Fashion Retail Academy
As it enters its tenth year, our support of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) remains as strong as ever. The academy delivers a unique and contemporary educational experience with a range of vocational and work-orientated courses.
The FRA’s 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 2013-14 was no exception.
MENTORING YOUNG FASHION TALENT VIA NEWGEN
TOPSHOP continued to support up-and-coming design talent in the fashion industry this year via its long-term sponsorship of the NEWGEN group, which enables young designers to show their collections as part of London Fashion Week. TOPSHOP donated £300,000 this year towards the events in September 2013 and February 2013.
Similarly TOPMAN supports the NEWGEN MEN event, sponsoring designers to showcase their collections to press and buyers in London. June’s event for spring/summer 15 saw ten designers receive sponsorship.
Each year TOPSHOP and TOPMAN also sponsor Fashion East, making a donation of £50,000. This group also uses the TOPSHOP/TOPMAN Showspace to show the collections of three womenswear and three menswear designers who have been chosen by the non-profit initiative based in east London.
CUT FOR EVANS
This is a ground breaking initiative launched by Evans to nurture future plus size design talent. The brand challenged students from Bournemouth and Kingston Universities to create designs for Evans customers, showcasing their creativity. A celebrity judging panel selected Alice Farrow and Rebecca Partington to have their designs put into production.
THINK COMMERCIAL, THINK INNOVATION, THINK RETAIL - HIGHGATE SCHOOL PROGRAMME
The programme is a partnership between the Chrysalis Partnership, the London Academy of Excellence and the Arcadia Group.Prompted by feedback on the level of career preparation delivered by schools, the Arcadia Group provides the opportunity for students to learn about the various career opportunities within retail. The programme helps students prepare for UCAS applications, CV writing and interview skills.
In addition, there is an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of a competitive recruitment process, leading to professional work experience for up to 50 students.
From an already strong partnership with Highgate Schools, links have been made with partner schools in Haringey and the London Academy of Excellence in Stratford, widening the number of students who can benefit from the programme.
Throughout the programme an online private network for all students, teachers and the Arcadia staff involved, was established in order to promote masterclasses/workshops and to create an open forum for students to ask questions.