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Paul Smith's Foundation establishes fashion studios for next-generation

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield Credits: James O Jenkins

Smithfield Market in London is set to become a creative hub for future fashion designers as Paul Smith’s Foundation, the Mayor of London, and Projekt have collaborated to launch the Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield.

The creative hub will provide six state-of-the-art studios for the next generation of fashion creatives in London, enabled through support from the City of London Corporation.

The Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield will see fashion designers having access to 5,000 square feet of temporary workspace, allowing London’s next top fashion designers to grow their businesses and learn from fashion and business experts, while also putting the Square Mile “at the heart of London’s fashion industry and supports growth in the capital’s world-leading creative industries”.

Over the next three years, three cohorts of six designers will receive a free 400 square feet of studio space for 12 months each, and mentoring from industry leaders and business planning training.

New creative hub to offer fashion residences in London

Located above the Meat Market in Smithfield’s Northwest Quadrant, the creative hub has been designed by Projekt and will offer residents access to their own private studio and wider facilities such as a media suite, events spaces and a photography studio.

The Mayor of London and Projekt have provided the main funding, each investing 175,000 pounds to cover the rent and fit-out of the spaces. Paul Smith’s Foundation has designed the mentoring programme, matching designers with key professionals to help them establish their businesses and create a sustainable footing once they leave.

The programme will include workshops, group seminars and one-to-one tutoring, with more than 40 hours of business skills teaching in legal, finance, production and wholesaling, content creation, styling, communications, and social media.

In addition, British GQ is also supporting the programme by providing residents with networking opportunities and mentoring on brand building and digital growth.

The initiative is part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to help the capital’s creative industries, as the Mayor’s support of organisations such as the British Fashion Council, Film London, London Design Festival and London Games Festival has helped them secure more than 2.8 billion pounds in sales, trade and investment since 2019.

Applications are now open for the first cohort to move in the week commencing June 24. Designers will be pre-selected by a panel of industry experts and mentors, and the final six will be chosen by a panel including Paul Smith.

Commenting on the Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield, Paul Smith said in a statement: “I set up Paul Smith’s Foundation to bring about opportunities and give helpful advice to creative people. The Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield is a mentoring and support programme for early career fashion designers, conceived specifically to build their skills in topics ranging from legal and finance to production, merchandising and publicity.

“I’m excited to be working with a generous team of industry experts and partners to build solid businesses for the long term and celebrate London’s brilliant and diverse creative talent.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “Our creative industries are the lifeblood of our capital, providing one in five jobs and driving our economy, so it’s vital that we do what we can to ensure London remains a leading destination for fashion and design.

“That’s why our residency programme will give the next generation of fashion designers the space and business know-how to excel, grow their businesses and learn from the best in the industry. By investing in the future of the industry, we’re building a better London for all.”

Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield
Mayor of London
Paul Smith
Paul Smith's Foundation