SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP: In an effort to strengthen its international ties, Britain’s Graduate Fashion Week plans to mount a showcase in New York on Jan. 16.
“We have a great relationship with three major New York educational institutes: FIT, Pratt and Parsons,” said Graduate Fashion Week creative director Martyn Roberts. “And while in NYC on our weeklong showcase, we plan to visit each institute to see the upcoming talent we can expect on the International Catwalk Competition for 2018.”
Hilary Alexander, a GFW trustee and journalist, said there is a long-standing relationship between U.K. fashion graduates and the American fashion industry. “Many major U.S.-based companies such as Gap and Calvin Klein are hiring British fashion graduates, so it makes perfect sense to make New York the next stop for GFW this January.”
Graduate Fashion Week is a charity, platform and showcase for students from a range of global universities. Patrons include Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood and Nick Knight. This is the first time it is hosting events outside the U.K. and in association with SmartFocus, a digital messaging cloud.
The showcase will include the collections and portfolios of students from international universities.
Students under the spotlight include Kate Clark, a Kingston University graduate who is currently working at Chanel in Paris; Daniel Rynne, a graduate of Arts University Bournemouth and winner of the 2017 Debenhams Menswear Award, who is working at the Debenhams design studio, and Claire Tagg who attended the University of Creative Arts Rochester. She has recently completed her first collection for Marks & Spencer.
They will be joined by Emelie Cleveland, of the New School’s Parsons School of Design, Lyudmila Sullivan at Pratt Institute and Margarita Ng Ng and Cristina Ng Ng from Fashion Institute of Technology.
The charity will host a breakfast at the Ralph Lauren headquarters on Madison Avenue for brands including Calvin Klein, Gap, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Swarovski, while the former Graduate Fashion Week chairman and Hearst Publications chief executive officer Terry Mansfield will host a lunch for journalists and editors at Hearst Towers.
“I would like people to be excited and exhilarated by the high quality and innovation of the young graduates who showcase their work at GFW each year and to continue to support the charity’s work,” said Alexander.
“I think our expectations are to cement Graduate Fashion Week’s status as the world’s largest platform for BA fashion talent and to strengthen our relationships with the American fashion industry, which has long valued the creativity and expertise of the young designers who are emerging from the British fashion education system. We also hope to put the spotlight on GFW’s International Catwalk Competition show, which has been running for the past five years and is one of the highlights of GFW. It features the final-year work of 32 universities from more than 14 countries worldwide, including many of America’s top fashion colleges.”
The next edition of Graduate Fashion Week will be held at the Old Truman Brewery from June 3 to 6.