Marks & Spencer launches external design studio in partnership with British School of Fashion
The retailer said the M&S Studio @ Fashion Street, which is situated in the trendy Shoreditch area of London, will provide a creative space for Marks & Spencer design teams to develop new ideas away from the office “whether designing trial garments for an M&S collection or adding finishing touches to existing pieces”.
The new studio will complement the retailer’s existing design facilities with several members of the M&S design team based permanently at the site.
The partnership with the fashion school will last five years and also includes the launch of the M& S Fashion Scholarship, an annual bursary of £50,000 to be awarded each year to support selected students on fashion courses at the school. The M&S Fashion Scholars will be selected by a panel of M&S and British School of Fashion experts, and will also benefit from M&S mentoring and use of the design space. The first M&S Fashion Scholars will be selected in February 2014.
Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said: “M&S Studio @ Fashion Street in Shoreditch builds on M&S’s extensive design expertise, giving our team a vibrant new location from where they can draw inspiration for new collections. The M&S Fashion Scholarship is an exciting way for our designers to work with some of the British School of Fashion’s best young design talent and for M&S to invest in the British fashion leaders of tomorrow.”
As well as the design space, M&S Studio will house a digital content hub where an arm of the retailer's digital publishing team will share content, from documenting the design team’s work, showcasing some of the young British design talent at the university to sharing inspiration from London’s style trends.
Stars of Marks and Spencer’s new Autumn/Winter campaign, including Tracey Emin, Katie Piper and Helen Allen, attended the launch of the new studio on Monday night where guests from the world of fashion were given a preview of M&S’s SS14 Best of British Womenswear Collection.
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