V&A looking to recruit Taylor Swift superfan as adviser to museum

The Victoria and Albert museum is looking to recruit a British “Swiftie” to become its first Taylor Swift superfan adviser.

The museum is looking for insights into the culture and craftsmanship behind handmade signs, friendship bracelets and memorabilia associated with the 14-time Grammy award-winning artist ahead of the European leg of her Eras tour.

It is customary for Swift’s fans to swap friendship bracelets with each other at the shows.

MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 – Arrivals – PSD Bank Dome
US singer Taylor Swift (Ian West/PA)

The US star was the biggest-selling global recording artist in 2023, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said.

London’s V& A museum has already filled four superfan roles, for Toby jugs, Pokemon cards, Gorpcore clothing and Lego.

The Toby jug is a traditional 18th-century English pottery jug shaped like a seated figure, typically wearing clothing from that period and sometimes depicting a famous character or historical figure.

Gorpcore is a fashion trend where clothing specifically designed for outdoor activities is worn as streetwear, such as puffer jackets and fleeces.

The museum is also seeking individuals passionate about Crocs footwear, emojis and drag, among other roles.

The initiative is part of the museum’s broader effort to enhance its “vast curatorial knowledge” by engaging grassroots experts to assist in “specific cultural niches”.

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Some of the V&A’s first superfan advisers (Victoria and Albert Museum/PA)

The roles will be paid a set rate per session, which will be discussed with applicants at the interview stage.

Bob Moores, the Toby jug superfan adviser, said: “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to turn my love of collecting early English Toby jugs into my full-time job.

“I acquired my first Toby jug some 25 years ago and since then have developed an absolute passion for these quintessentially English jugs and being allowed to work alongside the experts in this field at the V&A is a privilege and being paid to do so is an added bonus.”

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Bob Moores, a Toby jugs adviser, said he considered himself ‘extremely fortunate’ (Victoria and Albert Museum/PA)

Hannah Da Silva, the Gorpcore superfan adviser, said being recognised by the V&A was “truly an amazing experience”.

She said: “I am very lucky to have turned my interest in outdoors and technical clothing into my career.

“Getting more women involved in the outdoors and to the forefront of the Gorpcore trend through my community GorpGirls has made it even more special.

“Having this be recognised by the V&A was truly an amazing experience. It was so interesting to walk through the fashion exhibit and learn more about the history of women in sports and how the garments we wear have shifted over time.”

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Hannah Da Silva, a Gorpcore superfan adviser, said working with the museum was a ‘truly amazing experience’ (Victoria and Albert Museum/PA)

The museum’s recruitment efforts stem from its research, which reveals that 44% of Britons believe items in their personal collections are worthy of a place in a museum.

More than a quarter (27%) of British collectors believe they are more knowledgeable about their chosen passion compared with experts.

Dr Tristram Hunt, director of the museum, said: “These new advisory roles will help us celebrate and discover more about the enormous, and often surprising, creative diversity on offer at the V&A, as well as helping us to learn more about the design stories that are relevant to our audiences today.

“Already appointed into a role include four of the UK’s leading grassroots experts who have many decades of collecting experience between them, spanning highly niche expertise across Toby jugs, Gorpcore, Lego and Pokemon.”

Potential applicants can now submit their applications through the V&A website from Friday.