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Fringe Benefits



{mosimage}Founded by fashion virtuoso Colin McDowell, Fashion Fringe has now become a regular highlight on the Spring/Summer LFW calendar. McDowell prefers to think of Fringe as a platform for the nation’s most promising design talent as opposed to a competition. However, the competition element is there and while there can only be one winner many runners-up have also gone on to successfully develop their labels. Past Fringe winners include: Gavin Douglas, Erdem and Basso & Brooke.



There’s no doubt that Fashion Fringe can fast track a designers career providing £100,000 worth of technical help, business advice and mentoring programme, not forgetting to mention, mountains of press. Another initiative this year comes from the highly successful fashion e-tailer www.net-a-porter.com. Starting this year, the winner’s designs will be available to buy on the website alongside the likes of Alexander McQueen, Chloe and Stella McCartney.



Interested in applying? Then here is the lowdown:





Fashion Fringe is an annual project, launched to find and nurture undiscovered British designers. The hunt begins with the re-launch of the website www.fashionfringe.co.uk and through an extensive PR campaign. The deadline date for applications is Friday 27 April.


In May, 10 semi-finalists will be invited to London to be interviewed by a panel of fashion industry heavy-weights and business experts.


The 4 finalists will be announced at the beginning of June. They will then spend the next 3 months working on their collections. During this time Fashion Fringe will provide them with the funds, studio space and technical assistance to create 10 “looks” for their Fashion Fringe capsule collection, which will be shown in London as part of the official Fashion Week in September.





Fashion Fringe is open to both UK and Eire residents, who must have been resident in their respective countries for a minimum of 3 years and/or have a valid work permit and must be over the age of 18.


There are 2 vital elements to the application process.


1. You will have until the 27th April 2007 to complete the questionnaire and produce drawings for a capsule collection of 8 – 12 “looks”. The portfolio of drawings, numbering between 10 and 25, will be geared to Spring/Summer womenswear for 2008. They must include 5 full-colour illustrations of your finished design and the development of your idea and should be no larger than A4.


To be eligible:


The collection must not contain accessories or lingerie

The collection must consist solely of womenswear

Incomplete applications will not be accepted

Questionnaires and drawings MUST be sent together in the same package

If you win, your business must be set up in and run from London

You will be obliged to preview you collections in London for 5 years after you win and under the auspices of Fashion Fringe

Unfortunately, drawings and applications cannot be returned but high quality colour photocopies are acceptable.

2. The short-listed semi-finalists will be invited to London to discuss their portfolios, which should include one finished garment from the proposed collection, with a panel of designers, buyers, academics, business managers and journalists. What we are looking for is an ability to demonstrate determination, courage as well as design creativity and business acumen. We want self-belief and passion but we also need commitment, business-sense and practicality. Successful semi-finalists will be notified in May.





We give you a budget to buy fabric, in consultation with technical advisers who are on hand to help you find the best way to realise your ideas. In July and August you will work with technical staff to help cut and make your collection. You will then show your collection on the catwalk alongside 3 other finalists during September’s London Fashion Week. The winner will be announced after the show.





A bespoke package of mentoring, business advice & planning, marketing, studio space and development grants through associated Fashion Fringe partners.





For more information visit: www.fashionfringe.co.uk


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