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Graduate Fashion Foundation returns to LFW with four emerging designers

Tom Shearsmith
14 February 2020

Graduate Fashion Foundation has announced its return to London Fashion Week this February in the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion Exhibition with a second season of the ‘GFW Presents’ stand.

GFW Presents will showcase the work of four Graduate Fashion Week 2019 alumni, whose collections were part of the Best of GFW Top 28 Collection show.

The GFW Presents graduates are part of the fashion innovators and emerging businesses who get to tell their story within the exhibition and demonstrate how they are working to change industry’s practices by educating and inspiring audiences on the positive changes within the industry. The GFW Presents stand will allow the emerging designers to showcase their graduate catwalk collections and portfolios, plus by being present at the event themselves, the graduates will be able to benefit from the variety of key audience members who attend.

Across the three days of London Fashion Week the GFW Presents graduates will reach over 5,000 visitors, including a domestic and international audience of press, buyers and industry professionals from over 45 countries.

The GFW Presents... Emerging Graduate Designers are as follows:

  • Yen Wong – Graduate of Brighton University
  • Leo John Caligan – Graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Africa Hernandez Martinez – Graduate of University of Creative Arts Epsom
  • Sarah Thompson – Graduate of Sheffield Hallam University

Lee John LFWYen Wong is originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her womenswear practice draws inspiration from her love of craft, exploring elements & techniques from couture & tailoring, as well as her fascination of heritage & culture.

Leo John Caligan is a Fashion & Textile Designer from Manchester, offering alternative androgynous designs by exploring the westernisation and domestication of the Philippines though traditional crafts alongside modern hand rendered textiles and graphic silhouettes.

Africa Hernandez, a womenswear designer born & raised in Spain is interested in preserving traditional crafts & colourful customs as part of cultural heritage, as well as moving them forward into the modern world.

Sarah Thompson explores the relationship the British farming community have to their clothing; the value they place upon practical attire and attachments they gain with clothing focused on practicality, durability, and the ability to mend.

London Fashion Week will be the first of the four global Fashion Week’s to embrace inclusivity, opening the doors to both trade and the public to join a celebration of fashion’s creativity, community and diversity.

Hilary Alexander OBE, President of Graduate Fashion Week, said: "Graduate Fashion Foundation is excited to be able to showcase four new and exceptional GFW2019 collections in the Positive Fashion exhibition, which is to be one of the highlights at this season’s London Fashion Week."

"GFW Presents now in its second season is a marvellous opportunity to demonstrate the vital role of sustainability and considered design in UK fashion education and is a fantastic occasion for the Graduate Fashion Foundation charity to continue the work that we do supporting the future of the fashion industry."

The annual event, held from Sunday 31st May – Wednesday 3rd June 2020, attracts a wide array of top Industry professionals & recruiters from UK and abroad who use this opportunity to spot the best new talent under one roof.

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