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Debenhams launches award at Graduate Fashion Week as part of Designers at Debenhams revival

Lauretta Roberts
10 June 2024

Digital department store Debenhams has partnered with the Graduate Fashion Foundation to launch the "Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial” Award at Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) 2024 for the first time, offering an "exceptional opportunity" for emerging fashion design talent.

One outstanding graduate designer will be awarded with a 12-month in-house contract at Debenhams and will be offered the opportunity to create a collection with the Boohoo Group-owned retailer.

This collection will go on sale in in 2025 as a part of the wider Designers at Debenhams relaunch. The Designers at Debenhams initiative, first launched in 1993, was ground-breaking in its day, bringing the work of household-name designers to the high street for the first time.

Graduate Fashion Week

The Graduate Fashion Week catwalk

Big names to have been part of the programme include British greats, such as Betty Jackson and Jasper Conran, as well as Irish design legend John Rocha. The initiative played a key role in the career development of designers such as Henry Holland, Julien MacDonald and Matthew Williamson.

Debenhams' latest collaborations are with iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes, television and radio personality Lisa Snowdon and the Great British Sewing Bee winner Brogan Allard. It is hoped by adding a young designer from the GFW line-up that the department store can engage a wider customer demographic.


Zandra Rhodes is collaborating with Debenhams

GFW is being staged at The Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL from 10-13 June, where Debenhams is the main catwalk hall partner.

CEO of Debenhams, Finley said: “Supporting the next generation of talent is immensely important to us, which is why we are excited about our partnership with Graduate Fashion Week. This ethos has always been at the core of Debenhams, and supporting emerging talent is the next step in our journey with Designers at Debenhams”.

Images: courtesy Graduate Fashion Week

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