By  on November 13, 2009

LONDON — Harrods is ready to give emerging talent a boost with a new, online initiative called Harrods Launches.

The store today will showcase two new designers, Manjit Deu and Iris van Herpen, on harrods.com.  Orders can be placed for Deu’s collection online before it lands at the Knightsbridge store Feb. 10 and van Herpen’s collection can be previewed before it’s exhibited at the store from Nov. 23 to Dec. 6. That collection, however, will not be sold.

The store plans to add new talent each season.

Marigay McKee, fashion and beauty director at Harrods, said her team set up the site in response to the letters and calls she was getting from young designers. She said she’d like Harrods Launches to become a springboard for Britain-based talent, and the criteria is to find designers with little money but lots of talent.

“We like to think that with backing, these young designers will be the stars of the future,” she told WWD. She said she hoped the Harrods site would educate customers about the new talent and tempt them to buy.

Prices for the new collections range from 1,000 pounds, or $1,670 at current exchange, to 3,000 pounds, or $5,010.

McKee said she was wowed by the “couturelike workmanship” on Deu’s designs and the body-conscious silhouettes in van Herpen’s collection.

Deu, a Londoner with roots in India, has a master’s degree from the London College of Fashion and first showed his collection for fall 2009 at the London Fashion Week exhibition. He had previously won the Collection of the Year award at the London College of Fashion’s MA program.

Van Herpen, who is from the Netherlands, has worked at Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra and is a graduate of the ArtEZ Academy of Arts in Arnhem, Holland. She showed her spring collection during London Fashion Week in September.

“To be given this tremendous support and recognition…is phenomenal,” said Deu. “The future for rising young designers within British fashion is looking brighter thanks to this…showcase, creating a niche platform and highlighting new emerging luxury designers, in equally luxurious settings.”

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