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It’s our duty to support young talent

Caroline Nodder

We were having a debate in the Drapers office this week over who, or what, should go on our cover.

Graduate Fashion Week is one of the most important events in the fashion trade’s calendar, and as such it is natural for it to feature prominently. But should we use a picture of the event itself, the collections, the catwalk show or even the celebrities it attracted?

For me it was a no-brainer, because one of Drapers’ key duties is to showcase the talent of tomorrow. The young designers whose stunning collections I saw on the catwalk at GFW last week are the same designers who will be leading our industry forward in the years to come. So I chose this image of Gold Award winner Rory Longdon, rather than the clothes he designed or the models he used. He represents that talent pool that GFW highlights each year, many of whom go on to become household names, and is the perfect cover star for this week’s magazine.

Within the pages of this issue we also look at some of his fellow equally talented graduates, and indeed some of the GFW alumni who have gone on to reach dizzying heights since their debut at the show. Speaking to Terry Mansfield, GFW’s chairman, last week it was clear how much passion he has for the event and its participants and my hope is that the rest of the industry follows his lead and embraces the talent out there. It is especially pertinent this year as we look towards the course fee hikes of 2012, which will no doubt limit the number of applicants wanting to apply for fashion courses. The fashion trade has a duty to support young talent across the board, whether it be through apprenticeships, events like GFW or by putting that talent on a magazine cover.

I will certainly be following all the GFW graduates’ careers with great interest and expect to see at least one or two of them rise to the very top.

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