Dr Hilde Heim

Senior Lecturer (Deputy Division Head - Fashion Communication)

Dr Hilde Heim

Senior Lecturer (Deputy Division Head - Fashion Communication)

Email: h.heim@mmu.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer and Deputy Division Head, Fashion Communications

Academic and professional qualifications

Hilde completed her Doctor of Creative Industries studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Her early research included studies on support mechanisms for small scale entrepreneurship through digital platforms. Hilde is continuing to research changing fashion business models and the adoption by small-scale enterprises of emerging technologies for sustainability. This includes the use of blockchain for more transparent supply chains, virtual design and sustainable marketing. Prior to this she had completed a Master of Creative Industries in fashion product development. She is currently undertaking a PhD in fashion technology, innovation and the small-scale enterprise. She is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Previous Employment

Hilde has held a number of appointments in higher education, having previously worked at the Queensland University of Technology, Torrens University (Billy Blue), Griffith University and the Australian Institute of Creative Design. Prior to her work in HE, Hilde worked in various fashion and graphic design roles. Originally from Sydney, Hilde Heim is a former fashion designer and entrepreneur who ran her own brand, wholesaling and retailing formal wear in France and Germany and later in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Prior to starting her label, Hilde worked as a graphic designer in elite international fashion magazines, Vogue and Elle in Munich and Le Figaro in Paris.

Academic service (administration and management)

Hilde is currently a senior lecturer for fashion communication teaching in the Fashion Promotion and International Fashion Marketing Masters programmes at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to this, Hilde has been a programme leader and curriculum developer, implementing learning management systems. Hilde is currently a member of the Manchester Fashion Institute’s marketing working group, representing research.


English, French, German.

Undergraduate teaching

Creative entrepreneurship
Visual practice
Campaign concept development
Branding and communications
Workplace integrated learning

Fashion visualisation 
Fashion and style journalism 
Graphic design: Photoshop, Illustrator InDesign
Indigenous projects
Design visualisation
Fashion illustration
Visual practice
Fashion culture and history of costume
Fashion design
Foundation units 
Life drawing

Postgraduate teaching

Masters of International Fashion Marketing
Marketing and society

PhD supervision

Postgraduate research supervision

PhD supervision in progress:

"The Future of the Ready-Made Garments Sector in Bangladesh: Ethical Practices, Sustainability and Workers’ Vulnerability".

Projects and initiatives


A transition to circular economic models is key to improved sustainability and transparency in the garment and footwear sector - a shift that can be realised with verifiable production data, delivered through improved supply chain traceability and transparency.

This one-day forum and industry roundtable led by Hilde Heim was the first in a series of events that aims to provide fashion industry stakeholders with the tools they need to drive action on sustainability through transparency and advance progress towards circular economy approaches on a national, regional and global scale.

Attendees learn about the UN-brokered policy recommendations, implementation guidelines, an information exchange standard and call to action, known as ‘The Sustainability Pledge’, adopted at the 27th UN/CEFACT Plenary in April 2021 and how they can be applied in a real-world context.

The forum was co-organised by the UNECE and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI), in conjunction with the UNECE project “Enhancing Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Garment and Footwear”, jointly implemented with the UN’s International Trade Centre (ITC), and financial support from MMU.

Consultancy and advisory roles

• 2021: Tier 3 Research Centre: QUT TextileR Hub member
• 2020 Affiliate researcher, QUT Centre for a Waste Free World. Textile R Hub Member
• 2020 QUT Design Festival Committee member: Supporting the coordination of events and materials regarding exhibitions, shows, and publications
• 2018 Mentor: Brisbane Fashion Start Up Weekend
• 2013 – present: QUT Mentor Scheme member since 2013: Mentoring young designers who wish to have one-on-one advice in fashion practice and entrepreneurship 
• 2011- present WIL program partner: Accepting interns to participate in my studio practice. 2018 accepted WIL intern for QUT CEA project;
• 2015 – 2018 AICD Fashion Mentor Program manager: Mentoring mid-career fashion entrepreneurs and start-ups;
• 2018 - present IFAB Advisory board mentor: conference calls for fash-tech startups;

Prizes and awards

• 2020 nominated in the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for demonstrating teaching and research excellence in 2020
• 2020 Women in Fashion, Brisbane, Education Leader: Outstanding efforts as a lead educator or mentor in the fashion industry
• 2020 QUT Creative Industries Faculty Super Star Awards: Design Team: Teaching Innovation and Excellence
• 2020 Nominee National Indigenous Fashion Awards for Community Collaboration
• 2017 International Federation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) Initiative Awards: best emerging researcher paper
• 2017 T-Shirt Design competition winner: Heineken Breweries Amsterdam
• 2017 Three Minute Thesis runner-up Creative Industries heats, QUT
• 2014 QUT Dean’s List of Academic Achievement for Masters project
• 2011 Finalist, Fashion Illustration Competition, Brisbane Fashion Month
• 2010 People’s Choice Award, Australian Bridal Design Awards

Visiting and honorary positions

2022 - External course moderator: Fashion Business: Holmes Institute Melbourne

2021 - Course Advisory Committee for the Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design course Torrens University Australia: Endorsement of Course Information and Rationale · Course Architecture · Subject Descriptors

Membership of professional associations

Member British Academy of Management

Member, Industry Reference Committee (IRC) for Textile Clothing and Footwear: 
Advising the Innovation and Business Skills Australia organisation (IBSA) on tertiary training in textile clothing and footwear (TCF) in Australia. 
Evaluating reports and findings on national course improvement for the TCF industry
Technical Advisor subcommittee member, Case for Change project ‘Buying Skill Set’, 2018; ‘Case for Change project ‘New Technologies Skill Set’, 2019.

