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Editor's Comment: Celebrating the future leaders of fashion

This week we launch Drapers Next Generation 2017. Now in its eighth year, this is a chance to celebrate the next generation of talent in the fashion industry.

The 30 under 30, part of Next Generation, profiles 30 talented individuals under the age of 30 and allows people to nominate themselves as well as others in the industry. This pool now includes over 200 individuals and it’s fantastic to see how their careers have developed since receiving the accolade. Each has worked hard to stand out in a competitive sector and is hungry to develop their career. It’s so important that the industry nurtures the development of new talent and celebrates those destined for the top; these are, after all, the future leaders of our industry.

Roles have changed and developed over the years – technology entrepreneurs now regularly feature alongside those in new digital roles. Of course, traditional roles such as buyers, merchandisers and designers are of equal importance so, whatever your area, if you are aged 30 or under on 6 January 2017, put yourself forward and tell the industry how you stand out from the crowd.

The Next Generation event in May next year will bring together around 300 young delegates and a host of inspirational speakers. Previous highlights of the Next Generation event have included Sir Stuart Rose, who gave an insightful rendition of his career history with many amusing antidotes along the way. Designers including Patrick Grant, Oliver Spencer and Henry Holland have also spoken at the event alongside other industry experts including Mark Sebba, non-executive director and former chief executive of Net-a-Porter, chief executive of Mothercare, Mark Newton-Jones and Primark’s chief executive Paul Marchant.

This year, we asked four female leaders – incoming chief executive of Karen Millen Beth Butterwick, Hallett Retail founder and managing director Wendy Hallett, Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold, and Oasis brand director Sarah Welsh – to talk about gender equality and inspire the next generation of female leaders. There was also a panel to discuss manufacturing and the potential career paths this sector can bring.

The fashion industry has such a vast range of careers that all require different skillsets, so creating the right environment to support talent is crucial. Drapers Next Generation is built to highlight just that. As we enter a challenging time with uncertainty around Brexit, it’s the motivation and enthusiasm of these young individuals that will help drive the industry through economic uncertainty with passion and innovation. Let’s get together and celebrate the future leaders of fashion. To nominate yourself or someone else, email


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