Swarovski is to sponsor the 26th annual Graduate Fashion Week.
The Austrian crystal company, which is also a sponsor of the BFC's Fashion Awards and the CFDA Awards, will sponsor two awards at Graduate Fashion Week on 7th June, including the new Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award and the International Catwalk Competition.
Alongside the awards, Swarovski will host an interactive hub where students can experiment with crystals, as well as talks with key industry figures.
Swarovski already works with several schools around the world, awarding scholarships and creating application room workshops in leading universities, making the partnership a natural fit, says Martyn Roberts, creative and managing director of Graduate Fashion Week.
“We’ve been admiring the work they’ve been doing to support emerging designers, by working with a number of universities,” he says. “With Graduate Fashion Week being the largest platform for fashion graduates in the world, our profile has been growing internationally over the last five years. It seemed perfect for the partnership.”
“We are pleased to support Graduate Fashion Week with prizes that celebrate some of the most exciting young designers emerging today,” said Nadia Swarovski. “It is a pleasure to be part of their journey.”
This year, Graduate Fashion Weeks International Catwalk Competition is expanding to include 32 fashion schools. Adrien Yakimov Roberts, international trustee for Graduate Fashion Week, believes Swarovski’s sponsorship indicates a shift toward more collaborative attitudes between fashion schools and brands worldwide.
“We’re moving away from the very old-fashioned idea of people seeing other schools as competition, now we see everybody as a collaborative partner,” says Yakimov Roberts. “I think the world has changed and we’re changing with it.” — Megan Doyle