River Island re-signs title sponsorship GFWTuesday, 01 September 2009
Since the start of the relationship in 2005, River Island has supported Graduate Fashion Week by launching The River Island Gold Award, with a prize of £20,000. Over the past five years the retailer used the event to scout the latest talent fresh from University. These have fed into the businesses 100-strong design team, which is responsible for creating the original designs hitting River Island stores every day. The team also includes two of the recipients of the River Island Gold Award, who are part of the company’s design studios.
River Island’s CEO Richard Bradbury has been the driving force behind this year’s initiative – The Protégé Project. Created in response to the difficult economic climate today, GFW wanted to offer its graduates assistance in getting their feet on the first rung of the job ladder. The initiative offers this year’s graduates a short-term contract to work on a project. The campaign is set up to inspire small and medium sized creative businesses to tap into budding designers. Although River Island is spearheading the campaign, other supporters include Mulberry, John Lewis, The Pentland Group, ASOS, Peacocks, Matches, Karen Millen, British Elle Magazine and Haymarket Exhibitions.
“We are passionate about fashion and finding young talent, so our link with Graduate Fashion Week is a natural one. In the past five year’s both our organisations have really evolved and I feel we’ve helped each other grow and exceed all our expectations. It is particularly important that we support new talent now, when it is harder than ever for student’s to get into the industry. The Protégé Project is our remedy and really bridges the gap between GFW and first jobs. We will be developing this further for 2010”, said Richard Bradbury CBE, CEO, River Island.
Showcasing UK’s top talent of fashion and design universities, Graduate Fashion Week has become well-known platform of young creatives. This year the event celebrated 18 years of British trained fashion talent passing through its doors. Graduate Fashion Week 2010 June 6th-10th.
Image: River Island