Net-A-Porter opens first annual Vanguard Education Fund for applications
Net-A-Porter has launched The Vanguard Education Fund as part of the online fashion retail group's talent incubator programme.
The new mentorship scheme, run in partnership with the British Fashion Council (BFC), is designed to help final-year BA students “as they embark on their professional careers in the industry”.
The fund will pick four winners, awarding each a £12,500 bursary fund and pairing them with two industry leaders, who will act as mentors for the academic year.
That means the fund has engaged eight influential mentors to take part. These include designers Cate Holstein, founder of Khaite; Conner Ives and Christopher John Rogers; stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois; editorial and tech expert Eva Chen; business mogul, musician, and actor Jessica Jung; Net-A-Porter’s content director Alice Casely-Hayford; and senior market editor Libby Page.
The Vanguard Education Fund engages with the BFC’s network of universities “to encourage more diverse talent and to help students as they embark on their professional journeys”, the retailer said.
The fund will be open to final-year students studying at UK universities within the BFC Colleges Council and selected international institutions (Parsons School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, TAFE Australia and FEDISA Fashion School Cape Town) across multidisciplinary courses, from fashion and design to ceramics, fine art, photography and jewellery.
“We recognise our responsibility in the industry, to nurture young, creative individuals and we are laser-focused on launching the very best emerging designers,” said Libby Page.
“The Vanguard Education Fund will ensure we discover this talent early on and give more students the opportunity to establish themselves within the fashion industry by providing financial and strategic support at the early stages of their careers,” she added.
Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive, added: “Breaking into the fashion industry is often financially challenging and can be overwhelming. Projects like the Vanguard Education Fund are so important as they pair much-needed bursary fund with essential industry advice. We are delighted to provide students with such a fantastic opportunity and group of mentors to help them navigate the ever-changing fashion landscape.”
Applications are now open and close on 3 March. Winners will be announced in June.
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