From the hundreds of applications that we receive each Spring, we can only take three forward to the final catwalk show at which just one overall winner is chosen. The month of May sees a series of selection events that take this process forwards.
After the final deadline, usually in late April each year, the Fashion Fringe team gets to work narrowing the selection down to legitimate applications, ensuring just those that meet the very basic criteria are put before our scrupulous judges.
Fashion Fringe mentors, Roy Peach and Angela Quaintrell review the applications, looking for the unique blend of talent, creativity, uniqueness and business potential that make for a successful designer. All promising applicants are then put forward to our Chair – this year, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, Christopher Bailey – who makes the final decisions.
Christopher selected his ten Semi Finalists back in early May, insisting on calling each individually to let them know the good news.
The next step for each Semi-Finalist is a day spent at the London College of Fashion where Roy Peach and Annie Robinson use their wealth of technical experience to observe our hopefuls making a toile from their final collection. As well as assessing their core technical skills, Roy talks each Semi-Finalist through their experience, ascertaining the main areas with which they will need technical support, should they be selected.
The final step is the board interview. Each Semi-Finalist has just 10-15 minutes to make a lasting impression on our Chair, who interviews each applicant along with Colin McDowell. This year, Christopher hosted the interviews in the Board Room at Burberry HQ so each Semi-Finalist had a taste of presenting their work at the highest level of global design.
That afternoon, our Chair makes his final decision, selecting three Finalists, which are announced at an intimate industry reception.