Graduate Fashion Week is excited to announce the launch of The Graduate Fashion Protégé Project. A scheme especially created to provide continual support for 20+ graduates of the Graduate Fashion Week event, which showcases each June. The mentoring programme is aimed to provide support as they enter into the fashion industry, by pairing them with a long term highly skilled industry mentor.

Graduate Fashion Week is the largest platform in the world for new BA fashion talent, highlighting the freshest upcoming stars in design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, illustration and all aspects of the modern business of fashion.

A registered charity, which for the past 26 years has been a crucial platform for launching the careers of many UK and International graduates. As an annual event, under one roof GFW, has been supporting universities to showcase their graduate talent and promote their work to prestigious recruiters and industry professionals.

The mentoring panel for The Graduate Fashion Protégé Project, is comprised up of volunteer executive professionals from the fashion industry, within areas such as retail, design, manufacturing, business management, PR, media, marketing, legal and recruitment.

Graduates will have access to their mentor for two years starting from November 2017 and will meet in person for in depth mentoring sessions seasonally, approximately every four months.

Mentoring and Chair of The Protégé Project, Gemma Metheringham, Creative Director of LABLE/MIX at Next said; “I am really happy to support the graduate fashion week mentoring initiative, and through this help support talented graduates get a start in the industry.”

Following Graduate Fashion Week in June 17, many of the graduates will embark on their future career straight after graduation, often being snapped up by top employers. Being a young graduate can be very exciting time but one that can also be challenging and daunting, requiring ability to adapt to new working environments and different demands.

This is an important period for our graduates who are going through a big transition from study to employment and having a mentor can mean huge opportunity for their continual growth either into the industry or as they launch their own brand.

Graduate Fashion Week strongly believes that with the mentoring programme, together with our dedicated mentors we can improve the experience of our talented graduates, helping them along the way towards achieving successful careers and boosting employability.

The mentors will provide the graduates with advice, guidance and career support over two years after their graduation. Graduate Fashion Week will pair each winning graduate who has expressed interest in the mentoring programme with a selected mentee, based on their application form and pre-screening.

What can the mentor help with?
*Help Graduates with their next career steps
*Supporting the graduate with the move towards employment
*Support the graduate to identify goals and targets to work towards and achieve aspirations
*Advice on best work practices and professional approach
*Help sharpen graduate’s CV and interview techniques
*Offer them support and motivation
*Advice on overcoming obstacles and being in professional environment
*Sharing personal experiences
*Signpost to other support resources, connect with their network

Martyn Roberts, Creative Director of Graduate Fashion Week comments:

“Work of the Graduate Fashion Foundation doesn’t stop at GFW in June. The British Fashion industry wants to give back, and the Graduate Fashion Protégé Project enables people to give knowledge and industry experience to the next generation of talent. It’s so important for our graduates, in what can be a major change in their life that they are offered support so they can go on to achieve successful careers and by doing so help boost the fashion industry and our economy.“

Full List of Mentors:
Gemma Metheringham, Label/Mix, Next, Creative Director
Oliver Spencer, Oliver Spencer, Director & Designer (Scholarship mentor)
Anna Clarke, Sainsburys Supermarket Ltd, Head of Design – TU Clothing
Tania Littlehales, Marks & Spencer, Head of Product PR
Julian Fuller, Debenhams, Head of Design Menswear
Peter Ruis, Jigsaw, CEO
Keely Stocker, Drapers, Editor
Leandra O’Sullivan, Debenhams, Head of Design Womenswear
Henry Holland, Henry Holland, Director & Designer (Scholarship mentor)
Holly Fulton, Holly Fulton, Director & Designer
Tess Richards, Richards Radcliffe Ltd and Consultancy, Co Founder & Director Caren Downie, The Fashion Squat Ltd, Director
Helen Low, Former George, Asda, Senior Design Director
Jan Miller, Jan Miller, Director
Emma Davidson, Denza, Managing Director
Ainsley Walker, Karen Millen, Head of Design
Katie Greenyer, Pentland Brands, Creative Talent and Networks Director
Harriet Saywood- Bellisario, Label/Mix, Next, Designer
Sarah Taylor, SmartFocus, Chief Marketing Officer
Natalia Seranses-James, ASOS, Head of PR
Chimere Cisse, Former Burberry, Global PR & Strategic Communications Manager

GFW is the world’s largest event for BA Fashion talent and next year’s event will take place on the 3rd-6th June 2018 at The Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London.