Adrien Yakimov Roberts, International Trustee at Graduate Fashion Week commented, “Over the past few years it has been fun watching this international element of GFW grow. As International Trustee I have really enjoyed bringing different institutions together under one platform. Today we have over 30 top institutes from all over the world showing in London, in a contemporary world where collaboration has replaced hard competitiveness, united in sharing all our successes and celebrating our differences. The culture of fashion has many different aspects in different parts of the world and each country enjoys expressing their own identity.”
Choosing the top competitors was a respected five-member judging panel comprised of top industry and media figures including Professor Jane Rapley OBE, Michelle Duguid Fashion Editor at Elle UK, and Elinor Renfrew, Fashion Director at Kingston University. The first prize winner, Po-Chien Chin from Shin Chein University, received £1,000 as well as the opportunity to present their collection with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week in 2017. New for 2017, the 2nd place winner received £500 while 3rd place winners were granted £250 along with crystals to include in upcoming collections for all prize winners.
Also in partnership with Swarovski was the new Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award which went to Halina North, a student at Edinburgh College of Art. The Graduate Fashion Week charity organization stated that the accolade honors “a memorable collection that reflects the UK's enthusiasm for the new, the fresh, the untried, an example of a great new unpublished fashion direction, that reflects what British Fashion is renowned for worldwide.” In addition, 28 Swarovski crystal trophies were granted to winners during the daily award shows and the prestigious Gala Award Show.
In addition to offering eminent prizes, Swarovski ran a creative hub within the sponsorship floor where students had the freedom to experiment with crystals and a variety of application methods. Key industry figures also gathered for engaging discussions under Swarovski’s direction at GFW’s ‘Talk Live!’ studio to inspire and educate the participants and guests alike on sustainability, philanthropy, and the importance of advocating for up and coming talent.
Commenting on the brand’s partnership, Nadja Swarovski stated “Swarovski is committed to supporting emerging talent, working with the next generation of designers to inspire innovation and change in the industry. We are pleased to support Graduate Fashion Week with two prizes that celebrate some of the most exciting young designers emerging today - it is a pleasure to be part of their journey.”
Graduate Fashion Week began on June 4th, culminating with the International Catwalk Competition and The Graduate Fashion Week Awards Show on June 7th in London.