UKFT launches Made It - a collaboration with M&S and Graduate Fashion Week to unite graduate designers with UK manufacturers

At a reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) announced the launch of Made It, a collaboration with Marks & Spencer and Graduate Fashion Week to bring together graduate designers and UK manufacturers.

In recognition of the artistry and skill within UK manufacturing and to nurture emerging design talent, M&S and UKFT will sponsor a selection of Graduate Fashion Week winners to have their collections made in the UK.

To promote a better understanding of how and why young emerging brands should look to the UK as their preferred source of manufacturing, UKFT with the backing of M&S and in collaboration with GFW, will host a series of fashion masterclasses to be held at five selected universities across the country. These masterclasses will introduce fashion design students to the business of fashion, particularly how to work with UK manufacturers. The winners will be granted access to leading industry insiders who will mentor and guide them as they begin their careers in the fashion industry.

Hosted by Damian Collins MP, UKFT and Graduate Fashion Week, the reception included a catwalk show and was attended by key policy makers, industry influencers, major retailers, leading brands and UK manufacturers, with special guests including Alesha Dixon, Mandi Lennard, Caryn Franklin, Zandra Rhodes, Touker Suleyman and Suzy Menkes.

In recognition of the year round work the charity does, the organisation’s name will change from Graduate Fashion Week, to the ‘Graduate Fashion Foundation’. The name of the annual showcase will remain Graduate Fashion Week.

Jo Jenkins, ‎Director Womenswear, Lingerie & Beauty at M&S: “At M&S, we’re big believers in celebrating the British fashion industry and fostering emerging talent. ‘Made It’ is a brilliant way of helping young designers to make the right connections and start to build their brands around the quality and craftsmanship inherent in UK manufacturing. We’re delighted to be working with some of the best young talent coming out of Graduate Fashion Week to get their products to market.”

Martyn Roberts, Managing Director of the Graduation Fashion Week charity:"This partnership presents a wonderful opportunity for GFW students across the UK to get first hand knowledge and experience of working with British manufacturers. These are vital skills for fashion design graduates and essential for keeping Britain at the forefront of design."

Nigel Lugg, Chairman of UKFT: “The UK has some of the best designer graduates in the world and some of the most talented manufacturers - ‘Made It’ brings them together. Not only will we see the creation of some stunning collections, the project will also help to ensure the success of the next generation in understanding the business of fashion, which is a fundamental part of UKFT’s purpose and key whether you are developing a new brand, working with manufacturers or growing business overseas. I am delighted that UKFT will be helping guide these Graduate Fashion Week winners."

Damian Collins MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Fashion and Textiles Group: “I am delighted that the House of Commons is once again hosting this showcase for Graduate Fashion Week students. The event brings together leading designers and makers, with some of the brightest new talent to be found. Fashion and Textiles is one of the most dynamic and creative sectors of our economy, and its success is vital to Britain’s success in the future.”

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), on Wednesday 9 November, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow

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UKFT launches Made It - a collaboration with M&S and Graduate Fashion Week to unite graduate designers with UK manufacturers