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May 15, 2020
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GFF scraps catwalk awards as it unveils physical and digital initiatives

May 15, 2020

Graduate Fashion Foundation, the organiser behind Graduate Fashion Week, has revealed that no catwalk awards will be given out this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Photo: GFW, Zoe Griffin

The event, which was due to take place in June, had to be cancelled for the first time in its 29-year history, but Graduate Fashion Foundation said it remains committed to supporting talented fashion graduates.

A series of new opportunities has been announced, with events taking place both in digital and physical form. 

The decision to remove the five catwalk awards this year was taken due to the halt in manufacturing and the closure of university studios. But GFF said four new prizes have been created to celebrate the creativity of students during the lockdown: the Fashion Illustration Award, Fashion Range Plan Award, Technical Drawing Award and Fashion Concept Award.

A further title, the Adaptation Award, has been added in recognition of students’ resourcefulness and problem-solving skills during this unprecedented time.

The top 10 student shortlists for each award will be announced on 10 June, with final judging taking place in July. Winners will be announced in the Autumn at an event in London. GFF said the event is being organised with a flexible approach to take into account social distancing restrictions and government guidelines, and is currently scheduled for September, but could take place anytime between September and December.

The event will also provide a platform for 38 UK university partners to showcase portfolios of work, with tutors in attendance to speak with industry attendees about the work on show.

Meanwhile, 318 design students from the UK and abroad will be offered a chance to showcase their collections across three new opportunities, a GFF Showroom, a professionally-curated fashion presentation and a catwalk show. These events will be either physical or digital, depending on social distancing restrictions.

Finally, GFF has launched a new webinar series to bring the industry’s guidance and advice exclusively to the homes of 2020 graduates. Speakers include former editor-in-chief of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman and British photographer Rankin.

Acting chair of Graduate Fashion Week Douglas MacLennan said: “Out of adversity, comes innovation. The Graduate Fashion Foundation rose to the unprecedented global challenge, by placing an emphasis on listening to the 2020 graduating student needs and those of our academic members. In order to create the foundation’s most innovative and exciting series of launch activities to date. 

“The annual ‘Graduate Fashion Week’ launch period was historically held over a few days, in 2020 the activities will now be held over a number of months with a series of exciting new style activities.”

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