This year it was easier than ever before, said Colin McDowell about the decision to select three finalists for the Fashion Fringe initiative, We had ten contestants to choose from, and Christopher and I each wrote down on a piece of paper the three we thought were the most deserving. When we swapped the bits of paper, wed both written down exactly the same names.
Lucky then, for Vita Gottlieb, Haizhen Wang and Teija Eilola, who will benefit from work experience at Burberry and mentoring from Christopher Bailey himself in the run-up to September, where they will have the chance to show their collections at London Fashion Week. The decision follows two days of intense critiquing of the ten applicants portfolios and technical abilities, which Christopher Bailey described as a very humbling experience.
Bailey continued, the talent we have in this country is extraordinary - the skills, the craftsmanship, the thought, the innovation. Its something that was incredible to whittle down, but what was exemplary was the confidence each of the ten applicants had of the skills they had brought to the room.
This year is the tenth anniversary of the initiative, which has previously seen heavy-hitters such as Donatella Versace and John Galliano take the helm. After the catwalk show at London Fashion Week, Bailey will choose a single finalist who will go on to be awarded a two year development scheme, which includes financial support and industry mentoring, allowing them to fully develop the brand. Previous Fashion Fringe winners include Erdem, Corrie Nielsen and Fyodor Golan.