The charity behind Graduate Fashion Week hosted an exclusive reception at the Houses of Parliament last night bringing together bright young talent and key policy makers.

Following in the footsteps of notable alumni including Christopher Bailey MBE, Stella McCartney and Giles Deacon, Graduate Fashion Foundation showcased an exciting curated display of award-winning 2017 graduate work in association with the UK Fashion and Textiles Association (UKFT).

Over 200 top industry guests attended the event alongside established designers including Phoebe English and Henry Holland. Guests gathered with charity trustees, ambassadors as well as founders Jeff Banks CBE and Vanessa Denza MBE to celebrate the past year of successes and to launch the start of 2018.

Host Damian Collins, MP – Chairman of The Culture, Media and Sports Committee, opened the reception, followed by Hilary Alexander OBE, the charity’s Industry Trustee and passionate supporter.

Martyn Roberts, creative and managing director of Graduate Fashion Week, comments: “This is a fantastic event to celebrate the successes of the past year and to look to the year ahead. We showcase the very best of BA graduate talent and tonight we come together with leading industry figures to promote the great work of the Graduate Fashion Foundation charity.”

UKFT chairman Nigel Lugg adds: “The UK produces £9 billion worth of fashion and textiles every year and is home to some of the world’s best designer graduates. UKFT believes it is vital we support the emerging talent within our vibrant industry to ensure continued success and for the fifth year running we are delighted to partner with Graduate Fashion Foundation to unite leading industry figures and key policy makers at the Houses of Parliament.”

The fashion industry is one of the UK’s most important industries, supporting over 800,000 jobs and contributing £26 billion to the economy. Graduate Fashion Foundation makes a significant contribution through promoting the industry and acting as a springboard for emerging new talent.

An unrivalled platform for the promotion of new talent, Graduate Fashion Week bridges the gap between graduation and employment and is responsible for launching the careers of some of the most successful designers of our time. It represents the future of creative design talent and showcases the work of thousands of the very best fashion graduates, with over 400 on the catwalk alone.