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Graduate Fashion Foundation is a charitable organisation and an essential part of the fashion industry. It is the springboard for new talent and a bridge between education and employment.

Our Mission Statement:

WHAT WE DO: ŷƷƵ is a charity that bridges the gap between education and employment.

WHY WE DO IT: Our mission is to bring together graduates, fashion educators and industry leaders to support and encourage the next generation of talent to reach their full potential once they have completed their studies.

HOW WE DO IT: We organise events like Graduate Fashion Week, create industry-led projects, offer advice and guidance, as well as mentorship opportunities, to ensure that graduates worldwide are supported to gain meaningful employment. We share good practice and knowledge with opportunities for connectivity and benchmarking within the fashion community.

The Charity

Over the past 33 years, more than 100,000 newly graduated and undergraduate students have been supported and guided by the Graduate Fashion Foundation. The GFF aims remain the same today; dedication to encouraging young people, helping them find employment and get the best start possible in the fashion industry.

 An unrivalled platform for the promotion of new talent, the Graduate Fashion Foundation bridges the gap between graduation and employment. It is responsible for launching the careers of some of the most successful designers of our time including Christopher Bailey MBE, who was the winner of the first-ever Gold Award and is now a Lifetime Patron of the charity; Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Julien MacDonald to name a few.

About Us

The charity organisation founded in 1991 by Jeff Banks CBE, Vanessa Denza MBE and John Walford to unify both the UK and international universities and create a stronghold for the creative industries to find the best talent.

The GFF marked its 25th anniversary in 2016 by announcing the first Lifetime Patrons. Our Lifetime Patrons work closely with the charity’s Global Ambassadors to ensure that charity objectives are met in new and exciting ways. Graduate Fashion Foundation celebrates more than three decades of being one of the world’s most important sources of new talent for the global design industry. It is a crucial part of the dynamic fashion industry, fuelling innovation in all parts of the fashion business.


Christopher Bailey MBE, the first winner of the Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award

GFF Year-Round

The GFF believes that supporting the next generation is vital, not just to the graduates themselves but also to the future of the fashion industry. The charity’s work doesn’t stop with the end of Graduate Fashion Week in June. The GFF runs year-round events and projects, from industry receptions to celebrate the year's successes and award winners, to regional masterclasses, panel talks & webinars, international showcases and the GFF Mentoring Programme, offering mentorship to select graduates. The charity works with industry partners on special projects to support, educate and inspire GFF member university students and graduates.

The GFF organises and run events to provide employment opportunities and experiences relating to working in the fashion industries, as well as offering information on wellness, sustainability and diversity in fashion. ŷƷƵ website has key areas recommending advice from GFF Alumni and industry experts to help support graduates as they leave university and move along their career ladder.

Graduate Fashion Week

The GFF annually presents , the largest showcase of BA fashion in the world with the most influential and inspiring UK and international universities and colleges on show. It provides a fantastic opportunity to see the freshest talent from 26 different fashion disciplines.

Held every June in London, GFW attracts thousands of guests with a packed schedule of catwalk shows, university exhibitions, talks, masterclasses and workshops from leading names in the fashion and retail industry. It represents the future of creative design talent and showcases the work of over 3500 of the very best fashion graduates each year.

The event attracts a wide array of top industry professionals, press and recruiters from UK and abroad who use this opportunity to discover talent, as well as offer exciting graduate employment and placement opportunities. Our international members play a major part in the event and exhibitions including our renowned International Fashion Catwalk Show.

The 2019 edition featured 45 international universities from leading design schools around the world, including in New York, Donghua University in China, in Japan, Shenkar in Israel, in Rome and . The International Fashion Award invites these fashion institutes to enter their best and most innovative students for the opportunity to showcase their collection at Graduate Fashion Week.

“Graduate Fashion Week is an invaluable platform for all fashion graduates. We work in an incredibly competitive industry and the hardest part can be ensuring your work is seen by the right people. Graduate Fashion Week is the platform that connects students with industry leaders and large companies, giving graduates the best possible start.” 

- Henry Holland, Designer and GFF Ambassador

Our Patrons and Ambassadors

To mark our 25th anniversary in 2016, the GFF announced our first Lifetime Patrons of the charity. Christopher Bailey MBE, Victoria Beckham OBE, Nick Knight OBE, and Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE RDI, were the first patrons to join, followed in 2018 by Internationally acclaimed designer Diane Von Furstenberg and businesswoman Nadja Swarovski. In 2019, Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE RDI also became a lifetime patron.

GFF’s global ambassadors also hold an important, active role in the charity. From judging awards to offering guidance and mentorship, our ambassadors are invested in supporting graduates by sharing their expertise to inspire, motivate and educate graduates about the reality of working in fashion. Our ambassadors include Henry Holland, Christopher Raeburn, Gok Wan, Eunice Olumide, Orsola De Castro, Sara Maino and more.

The ŷƷƵ

Every year, the GFF launches awards to inspire students to become innovators, environmental leaders, employees, and educators while promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity within an international platform.

There are 20 awards on offer for GFW24, all of which are judged by industry professionals and ambassadors. Covering disciplines such as textile design, styling and creative direction, photography and marketing, the GFF awards are a prestigious accolade for graduates to receive. These aren’t limited to the UK, there are three international awards on offer to our global members.

Diversity and Inclusion

At the GFF, we’re committed to championing the diverse array of talented fashion professionals emerging from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to promote a more inclusive and diverse future for the fashion industry.

We do this through GFF Inclusion & Diversity Spotlight, a platform that amplifies and celebrates the perspectives and untold stories of graduates from minority ethnic backgrounds. We also support FACE, Fashion Academics Creating Equality, a group working to challenge Higher Education, Further Education and the Fashion Industry to be more inclusive, unified and equal.