Fashion Retail Academy
Our support of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) remains as strong as ever. Opened in 2006, the FRA prepares students for a career in fashion retail, training them in areas such as buying, merchandising, visual merchandising, styling, store management, marketing and PR, retail business and graphic design. The FRA offers a range of courses from entry level, requiring no formal qualifications, to a Foundation Degree in Fashion Retail Management.
Its work as the UK’s first National Skills Academy has proved a resounding success, leading the way in employer engagement. This year the FRA secured 514 student work placements across 110 retail partners, with 83% of these retailers saying they would not hesitate to employ their work placement student.
The biggest event in the Fashion Retail Academy’s calendar is the Awards Ceremony, which celebrates the success of its graduating students each year and 2013 was no exception.
Sir Philip Green, the Academy’s founder, together with Marc Bolland (M&S), Jason Tarry (Tesco) and Christos Angelides (Next) form the principal patrons of the Academy. At the ceremony they joined a host of business leaders to congratulate the 490 students who are now ready to work in the fashion retail industry or to continue their studies. Special guest and singer Rita Ora presented the FRA Commitment Award to Naj Chowdhury for his exceptional work ethic, drive and dedication.
MENTORING YOUNG FASHION TALENT VIA NEWGEN
Following on from last year’s celebrations to mark TOPSHOP’s decade-long sponsorship of young British designers, this year has seen the partnership take an exciting new direction.
Nine NEWGEN designers were selected to receive support to help them showcase their talents as part of the British Fashion Council’s (BFC) London Fashion Week.
In addition, TOPSHOP joined forces with the BFC to develop and broaden its support for the designers’ businesses. To help this emerging talent to establish strong commercial platforms, TOPSHOP has supported a programme of mentoring, seminars and one-to-one workshops. The brand has also provided the designers with access to its team’s vast knowledge on all areas of business.
Previous recipients of TOPSHOP’s support have included Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald and Matthew Williamson.