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Fashion Minority Alliance teams up with Graduate Fashion Foundation to support marginalised students

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Graduate Fashion Week by Rory James

Fashion Minority Alliance is partnering with the Graduate Fashion Foundation, which hosts Graduate Fashion Week, to launch ‘Fashion Futures’ a new project aimed at empowering underrepresented and marginalised students.

As a part of the Fashion Minority Alliance’s broader commitment to fuel BIPOC pipeline initiatives, the ‘Fashion Futures’ project will engage with underrepresented and marginalised students to help them fulfil their creative potential within the exclusive realm of fashion and design.

The launch programme includes hosting an interactive fashion immersion day for students between 12 and 17 from inner-city youth groups and schools during Graduate Fashion Week “to inspire and empower them to pursue and shape a path, for the creative career they want, at a time they are making decisions about next steps”.

Alongside being part of a peer network, each student will also have access to the Diversity and Inclusivity Fashion Showcase, meet university tutors, graduate designers and encounter their work, as well as attend a runway show and learn about the making of a catwalk show.

Future Fashions project to empower underrepresented and marginalised students in fashion and design

‘Future Fashions’ will be a phygital format programme, with elements featured during Graduate Fashion Week set to be replicated with an identical digital version on the Fashion Minority Alliance and Graduate Fashion Foundation websites. The ‘Fashion Futures’ education and careers hub will bring together a full range of relevant tools, guidance and strategic support focused on ensuring diversity and inclusion. There will also be career advice and pathways sharing the breadth of careers available in the fashion and design sectors, alongside high education support, funding advice for university, information on the lifecycle of a garment and sustainability advice, and downloadable activities.

Additionally, on the Fashion Minority Alliance website it will house training resources for educators, school community groups and NEET liaison programmes, downloadable activities, virtual upskilling programmes, CV and interview workshop sessions, mentor matching, and career path videos all specifically designed and coordinated to develop a talent pool of underrepresented and marginalised young people equipped with the skills and knowledge of the industry.

The ‘Future Fashions’ project is being financially supported by PVH Corp, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, through its PVH Foundation Commitment No. 9 project to amplify awareness of and access to opportunities in the fashion industry for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Fashion Minority Alliance, co-founder Barbara Kennedy-Brown, said in a statement: “PVH has supported us from the beginning, and we cannot thank its executives and employees enough for the company’s enduring support. Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. This latest partnership allows us to break down an old system to afford underrepresented and marginalised primary and secondary school students the rare opportunity to be encouraged, inspired and guided on a pathway to successfully enter the challenging but exciting fashion and creative industries.

“Additionally, it is an honour to work with Graduate Fashion Foundation as it has been a springboard for new talent and a vital bridge between education and employment in the fashion and design space.”

Nicola Hitchens, Graduate Fashion Foundation director and head of special projects, added: “The Graduate Fashion Foundation are honoured to be selected as the UK charity representative for the PVH Global Commitment No.9 Project. We are thrilled to collaborate with Fashion Minority Alliance on the delivering of such a vital and needed project to support and further young grassroots talent to have access and backing to enter the arts and future education."

Fashion Minority Alliance
Graduate Fashion Foundation
Graduate Fashion Week