- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Graduate Style Week (GFW) has named Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey and fashion designer Victoria Beckham as its first patrons in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
The news was announced at a catwalk show and reception inside the Houses of Parliament, and the GFW team states that Bailey is the ideal candidate to become the annual student showcase’s first patron as he is a GFW alumni, he won the top Gold award when he showed at the event in 1991.
Commenting on the honour and his GFW win, Bailey said: "I was extremely fortunate to have won the first Graduate Style Award over 20 years ago. It became a fundamental stepping-stone in my career, giving me a platform that allowed me to pursue the incredible opportunities that I have experienced since.
“It is a true honour for me to be able to support the next generation of exciting design talent in the UK, during Graduate Style Week's very special 25th anniversary year.”
The aim of adding high-profile names such as Bailey and Beckham to the roster is to boost the profile of the student event, which takes place in London and sees 40 UK and 15 universities and colleges take part.
Graduate Style Week adds high-profile fashion patrons
Mark Newton-Jones, chairman of the Graduate Style Week charity, added: "Graduate Style Week has become a highlight in the fashion industry's calendar and, for many up and coming designers; it's the moment their careers begin. It's a fantastic opportunity to discover the very best of emerging global design talent. In the run up to our 25th anniversary celebrations, our remit is bigger than ever.
“We now have 1000s of graduates from around the world receiving our backing and support year on year. I consider myself honoured to be chairing Graduate Style Week and I'm delighted that Christopher Bailey, our first ever winner, is also joining us as our first official patron alongside Victoria Beckham.”
Other GFW alumni include Stella McCartney, Antonio Berardi, Marchesa, Julien MacDonald, Christopher Raeburn, Agi & Sam and Sophie Hulme, all of whom attended the 25th anniversary celebrations.
On her appointment, Victoria Beckham said: "I'm honoured to become a patron of Graduate Style Week. It is so important to support and mentor young people and GFW provides an essential platform for them at this important time in their life. I'm delighted to be joining Christopher Bailey, working together on such a worthwhile project."
The most recent Graduate fashion week event was held at the Old Truman Brewery, in east London, with 30,000 guests attending over four days. The winner of this year’s George Gold and Creative Catwalk awards was Manchester School of Art’s Hannah Wallace, who took home the 10,000 pounds prize for a quirky collection of galactic-inspired padded jackets.
Other 2015 winners included Melissa Villevielle of Edinburgh College of Art, the winner of the womenswear award, and Ella Nisbett of Nottingham Trent University, who took home the knitwear award. All three designers showcased their collections in an informal catwalk during the 25th anniversary event.