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MR PORTER announces "FUTURES" designers for in-house mentorship

Tom Bottomley
17 September 2021

Luxury online men’s style destination MR PORTER has today announced the three winning menswear designers who will take part in its ‘FUTURES’ global designer mentorship programme, in partnership with Klarna.

Kat Tua, Saif Ud Deen and double act Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda will get the opportunity to build their own brand, and design and produce a minimum 15-piece responsible collection to launch on MR PORTER on a 12-month bespoke high-level business incubation programme, with coaching sessions from leading industry mentors.

They will also receive 50% of the net profits generated from the sales of their collection on MR PORTER for 12 months.

Additionally, Klarna will donate a £10,000 award to each designer - or design duo - to help establish and grow their business following the programme. It follows Klarna’s ongoing commitment to small businesses across the UK which saw the company launch a £3m support package and accelerator programme to help small businesses recover and grow post the pandemic in July.

Kat Tua

The winners were selected from thousands of entries from 77 countries around the world. Kat Tua, originally from New Zealand but now residing in Sydney, Australia, has a decade’s worth of experience working as a product developer and designer for various fashion retailers, but is keen to pursue a career as a solo designer.

Saif Ud Deen is a recent Fashion Design graduate from the University of Salford, and design duo Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda, from Oregon in the US, met prior to the pandemic and have since collaborated on a joint project from their studio space in Portland, which clearly hit the mark with the Mentor Selection Committee which included MR PORTER Buying Director, Sam Kershaw.

Kershaw said: “We are overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of applications received for our foundational year of MR PORTER FUTURES – it has been amazing to witness what great, untapped talent there is around the world. 

Saif Ud Deen

“We are excited to be working with Kat, Saif, Julian and Ryan – all of whom impressed the Mentor Selection Committee with their vision, designs and determination to shape their experience and deliver environmental and socially positive collections. We know that each designer has a bright future ahead of them and we’re thrilled to able play a part in their journey by propelling them onto MR PORTER’s global stage.”

AJ Coyne, Head of Global Brand and Creative at Klarna, added: “It’s been such a pleasure being part of the inaugural MR PORTER FUTURES mentorship programme to support designers championing sustainability with such vision. At Klarna, we are passionate about protecting the planet, and want to champion design talent creating positive change, which is particularly challenging in a post-pandemic world. We can’t wait to work with the designers and to see their final collections.”

The designers will undergo a year-long programme of in-person and remote workshops and one-to-one coaching, benefiting from access to leading mentors in the fashion industry alongside MR PORTER's in-house team of buyers, designers, and creative and marketing experts.

Beyond the mentoring and coaching, each designer will gain the essential marketing and retail skills required to build successful standalone brands, while also designing, developing and delivering their very own responsible collections, through the support of the team behind Mr P., MR PORTER’s own-label, and consultancy Create Sustain. The collections will be made globally available on MR PORTER in September 2022.

Applications for next year’s MR PORTER FUTURES programme will open in March 2022.


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