The British Fashion Council (BFC), TOPSHOP and TOPMAN are delighted to announce two winners of the Graduate Design Programme, the latest initiative supporting graduate talent, pioneered as a joint venture in partnership with the BFC Colleges Council.
The winners of the inaugural awards are Sally Hewett from Northumbria University for TOPSHOP and Rebecca Howarth from Manchester School of Art for TOPMAN.
The Graduate Design Programme offers the two students a prestigious 12 month paid internship at TOPSHOP and TOPMAN respectively. This is the first year TOPSHOP and TOPMAN have partnered with the British Fashion Council on a Graduate initiative and reinforces their on-going support of emerging talent.
Students were invited to submit a minimum of one mood board that demonstrates strong commercial awareness and understanding of the TOPSHOP or TOPMAN customer. From this mood board, applicants designed a 15 piece capsule collection that fully encapsulates their theme, showing key silhouettes, fabrics and colour choices.
A selection committee comprised of TOPSHOP or TOPMAN representatives invited applicants to a judging meeting to talk through their design project. The calibre of work was extremely high and a lengthy decision process was involved before the final decision on the winner was reached.
Simon Ward, COO, British Fashion Council, commented; “As sponsors of our emerging talent initiatives NEWGEN and NEWGEN MEN, we’re delighted to be partnering with TOPSHOP and TOPMAN on this new venture to extend further support to graduate level talent. The Graduate Design Programme offers students invaluable industry experience and we’re certain both winners will thrive from the experience.”
“The Graduate Design Programme in partnership with the British Fashion Council is a natural extension of our work with design talent in the UK; it allows us to support emerging and graduate designers. The winner will have the opportunity to develop as a designer and gain valuable first-hand experience of a business through their time at Topshop." - Mary Homer, Managing Director of TOPSHOP
Gordon Richardson, Design Director of TOPMAN, adds; “Topman has been supporting emerging talent for over 10 years and is excited to be helping a new generation of talented designers start their careers through this initiative.”