Graduate Fashion Week names Vivienne Westwood as lifetime patron
In recognition of her immense influence on the contemporary British fashion industry, Dame Vivienne Westwood has been unveiled as lifetime patron of the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW).
The event, which turns 25 this year, has also revealed that the annual GFW Ethical Award is to be renamed the Vivienne Westwood Ethical Award.
“Vivienne is one of the most inspiring individuals in the British fashion industry,” said Mark Newton-Jones, Chairman of Graduation Fashion Week. “She proves that design talent, vision and commerce make for a great mix, and propagate strong ideas. Her work has influenced, and been worn and loved by, fashion students in the UK since the 1980s."
"She is a design genius – an icon of style and a national treasure. The way she developed her business, attracting the press, collaborators and investment, has created a template for generations of students. As her business continues to grow, without compromise, she is more exciting, inspiring and relevant than ever,” he added.
Raising awareness around environmental issues has been one of the recurring motifs in Westwood’s work. The 75-year old British designer, credited for bringing modern punk fashion into the mainstream, has warned about the dangers of climate change, water related issues and the need to adopt renewable energy, among others.
She said: “Buy less, choose well, make it last. If people bought only beautiful clothes that would be Climate Revolution. Let us cultivate talent. Thank you Jeff Banks, I am delighted to become a patron of Graduate Fashion Week and to create the Vivienne Westwood Ethical Award”.
The ethical award in association with the Ethical Fashion Forum is a competition open to all students and Graduate Fashion Week member universities with projects that have roots in ethics or sustainability.
The winner will receive an internship at Westwood’s studio in London, while an additional award will be granted to the three top students in the completion giving them a year’s free membership into the Ethical Fashion Forum platform.
Graduate Fashion Week, founded in 1991 by Jeff Banks, run from Sunday 5 of June until Wednesday 8th at the Old Truman Brewery in London.
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