FashMash, a London-based fashion community, has launched a mentoring scheme to nurture a new generation of fashion talent, in particular those from ethnic minorities and from low socio-economic backgrounds.
The community’s co-founders Rosanna Falconer and Rachel Arthur have signed up 12 industry mentors to help guide 12 mentees through a six-month programme that includes monthly mentoring sessions, invitations to the FashMash community’s biannual networking events as well as its monthly Pioneers speaker series, and a calendar of coaching sessions and intimate talks focused on personal and professional development.
Applicants must be in an entry-level position within or associated with fashion, be under 25 years old, and have an annual income of less than £25,000. The scheme was set up in response to the BLM movement and the fall-out from the COVID-19 crisis.
Mentors include: Ahmed Ashraf, Head of Digital, L’Oréal Luxe; Claire Bergkamp, Global Sustainability & Innovation Director, Stella McCartney; Jenny Cossons, Chief Partnerships Officer, Lyst; Kate Walmsley, Digital & E-Commerce Consultant, former Digital Director, Topshop and New Look; Maria McClay, Senior Industry Head – Luxury, Google; Nina Patel, Director of Retail Innovation, Farfetch; Olly Rzysko, Chief Marketing Officer, Mahabis and Co-Founder, Ecologi; Susie Mashford, Head of Marketing, Ganni; Vanessa Belleau, Founder & Director, High Fifteen; Wilson Oryema, Artist & Writer and Co-Founder, Regenerative Futures.
“Our business mission is to drive industry change. This is only possible with an inclusive industry that champions a broad wealth of talent from the black community, broader minorities, younger generations and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. If opportunity is only offered to the privileged few, we will be overlooking the future founders, leaders and creatives that will drive the transformation that is needed,” Falconer said.
Co-founder Arthur added: “We need to support those within the industry who have the potential but not necessarily the access for success. True change will only happen this way. Our mentoring programme aims to provide guidance and advice from a variety of diverse role models – enabling them to pay it forward to a more inclusive, next generation.”
FashMash has also partnered with Dior Bediako’s The Junior Network, a members’ club supporting and educating young fashion professionals. Three of the mentees will be selected from this network. Consultant Frederica Brooksworth is also on board to devise and curate the learning and development programme that will run alongside the mentoring.
Applications for the scheme open today and close on 14 August.