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CFE celebrates ten years of supporting fashion talent

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Published date 24 May 2013

Director of CFE, Wendy Malem
CFE 10 Year Anniversary Party at The Dorchester
CFE 10 Year Anniversary Party at The Dorchester

On May 22 at The Dorchester Hotel, LCF’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) celebrated its ten year anniversary along with a host of top designers, many of whom the centre has launched over the past decade.

CFE was founded by Wendy Malem, Director of CFE and LCF’s Dean of Graduate School, to support some of London’s most promising new names in creating successful and sustainable fashion careers. Designers launched by the organisation have included Basso & Brooke, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou and Meadham Kirchhoff.

Wendy reflected on the strength of the pioneering organisation, now in its eleventh year:

“I think we truly focus on individuals and invest time in understanding the person as well as the needs of the business. As a team we have a broad fashion, design and business experience and understand all the aspects that we need to focus on.”

Having helped 245 designers through its programmes, hosted 1000 internships and raised £5million to invest in designer fashion in the past ten years, Wendy made it clear that the business incubator remains enthusiastic about its core mission:

“Ultimately, we are inspired by design leadership and are excited by talent.”

Celebrating CFE’s important role in incubating and launching new sustainable talent were designers Erdem Moralioglu, Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Marios Schwab and Holly Fulton, all of whom have received support from the CFE.

Holly Fulton, one of CFE’s Venture designers, reflected on CFE’s role in shaping and supporting her successful label:

“It can be quite a solitary experience when you start your own thing and the CFE gives you a nurturing environment amongst your peers to help you realise your vision realistically.”

She offered advice to emerging designers:

“Stick true to your vision, prepare yourself for the commitment and learn to manage criticism; it is a demanding industry and you need to be prepared to cope with that and let your passion show.”

Venture designers have accumulated £20million in sales turnover since 2007. Using the strength and success of previous years, CFE now looks to continue to realise great fashion ambitions for great fashion talent.

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