With the Class of 2020 facing huge challenges thanks to COVID-19, the platform launches a vital resource designed to bring fresh talent to industry insiders
It’s an understatement to say fashion students graduating in 2020 had a rough ride. Relegated to their bedrooms to create their final collections in isolation – away from the idea-spawning creative melting pot of the classroom – not only did they have to see out their final days of education in lockdown, but graduation ceremonies and end of year runway showcases were off the cards, too.
With the latter one of the main ways students get their work seen by editors, buyers, and industry insiders – let’s not forget Alexander McQueen’s entire graduate collection was picked up by Isabella Blow straight off the CSM catwalk – it landed with the Class of 2020 to come up with alternative ways to get their designs out into the world. Across the course of the last six months, that’s meant short films, video showcases, socially-distanced exhibitions, books, and many more creative solutions.
But the fight doesn’t end there: now they’ve actually got to find a job. With the fashion industry on shakier footing than ever before, students face a huge challenge as they emerge onto the landscape, with brands shuttering, publications downsizing, and much of the world still slowed almost to a standstill due to ongoing – or secondary – lockdowns. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, with some of fashion’s biggest players rallying to support the rising stars of the future – as the BFC amps up its funding efforts, and the likes of Samuel Ross of A-COLD-WALL* launch grant schemes to get fledgling businesses off the ground.
Also doing what it does best in championing burgeoning talent is 1 Granary, which this week announces the launch of a far-reaching new project solidified across the last six months: Designers to Hire. Asking themselves the questions: ‘How can graduate work be easily discovered, continuously amplified, and reshared over a long period of time?’ the answer, they figured out, was a showcase of the best designers from all four corners of the globe – a one-stop shop where industry insiders could come when looking for new talent to expand their ranks.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we found ourselves deliberating on how we could practically help the Class of 2020,” explains the team behind 1 Granary. “We soon realised that celebrating their final collection is not enough any more. This generation has had enough of spectacles, Instagram shout-outs, and promotional articles. They’re leaving education and they need to get a job.”
Created in collaboration with Pinterest, the result is an expansive and extremely easy-to-navigate portfolio of designers based around the world, with accompanying, in-depth profiles that offer a glimpse of their ideas, the way they work, and what they’re inspired by. Employers landing on the boards are able to scout for potential employees, stylists can book requests directly via DM, and recruiters are given unprecedented access to a global pool of talent. Make no mistake: those featured are no ‘emerging talents to watch’. “They don’t sit passively in a corner waiting for a charitable gate-keeper to open a door. These are skilled and knowledgeable workers, reading to contribute to this field and apply their creative problem-solving to many issues facing our industry,” the team confirms.
Head here to check out the full range of portfolios.