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UKFT launches 'Made It' to support graduate designers

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has launched a collaboration with Marks and Spencer and Graduate Fashion Week to bring together graduate designers and UK manufacturers.

‘Made It’ was launched at a reception and catwalk showcase at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Damian Collins MP, UK Fashion and Textile Association and Graduate Fashion Week, and aims to recognise the artistry and skill within UK manufacturing as well to nurture emerging design talent.

As part of the initiative UK Fashion and Textile Association will sponsor a selection of Graduate Fashion Week winners to have their collections made in the UK, as it looks to promote how and why young emerging brands should look to the UK as their preferred source of manufacturing.

The partnership with Marks and Spencer will see the retailer in collaboration with Graduate Fashion Week hosting a series of fashion masterclasses to be held at five selected universities across the country. These masterclasses will introduce fashion design students to the business of fashion, particularly how to work with UK manufacturers. The winners will be granted access to leading industry insiders who will mentor and guide them as they begin their careers in the fashion industry.

Nigel Lugg, chairman of UK Fashion and Textile Association said: “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 UK Fashion and Textile Association’s purpose and key whether you are developing a new brand, working with manufacturers or growing business overseas. I am delighted that UK Fashion and Textile Association will be helping guide these Graduate Fashion Week winners.”

UK Fashion and Textile Association launches initiative to support fashion graduates and UK manufacturers

Marks and Spencer director of womenswear, lingerie and beauty, Jo Jenkins added: “At Marks and Spencer, we’re big believers in celebrating the British fashion industry and fostering emerging talent. ‘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. 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.”

Host Damian Collins MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Fashion and Textiles Group commented: “I am delighted that the House of Commons is once again hosting this showcase for Graduate Fashion Week students. The event brings together leading designers and makers, with some of the brightest new talent to be found. Fashion and Textiles is one of the most dynamic and creative sectors of our economy, and its success is vital to Britain’s success in the future.”

In addition, the charity behind Graduate Fashion Week has announced that it will change its name to the Graduate Fashion Foundation, in recognition of the year round work the charity does. However, the name of the annual showcase will remain Graduate Fashion Week.

The UK Fashion and Textile Association is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies in the UK. Its mission is to bring together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers and promote their businesses and the industry, both in the UK and throughout the world.

Images: courtesy of UK Fashion and Textile Association

Graduate Fashion Week
UK Fashion and Textile Association