Fashion Retail Academy
We continue to promote learning and the development of talent within the retail industry via our support of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA).
Opened in 2006, the FRA was the first National Skills Academy. It 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.
The FRA has an annual Careers Fair that industry partners attend to recruit talent from the Academy. We work with FRA staff in preparing students for interview and assessment centres. Arcadia also provides inspirational speakers from the brands for the Academy’s Master Class programme. Graduates of the FRA continue to join businesses such as our own, and we look forward to our continued collaboration into 2013.
The FRA has reciprocated with support for one of our projects this year, lending work and catwalk space to our employee volunteering pilot between Wallis and FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) where a group of young people created their own sports-inspired collection (see Our Employees for more).
Ten Years of Supporting British Fashion Talent
TOPSHOP has supported new design talent since 1999, becoming the single biggest supporter of rising stars in the industry. In February 2012 TOPSHOP celebrated ten years of sponsoring the British Fashion Council’s New Generation (NEWGEN) scheme, alongside the launch of the TOPSHOP Show Space and sponsorship of Fashion East.
TOPSHOP looks forward to the ongoing evolution of its relationship with NEWGEN, an inspirational scheme that has launched the careers of some of London’s most iconic design talents.
As part of the campaign to mark the anniversary, TOPSHOP called on NEWGEN recipients from the last ten years to collaborate on a series of limited edition signature t-shirts, with all proceeds going to Centrepoint, a charity dedicated to helping the young homeless. Designers who contributed to the campaign read like a who’s who of the London catwalks: Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll, Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Ashish, Meadham Kirchhoff, Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Mary Katrantzou, House of Jazz, Roksanda Ilincic, Marios Schwab, Louise Gray, Nasir Mazhar, JW Anderson, Emma Cook, Peter Jensen, Holly Fulton, Craig Lawrence and Michael Van Der Ham. The t-shirts were sold during London Fashion Week via TOPSHOP stores and online at TOPSHOP.com and raised £83,000.