The International Fashion Showcase (IFS) nurtures and presents work from the finest up-and-coming fashion talent from around the world. The biennial fashion presentation is a partnership between the British Council, British Fashion Council, London College of Fashion, UAL and Somerset House. Over the summer LCF worked on a series of teaching units with this year’s 16 designers as well developing an 8 month online support and leadning platform, and their work will be showcased at an exhibition at Somerset House in February 2019.
Ahead of the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2019, we are speaking to industry experts involved in the showcase about their backgrounds and what they think about this year’s designers. First we spoke to Candice Fragis, Buying and Merchandising Director at Farfetch 3.
Candice could you tell us about your career background, and how you became part of the International Fashion Showcase?
I have over 15 years of experience in the luxury fashion industry, having started my career in the buying department at the renowned London boutique Browns. Most recently as Buying and Merchandising Director at Farfetch, I led the buying, merchandising and visual merchandising teams across men’s, women’s and kid’s categories. The pivotal point in my career was launching THE OUTNET alongside Stephanie Phair in 2009. Following that, with a further 4 years as Senior Buyer at Net-A-Porter, I spearheaded the largest ready to wear launch to date with the activewear concept NET A SPORTER. I was asked to join the IFS through the British Fashion Council with whom I do a lot of mentoring work as I am passionate about emerging talent and education.
There are 16 designers from different backgrounds and nationalities currently part of the IFS, how important is this for the industry?
It is essential! The diversity of the world we live in offers the inspiration and backbone for every creative being. We are not defined by one countries dress, we are inspired by all.
As an industry expert guest, how do you think the topics you have been discussing with the designers during the residency and on the online programme, help to nurture these emerging designers?
Sustainability was a prominent theme and one i have personally always championed. it is so important for designers to think not just about how to brand themselves as conscious but to really embed this in their business model.
How have the changes in the fashion industry’s current climate, affect how designers do their job?
Social media is one of the greatest impacts and one that can make or break a brand. Having an authentic and strong presence and how that is presented is the new shop window.
How do you think the IFS will help this current group to establish themselves after participating in this programme?
I think the network the IFS has provided for these designers will be their strongest support.
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