LONDON — The Graduate Fashion Foundation gathered some of its top students and patrons at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday to showcase the works of emerging British talent and discuss its ambitions to increase its international outlook.
The students chosen to take part in the event had received awards during Graduate Fashion Week in June — a three-day annual event that showcases up to 26 catwalks — and the aim was to give them further visibility with a more intimate showcase.
“The biggest problem that graduates are facing is being given that opportunity to crack into the industry and showcase their work. So we put on a show in London every year that allows them to show those capabilities,” said the charity’s chairman Mark Newton, highlighting that the organization’s upward trajectory is purely down to the work of its lifetime patrons and retail partners.
“We get no support from government here, this venue is the only support that we get. Everything else is about raising money from retailers to encourage them to support the latest talent,” he added, also pointing to Ralph Lauren as one of the charity’s latest sponsors, who offered up his private library to host a show of Graduate Fashion Week’s latest crop of talent earlier this year. “It is starting to put the charity on another level.”
As it seeks to expand internationally, the organization has also increased the amount of international institutions taking part in its annual showcase from 10 to 50, the aim being to keep a global connection to the industry, even in the face of Brexit.
“Whatever happens with the Brexit negotiations, we won’t stop. I know that whatever happens, your industry will grow and thrive because of those within it,” said member of parliament Damian Collins.