Personal profile


Julian Roberts is a UK fashion designer and academic, born in 1971 in South Wales. He has worked with many international colleges, held Professorship and Senior Tutor posts, and worked with the Royal College of Art in post-graduate education between 1999-2022. Julian is currently Senior Tutor for Fashion & Textile Design at Portsmouth University UK, and Trustee of the Graduate Fashion Foundation (GFF/GFW) UK.

Julian Roberts is the inventor of an internationally recognised method of fashion pattern cutting design called ‘Subtraction Cutting’ which he has personally performed in over 39 countries internationally during a period of 25 years. Julian’s Subtraction Cutting research portfolio was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 by the Royal College of Art in London, contributing to the college receiving high quality research outputs graded ‘World-Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’.

Julian showed 12 collections during London and Paris Fashion Weeks between 1998-2007 under the label names Nothing Nothing and JULIANAND, receiving the ‘New Generation Award’ from the British Fashion Council for both his Nothing Nothing and Julian and Sophie labels. He now collaborates on a label named Nothing Nothing2 with Georgian fashion designer Mari Bendeliani with a focus on one-of-a-kind collectable pieces which utilise sustainable making practices

Research Interests

Subtraction Cutting is a series of works that challenge conventional approaches to the construction and communication of fashion design.

The research addresses how designers beneficially engage with abstract methodologies of making in large participatory audiences, and within short timeframes. It investigates how creative risk-taking and collaborative making activities become more widely accessible, and used to help raise confidence in creative ability, without requiring high levels of prior knowledge or expertise.

Roberts uses action research as the principal method for testing the effectiveness of live performances of garment making, incorporating projected video and spoken narrative to engage collaboratively with mixed participatory audiences of varying sizes, nationalities, age groups, and levels of expertise.

By developing simplified and deliberately abstract variations of construction Subtraction Cutting demonstrates how intuitive experimentation in textile material and chance discovery helps re-sequence conventional design procedure, whilst reducing reliance on numerical sizing and measurement. This structural change results in deliberately disorientating, hard-to-predict and elaborate outcomes which provoke aesthetic judgment, and contribute to dialogue about the relationship between the body of the maker and the wearer, and the movement of flexible textile material around the dynamic human form.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

MA, Fashion Menswear , Royal College of Art

1 Sept 19941 Jul 1996

Award Date: 1 Jul 1996

BA (Hons), Fashion Design, Northumbria University

1 Sept 19901 Jul 1994

Award Date: 1 Jul 1994

External positions

Trustee, Graduate Fashion Foundation

10 Nov 2023 → …

Senior Tutor for Fashion Design 1.0FT , London College of Design and Fashion (LCDF) Hanoi, Vietnam

4 Dec 20211 Jun 2022

Tutor (Research) Graduate Diploma 0.6FT, Royal College of Art

1 Jul 20181 Jan 2022

Fashion Adviser, British Council

1 Mar 20121 Apr 2013

Tutor (Teaching) MA Mixed Media Textiles 0.4FT, Royal College of Art

1 Oct 20081 Jun 2019

Professor and Course Leader 1.0FT , University of Hertfordshire

1 Jun 20041 Sept 2007

Visiting Tutor/ Associate Tutor, Royal College of Art

31 Mar 19996 Jan 2023

Creative Director / Founder, nothing nothing / JULIANAND / Subtraction Cutting

1 May 1998 → …

Assistant Designer, Jasper Conran Ltd.

1 Oct 19961 Feb 1998


  • NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
  • fashion design
  • pattern cutting
  • design education
  • textile design
  • Subtraction Cutting
  • geometry
  • NB Sculpture
  • floppy geometry
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • L Education (General)