Australian Fashion Council (AFC):
• Participating and contributing to local fashion industry knowledge
• Mentoring local AFC members 
• AFC elected representative for Standards Australia: Textiles Labelling

QUT CEA Community member:
• 2018 secured QUT Creative lab space desk in the Collider space on campus to continue work on the Fashion Business eMentor project
• Collaboration with QUT WIL intern to continue the project

Blockchain Australia
• Steering committee member, National Blockchain Roadmap


Research Interests

Although Hilde’s early research was in the area of artisanal fashion entrepreneurship her current research expertise lies in the field of emerging digital technology for fashion. Some of her early research focused on artisanal start-ups, examining the support required by small scale firms to remain viable. However, this shifted to respond to the emergence of digital and potentially more affordable technology for small-scale designers. Coupled with the continuing need for sustainable solutions to the fashion system, Hilde’s research is turning to tracking and tracing mechanisms and supply chain transparency. Hilde is continuing with research in this area, and more specifically into blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart tagging and the internet of things. writing and co-authoring journal articles, presenting at conferences and collaborating with researchers on funding bids for further research into the adoption of digital technology for sustainable fashion.

Academic collaborations

Hilde has had collaborations with academics from:
Queensland University of Technology
Torrens University
Università della Svizzera italiana
The University of Manchester
Nottingham Trent University
University of the Arts London
University of Boras, Sweden

Invited Papers

The contribution of the textiles sector to climate change.
Walter Leal Filho, Patsy Perry, Hilde Heim, Alzira Dinis, Haruna Moda, Eromose Ebhuoma
Journal: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Invited Discussions

  • 2021 Workshop convenor: National Institute of Fashion Technology. Ministry of Textiles, (NIFT) India for the Faculty Orientation Training and Development (FOTD) program. Topic: Fashion research methodologies: Practice based research.
  • 2019 Speaker: Fashion Industry Forum hosted by IBSA at Mt Gravatt TAFE: Presentation on the adoption of fashion technology
  • 2018 QUT CEA Fashion Start Up Weekend: Mentor and collaborator
  • 2018 Maker workshop convenor: The Bowerbird and The Bride Exhibition Old Government House Brisbane 
  • 2018 Arts Thread Project: Cradle to Cradle: Recycling fashion design from post production waste (off cuts).
  • 2016 Green Clean Conference guest speaker: Brisbane convention. Drycleaning bridalwear.
  • 2015 Meet-Up Group Fashion and Design Enterprise guest speaker.

Conference organisation

Planning for 2023

Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

Reviewer for the following publications:

  • 2021- International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.
  • Wake, M., & Starkey, N. (2020, Aug 31). Uncovering Morocco, Materials & Finishes. (1 ed.) Kingwood Press. Indie Book Awards winner, 2021.
  • 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems
  • 2021 - ACERE Conference papers 2021.
  • 2023 - FACTUM 23 review committee member


  • 2022 KE funded Research Accelerator Grant 2022- engaging a research assistant to accelerate investigations
  • 2021 New Narratives MSARC internal funding: Manchester Metropolitan University Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • 2020 QUT IFE Centre for a Waste Free World IFE CENTRE STRATEGIC FUNDING SUPPORT Research Assistant funding 
  • 2017 Creative 3 Bursary conference - fees awarded
  • 2014 Brisbane City Council social engagement fund awarded for student grad show at City Hall 
  • 2012 Aus Industry Grant awarded: Textile Clothing Footwear Small Business Program

Book Chapters

Heim, H., Chrimes, C., Green, C., 2022. 'DIGITAL HESITANCY: Examining the Organisational Mindset Required for the Adoption of Digitalised Textile Supply Chain Transparency'. In Textile Science and Clothing Technology, pp. 47-80, Springer Nature Singapore.

Cantoni, L., Cominelli, F., Kalbaska, N., Ornati, M., Sádaba, T., SanMiguel, P., 2019. '(2020). Fashion communication research: A way ahead. Studies in Communication Sciences, 20(1), 121–125-121–125.'. In Fashion Communication in the Digital Age FACTUM 19, Springer.

Heim, H., 2019. 'On the Market: The Rise of Artisanal Fashion'. In At the Interface: Probing the Boundaries, pp. 15-41.


Bennett-Heim, H., Heim, H., Hodson, J., 2023. 'TEXTILE TALES: Governance strategies for fashion supply chain technology.', Brighton.

Office Location

Room CA 2.48
Cavendish South
Manchester Fashion Institute
Manchester Metropolitan University
Cavendish Street
Manchester M15 6BG