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NET-A-PORTER launches programme to support emerging designers

Lauretta Roberts
30 August 2018

Luxury fashion etailer has announced The Vanguard, an ongoing programme through which it will support and nurture emerging designers and brands.

Every season up to four emerging designers will enter the programme and receive mentorship, training and guidance from NET-A-PORTER's team of global industry experts covering areas such as buying, business strategy, marketing & PR, social media, tech and advice on entering new markets and territories.

The brands will remain on the programme, which formally launches on 6 September, for a few seasons until their businesses are sufficiently matured. They will then graduate making way for new entrants.

“NET-A-PORTER has always taken a long-term approach to nurturing new designers, and I see The Vanguard as formalizing this commitment in a way that will make a real difference to young brands. As a business, we have so much to offer by way of expertise, not to mention the invaluable exposure to our global audience. It will be a delight to see more talent flourish through this exciting program," said Alison Loehnis, president of NET-A-PORTER & MR PORTER.

The Vanguard will be launched with a campaign that mirrors the theme of promoting emerging talent by working with up and coming photographers, models and creatives.

Four designers have been selected by NET-A-PORTER's buyers to take part in the first season of The Vanguard, they are:

Les Reveries: Les Reveries is about love and daydreams. Two sisters, Wayne and Ai, designed the New York based collection to give an offering of special dresses and knits to be worn for those beautiful moments. Essentially a love story and a lifestyle brand woven together with the sisters’ shared passions for art, poetry and music, Les Reveries, represents individuality, timelessness, and imagination.

RŪH: Founded with the desire to retain a private sense of identity in the current age of overexposure, RŪH is a womenswear brand that champions intellectual beauty and refined silhouettes. The brand, founded by Sonia Trehan, focuses on craftmanship and partners with a family-run factory in Naples to ensure an artisan’s approach to design. Key styles, intended to be layered, feature a grown-up elegance that tread the balance between statement and wearability.

Gu_de: Founded by Ji Hye Koo, the brand is produced in South Korea and inspired by the 1970s. Koo founded the label in late 2016 and has cited her Korean consumers’ thirst for newness as the reason behind her intriguing designs. The brand takes its name from an antiquarian Scottish pronunciation of “good”.

Martinez: Julien Martinez launched his namesake footwear label in 2017 after a trip to Alicante, Spain, where he was introduced to hand lacing - a technique now at the core of his design process. Blending comfort and craftsmanship with Mediterranean elegance, expect classic silhouettes, versatile colors and signature metallic pin heels.


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