Marks & Spencer enlists student designers

Tuesday, 01 April 2014
High street retailer Marks & Spencer has selected two student designers to create “iconic pieces” for its Best of British collections, as part of its bid to support the design stars of the future. Marks & Spencer's heads of design have chosen Lauren Field from Ravensbourne College in Greenwich, and Chanel Folkes from Nottingham Trent University, to create a signature womenswear and menswear garments for the autumn/winter Best of British range.

The two students will work at the retailer’s studio in fashion Street, Shoreditch, where the garment samples will be created, and a limited run of their designs will then be sold online and in the flagship Marble Arch store in the autumn. In addition, both Field and Folkes will undertake a three-month internship at M&S, with the aim of giving them invaluable experience of work in the fashion business. They will also use the time to create their signature designs, which will use their winning entries as the starting point.

Marks & Spencer Best of British collection to include student designs

Neil Hendy, head of design in M&S Womenswear said: “This is all about strengthening our ties with upcoming design talent. Lauren and Chanel both showed an incredible enthusiasm for fashion, strong commercial nous and a really good understanding of our brand and our customer.

“They’ll now have the chance to see their work go from sketch to finished garment stage and then on sale in store and M& We’re really looking forward to working with them very soon.”

Caroline Rush, chief executive, British Fashion Council, added: “A huge congratulations to Lauren and Chanel. It’s encouraging to see young design talent being given the opportunity to shine on such a vast platform.

“Marks & Spencer is renowned for its efforts to invest in best practice at every stage of its production and this project will give students the opportunity to see that process first hand.”

Both students will showcase their signature designs along with the rest of the Best of British collection to press in May.

Images: Chanel Folkes – Menswear Winner and Lauren Field – Womenswear Winner

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