Inspirational designer incubator program Fashion Foundry, have opened applications for its Emerging Business strand inviting fashion designers who can base themselves in Glasgow to apply for one of the four highly sought after places available in Scotland.
Focussing on quality cutting edge fashion, Cultural Enterprise Office and Fashion Foundry will accelerate four of the country’s most promising and inspiring designers, giving them the confidence and skills to maximise their creative and business potential. They will also engage with more established designers supporting them to get to the next level of business and overall support the Scottish Fashion Industry to grow and extend its influence.
Applications will be judged by industry experts including panel member Kevin Harding, Director of Merchandising at luxury accessories brand Strathberry.
Kevin’s knowledge of the luxury fashion industry spans over a decade with key roles for Cartier, Pringle of Scotland, Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Kevin said, “I am excited to be involved with Fashion Foundry, a hugely important initiative for nurturing the next generation of fashion industry talent in Scotland.”
The new hub builds on the Fashion Foundry pilot program set up by Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO) in 2012 with WASPS Studios and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland – a direct response to an increasing volume of enquiries for advice from fashion designers looking to set up and grow their businesses.
Fashion Foundry’s continuing aim is to help fashion designers develop a deeper understanding of industry practices and strengthen their skills to build viable business models, establishing routes to new markets.
2012’s pilot program success enabled designers such as Jennifer Kent of Edition Scotland and Mairi McDonald to establish premises, gain stockists, and win opportunities to showcase at major trade shows.
Gwilym Gibbons, Chair of Cultural Enterprise office said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Creative Scotland to support the Scottish fashion hub for the sector, continuing and building on our work to offer designers access to desk space, machinery, one to one industry advice, an enquiry service and a unique and dynamic events programme aimed at the business of fashion.”
“We shall also be looking to develop new projects and opportunities for the fashion sector as a whole in Scotland with partners, encompassing all aspects of its industry from design to associated businesses such as communications and retail.”
In 2014 and 2015 CEO commissioned further sector research and evaluations, which identified fashion design as a major new business community with vast potential for growth within the creative economy, in addition to the textiles & manufacturing industry, leading to a set of results identifying a need for a national centre for fashion business.