Since launching his solo career, John Allen (85) has become one of the most sought-after designers in the industry, renowned for his colourful hand-woven carpets. A child of working class upbringing, he initially trained as a dental technician and helped in the family coal business before enrolling on textiles courses at Camberwell and the Royal College of Art. At the latter he became a critical member of the faculty, setting up their first knitting course in 1977, lecturing, and being made an official fellow in 1985. In 1989 he left to concentrate on his own work, and in the three decades hence has worked for some of the biggest names in fashion. A recent edition of bags and towels for Loewe featuring Allen’s carpet designs sold out twice to VIP collectors before it even reached the shelves. goldmarkart.com
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