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GFW launches Protégé project

Graduate Fashion Week is launching a scheme to support the winners of the annual event by pairing them with a long-term industry mentor.

The Protégé Project’s mentoring panel comprises volunteer professionals from the fashion industry within areas such as retail, design, manufacturing, business management, PR, media, marketing, legal and recruitment.

Graduates will have access to their mentor for two years starting from November and will meet in person for in-depth mentoring sessions every four months.

The selected mentor will be based on the graduates’ application form and pre-screening.

Mentors include: Drapers editor Keely Stocker; Gemma Metheringham, creative director of Label/Mix at Next; Peter Ruis, CEO of Jigsaw; designer Henry Holland; Julian Fuller, head of menswear design at Debenhams; and former Finery brand director Caren Downie.

Martyn Roberts, creative director of Graduate Fashion Week, said: “It is a big transition period for students moving from studying into the world of work. It can be quite daunting and they need to adapt to new demands. Some students struggle with understanding the business side of things – deadlines, schedules, ownership of work – the project provides a friendly voice to guide and advice. Our mentors will also help those facing big decisions about moving jobs, where to move to and what’s best for them.

“The response from the industry has been very positive, a lot of people in fashion have valuable skills and want to give back to the next generation.”

Graduate Fashion Week will take place on 3-6 June at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London.

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