The second edition of the Drapers Next Generation Academy took place at east London nightclub Fabric last week and welcomed double the number of delegates.
Some 200 bright young fashion stars were invited for a day of free talks and networking to help them get ahead in this volatile trading environment, where retailers sometimes focus on short-term trading over staff development.
The calibre of delegates, who were made up of entrepreneurs, designers, buyers, merchandisers, marketers, retailers and financiers, was exceptionally high. They were either selected to attend by our partner retailers - which included House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Aurora Fashions, Karen Millen, Arcadia, Asos, SuperGroup and Claire’s - or they won a place via our competition to attend. It was refreshing to meet so many passionate and driven individuals at the start of their careers. They are the future leaders of the industry and Drapers will follow their progress with interest.
The day’s key point was knowing your customer, and delegates were taught some surprising lessons around trend interpretation. Speakers included Christos Angelides, product director at Next, Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Rubin and the highly entertaining fashion commentator, Colin McDowell. You can read more about their insights in this section.
My thanks go to Success Appointments, without whom this event would not be possible.
Jessica Brown, Executive editor