GFF and Fashion Minority Alliance link for Fashion Futures
The Fashion Minority Alliance (FMA) has partnered with UK-based education and employment charity Graduate Fashion Foundation (GFF). Their combined Fashion Futures project aims at sustaining the focus on “empowering underrepresented and marginalised students by engaging and supporting them in their endeavours to fulfil their creative potential within the exclusive realm of fashion and design”.
Launching during Graduate Fashion Week at Coal Drops Yard Kings Cross, London, the inaugural project sees FMA co-hosting a panel talk to kick off the partnership.
Entitled ‘Big Fish, New Pond…. Navigating The Fashion Industry, Following Education’, the panel will unite industry thought leaders Andrew Ibi, designer educator and founder of FACE; Vanessa Spence who's ASOS Design Director; Anita Chhiba, founder and Creative Director Diet Paratha; and Tejumola Butler Adenuga, the multidisciplinary artist and designer.
Additionally, the launch programme includes the hosting of inner city youth groups and several schools where students, between the ages 12 and 17, will be hosted onsite at Graduate Fashion Week “to enjoy a day of interactive fashion-immersion 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 have access to the Diversity and Inclusivity Fashion Showcase, meet university tutors, graduate designers and encounter their work plus attend a runway show and learn about the making of a catwalk show.
Elements of the Fashion Futures project will be launched and showcased at Graduate Fashion Week, while an identical digital version will be housed on the respective FMA and GFF websites.
The pair also said the project would not be possible without the financial support of PVH Corp, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands. Under its PVH Foundation Commitment No 9 project, the company has earmarked a $10 million investment.
FMA co-founder Barbara Kennedy-Brown said: “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.”
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