The United Kingdom’s Graduate Fashion Week announces their first American showcase in New York, January 2018, partnering with SmartFocus the Digital Messaging Cloud.

The British charity, which stages the world’s largest showcase for BA fashion talent, will be working closely with major brands and publications to highlight its more than 25 years of work with fashion’s next generation.

Two major events are scheduled: A high-profile breakfast at the Madison Avenue headquarters of Ralph Lauren, for major industry players, including representatives from the likes of Gap, Calvin, Klein, Michael Kors, Swarovski, and Ralph Lauren; and an executive lunch for journalists hosted by ex-Graduate Fashion Week Chairman and Hearst Publications Chief Executive, Terry Mansfield CBE, at Hearst Towers.

GFW’s American showcase will feature a curated exhibition of final-year collections and portfolios from a selection of Graduate Fashion Week’s Class of 2017, across all fashion disciplines.

Kaitlyn Morgan, Sheffield Hallam University

The line-up includes the work of Kate Clark, ex-Kingston University, currently working at Chanel in Paris; Daniel Rynne, ex-Arts University Bournemouth, winner of the 2017 Debenhams Menswear Award and currently working in Debenhams design studio; and four American graduates, Emelie Cleveland, of the New School Parsons; Lyudmila Sullivan, Pratt Institute; and Margarita Ng Ng and Cristina Ng Ng, both of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) – all of whom were finalists in the International Catwalk Competition at last year’s GFW event in London.

Graduate Fashion Week Creative Director Martyn Roberts, Industry Trustee and Journalist Hilary Alexander OBE and Sponsorship Director Lorraine O’Brien will be in attendance across all New York events.

Graduate Fashion Week, now in its 27th year, is the recognised showcase for the upcoming stars in design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, illustration and all aspects of the modern business of fashion, from close to 70 UK and international universities.

Attracting head-hunters, recruiters and talent scouts, it operates as a global launch-pad for thousands of fashion graduates, bridging the gap between education and employment in the fashion industry.

The charity’s patrons include Christopher Bailey MBE, Victoria Beckham OBE, Dame Vivienne Westwood DME RDI and Nick Knight OBE.

Bethany Griffiths, De Montford University

Held in the first week of June, Graduate Fashion Week attracts 30,000 guests, and features 24 catwalk shows and 40+ exhibition stands, alongside a packed schedule of live talks and workshops from leading names in the fashion and retail industry.

Sarah Taylor, CMO of SmartFocus comments; “We are delighted to be part of Graduate Fashion Week each June and partner on the American Showcase. This is a hugely important investment in the future of our industry and is something we take very seriously. All of us at SmartFocus look forward to developing the charity’s ambition to grow their audience and engagement.”

SmartFocus provides Graduate Fashion Week with the digital marketing platform to enable them to showcase the story of Graduate Fashion Week through digital channels and to support the great work they do in engaging the best of design talent from across the world. SmartFocus customers have the rich data, intelligence and the tools for contextually unique engagements, through any digital channel. Trusted by over 1,500 brands, Message Cloud delivers 60 billion personalised interactions annually.

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.


For any further information please contact:
Nicola Hitchens, Communications Manager

Abisola Akanni De Montfort University
Image by Danny Woodward

About Graduate Fashion Week

The British charity showcases 68 UK international universities, helping 1,000’s of graduates each year to secure employment and prepare for the industry. Graduate Fashion Week is key to supporting talented graduates, enabling future success in the UK’s fashion industry as well as globally. Outside of the annual exhibition in June, the charity aims to continue promoting graduate’s work and with that increase employment opportunities and enterprise, in UK and abroad.

The graduates representing Graduate Fashion Week in New York are from the following universities:

  1. Claire Tagg – University of Creative Arts Rochester, UK – Runner up of M&S Womenswear Award 2017
  2. Kate Clark – Kingston University, UK – University Finalist 2017
  3. Daniel Rynne – Arts University Bournemouth, UK – Winner of Debenhams Menswear Award 2017
  4. Abisola Akanni – De Montford University – Best of GFW Finalist 2017
  5. Kaitlyn Morgan – Sheffield Hallam University, UK – Best of GFW Finalist 2017
  6. Bethany Griffiths – De Montford University – Best of GFW Finalist 2017
  7. Megan Davies – University of South Wales – Winner of Clarks Footwear Award 2017
  8. Lyudmila Sullivan – Pratt Institute, USA – International Catwalk Competition Finalist
  9. Margarita Ng Ng – Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), USA – International Catwalk Competition Finalist
  10. Cristina Ng Ng – Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), USA– International Catwalk Competition Finalist