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Why it’s worth investing in tomorrow’s leaders

Drapers hosted 100 bright young fashion stars at its inaugural Next Generation Academy event at London’s Soho Hotel last week.

The event was conceived to celebrate, support and nurture young talent in the industry, which often gets neglected in a downturn while firms focus on short-term trading pressures. However, it is the next generation of talent that will secure the long-term future of any fashion business. These are the future leaders of the industry.

The audience was made up of ambitious and like-minded designers, buyers, merchandisers, marketers, retailers and those working in production disciplines. They were either selected to attend by our partner retailers - which included John Lewis, House of Fraser, M&S, Aurora Fashions, Arcadia and Asos - or they won a place via our competition. It was refreshing to meet so many passionate and driven individuals at the start of their careers. While they pursue their goals in the midst of a downturn, their enthusiasm for the sector must be recognised. We will follow their progress with interest.

The calibre of speakers, who shared career and management advice as well as giving their views on the current trading climate and prospects, was exceptionally high. They included

Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Rubin, New Look group design director Barbara Horspool and House of Holland founder Henry Holland. My thanks go to all our speakers who made the day so engaging. You can read the highlights of the event over the next five pages.

Lastly, my thanks go to our headline sponsor Success Appointments, without whom this event would not have been possible.

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