Department Store To Hire At Graduate Fashion Week

Debenhams has pledged to support young menswear talent through a new design scholarship.

The department store recently announced plans to launch the annual initiative, which will see one designer handed a 12-month paid contract with the firm’s design department, at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.

It adds to 11 existing awards for areas such as accessories, photography, new business and marketing already run by the likes of Mulberry and Barclays.

Previous winners of top prizes include Christopher Bailey, Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney and Julien McDonald.

Julian Fuller, Head of Menswear Design, told FashionBeans the inaugural award will aim to “narrow the gap between education and industry.”

“Awards like this are so important as it highlights individuals among the sea of students that graduate every year, it stops being about what the college is, or has to offer and becomes solely about the talent of the designer.”

“It also gives direction as to what an employer is looking for, giving someone that all important ‘break’ we all need,” he added.

Fuller will sit on the panel at the fashion week, critiquing more than 1,000 graduates. Past judges have included ongoing Hammond & Co collaborator, Patrick Grant.

The news comes after bosses revealed plans to open a 93,000 sq ft three-level store in the redevelopment of the Mander shopping centre in Wolverhampton.

Graduate Fashion Week features stands from over 40 universities, attracting around 20,000 guests each year.

The scholarship is available to all menswear designers participating in Graduate Fashion Week, which runs until Tuesday 3rd June. A winner is expected to be announced shortly after.

Debenhams SS14 Collection