela, Jeremy Scott, Vexed Generation, Aquascutum, Levis, Jeremy Scott, Berghaus, Penfield, Griffin, and Comme Des Garcons.