NET-A-PORTER expands its Vanguard mentorship program
NET-A-PORTER is expanding its Vanguard mentoring program with a new education fund in partnership with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to support diverse, multi-disciplinary talent in fashion.
The fund is open to students from UK universities who are members of the BFC Colleges Council and four international institutions: Politecnico di Milano, TAFE Australia, Parson’s School of Design and FEDISA Fashion School Cape Town.
The four recipients will receive a bursary and have access to two mentors for a year as they begin their careers in the industry. The mentors will consist of NET-A-PORTER spokespeople, industry experts, brand founders, designers (including The Vanguard program alumni) and entrepreneurs.
Entrants must be in their final year of study and can be from courses in design, marketing, communications, content creation, photography or jewellery. Winners will be selected by a group of judges from Yoox Net-a-Porter and the BFC.
The Vanguard mentoring programme was launched in 2018 to support nascent fashion labels with mentoring and exposure opportunities. To date, it has supported 25 brands, 56% of which are BIPOC owned. Within the program, each designer will receive comprehensive mentorship, encompassing training and guidance from NET-A-PORTER’s global team of specialists within each department of the business.
Net-a-Porter has also launched a social media campaign to celebrate the current Vanguard Class of ’21 mentoring programme recipients. The campaign will share the stories of this year’s talent: Khiry Fine, Renaissance Renaissance, Sindiso Khumalo, Conner Ives, Interior and Lukhanyo Mdingi across TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram's Reels and IGTV, reaching an audience of over 9 million.
Lea Cranfield, Chief Buying and Merchandising Officer of NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER and THE OUTNET said: “We are thrilled to be extending The Vanguard program by partnering with the British Fashion Council to launch The Vanguard Education Fund. Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of creative talent is given early support to enable their success before they embark on their professional journey – we see this as especially important given the challenges the pandemic has brought to the creative industry and, most notably, at a grass-roots level. We are passionate about nurturing a diverse and representative mix of talent and are excited to see who emerges through the scheme.”
Applications for the Vanguard mentorship program is open from October to December 2021. The winners will be announced on February 2022.