The UK Fashion and Textile Association has launched a partnership with Marks & Spencer and Graduate Fashion Week to bring together graduate designers and UK manufacturers.
“Made It” aims to recognise UK manufacturing skills as well as nurture emerging design talent and will see UKFT and M&S sponsor a selection of Graduate Fashion Week winners to have their collections made in the UK.
The three parties will host a series of fashion masterclasses to be held at five selected universities across the country to introduce fashion design students to the business of fashion and particularly how to work with UK manufacturers.
The partnership was revealed at a reception at the Houses of Parliament last night hosted bty Damian Collins MP, chair of the All Party Paliamentary Fashion and Textiles Group. It was also announced that the organisation’s name will change to Graduate Fashion Foundation but the name of the annual showcase will remain as Graduate Fashion Week.
“‘Made It’ is a brilliant way of helping young designers to make the right connections and start to build their brands around the quality and craftsmanship inherent in UK manufacturing,” said Jo Jenkins, director of womenswear, lingerie and beauty at M&S. “We’re delighted to be working with some of the best young talent coming out of Graduate Fashion Week to get their products to market.”
Nigel Lugg, chairman of UKFT, added: “The UK has some of the best designer graduates in the world and some of the most talented manufacturers - ‘Made It’ brings them together. Not only will we see the creation of some stunning collections, the project will also help to ensure the success of the next generation in understanding the business of fashion, which is a fundamental part of UKFT’s purpose and key whether you are developing a new brand, working with manufacturers or growing business overseas.”