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Guiding lights help fashion talent shine

Caroline Rush

Watching the new series of Dragon’s Den on BBC2 reminded me that having a great mentor to guide you in your career and assist in the development of your business can be the difference between make or break. 

Watching the new series of Dragon’s Den on BBC2 reminded me that having a great mentor to guide you in your career and assist in the development of your business can be the difference between make or break. 

In the fashion industry we have a generosity of spirit in terms of nurturing and mentoring talent.  The British Fashion Council (BFC) is fortunate in that we facilitate mentoring as a key element of designer support schemes to develop knowledge alongside industry networks. Retailers, brands and magazines sponsor and participate in this mentoring, which can deliver real results.

The BFC-run Estethica mentoring award scheme helps sustainable designers develop their collections to attract more buyers and media with support from key industry figures, including Susanne Tide-Frater, Yasmin Sewell and Bev Malik.  Journalist Tim Blanks hosted an afternoon tea at the London showRooms Men inaugural showcase in Paris as part of Paris Men’s Fashion Week, and Sarah Mower, BFC ambassador for emerging talent, seasonally launches our womenswear London showRooms at Paris Fashion Week with a brunch. Both generously use their contacts books to the benefit of young British designers.  Several London-based PRs also support emerging fashion design talent, working with them to promote their businesses and act as business advisers and connectors to the industry. 

Our BFC and London Fashion Week sponsors share our belief that fashion talent plays an integral role in the global and creative reputation of the UK. 

I know many others also mentor, nurture and support talent, which contributes to our industry’s reputation for excellence and innovation.

If you aren’t one of those, when can you start?

Caroline Rush is joint chief executive of the British Fashion Council

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