Middlesex University has launched its new "TAL fashion studios", at a ceremony attended by international clothing businessman, Dr Richard Lee, Chairman of TAL Apparel.
The fashion facilities are part of the University's recently opened £80m Grove centre for creative courses, with the studios named in recognition of Dr Lee's support to talented up and coming fashion designers, and his achievements in the industry.
A longstanding relationship with Middlesex University has seen Dr Lee championing and supporting a number of education projects and initiatives, including sponsoring a student from Hong Kong to study at Middlesex University each year.
The newly-named studios are home to hundreds of students on fashion and textiles courses who will develop their skills in the facilities. Many were at the naming ceremony and were given words of encouragement by Dr Lee, who urged them to follow in his footsteps.
Middlesex University Vice Chancellor Michael Driscoll said: "Dr Richard Lee is a longstanding friend of Middlesex University. He is a great supporter of the fashion industry, as well as art and design.
"The TAL Group and the Lee family foundation's generous support to Middlesex means future generations of young designers will have the opportunity to succeed."
Director of fashion courses at Middlesex, Gillian Charles, said: "We are immensely proud to be connected with a group as important as TAL. They have huge interests with fashion and textiles which is a really strong area at Middlesex so it's very exciting for us to have the connection and to benefit from their support and generosity. In a global fashion world it's highly relevant to the thrust of fashion at Middlesex and great for our students."
Dr Lee's company TAL Apparel manufactures in excess of 30 million shirts every year, producing one in every six shirts sold in the USA.
Dr Richard Lee took over the day-to-day running of TAL Apparel in 1986 from his father CC Lee. After helping the Chinese textile industry in the 1920s through the Japanese occupation, CC set up Hong Kong's first cotton mill. He went on to build one of the largest textile groups in Southeast Asia and built factories around the world helping to establish thriving textile industries in many countries.
The TAL fashion studios are based in Middlesex University's Grove centre for creative courses, the new home to 3000 art, design and media students. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities including several fashion studios, hi-tech TV studios and one of the best equipped digital darkrooms in the UK.