Graduate Fashion Week have successfully held 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, worked closely with major brands and publications to highlight its more than 25 years of work with fashion’s next generation. GFW’s American showcase featured a curated exhibition of final-year collections and portfolios from a selection of Graduate Fashion Week’s Class of 2017, across all fashion disciplines.
The line-up included 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.
Two major events took place in New York: 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. Graduate Fashion Week Creative Director Martyn Roberts, Industry Trustee and Journalist Hilary Alexander OBE and Partnership Director Lorraine O’Brien were in attendance across all New York events.
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.”