For the past five days, GFF has been onsite at LFW for the first time in the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion Exhibition with a new ‘GFW Presents...’ stand. GFW Presents... showcased the work of four of our talented Graduate Fashion Week 2019 alumni, who’s collections were part of the Best of Show from GFW 2019. The graduates were selected by the BFC as they sat within their Positive Fashion initiative; designed to champion industry best practice led by three Positive Fashion pillars: Sustainability, Equality & Diversity, Craftsmanship & Community.


Our graduate emerging designers had the opportunity to meet with over 5,000 visitors include American Vogue Editor-In-Chief Dame Anna Wintour, Emerging Talent Ambassador at the BFC Sarah Mower and Adwoa Aboah the new Mentoring Ambassador for the BFC. The stand was also visited by GFF Lifetime Patron Dame Zandra Rhodes alongside GFF President Hilary Alexander OBE.

GFW Presents…has been designed by Graduate Fashion Foundation to; help graduates launch their brand to a global audience, give them access to develop relationships with renowned global stores and publications, begin building a network of future contacts, be a part of a fashion week which is fully embracing emerging brands who are making a positive change in the industry and spotlighting them to a global audience. 


The GFW Presents…graduates are part of the fashion innovators and emerging businesses who get to tell their story within the exhibition and demonstrate how they are working to change industry’s practices by educating and inspiring audiences on the positive changes within the industry. 

The GFW Presents stand allowed the emerging designers to showcase their graduate catwalk collections and portfolios, plus by being present at the event themselves, the graduates were able to benefit from the variety of key audience members who attended. Across the five days of London Fashion Week the GFW Presents…graduates reached over 5,000 visitors, including a domestic and international audience of press, buyers and industry professionals from over 45 countries including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and United Kingdom, as well as consumers over the weekend event. 

The GFW Presents…Emerging Graduate Designer Are: 

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Hannah Stote – Graduate of Bath Spa University 

Winner of the GFW19 Catwalk Knitwear Award 

Hannah Stote is a knitwear designer and maker from Bournemouth. Born from a love of crafting and art as a child, her graduate collection is an exploration into the revival of craft within the modern fashion market. Inspired by the folklore and symbolism of 18th century fisherman's jumpers, the history and craftsmanship of the collection is a reflection of the traditional nature of knitwear production, as well as the many tactile features of knitwear. Focusing on her love of texture, the collection brought together the original gansey patterns and reimagined them in modern settings, mixing chunky wool, tops with fine yarns. Made from 100% wool - sourced from UK spinning mills and second hand shops - the collection was made to be zero waste and fully recyclable- with the intention that once the garments were finished with, they could be unravelled and reknitted into a new garment. Despite only starting to knit 9 months previously, Hannah Stote's collection on to win the Catwalk Knitwear Award for her romantic and innovative approach to knitwear.


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Mariah Esa – Graduate of De Montford University  - Winner of the GFW19 SHEIN People’s Choice Award

Mariah Esa repurposes waste from the fast fashion industry to create her garments, which have been praised by top designer Vivienne Westwood. Mariah created her collection of four outfits using over 20,000 waste garment labels which were going to be thrown away by a fashion manufacturer.She is a designer trying to tackle the waste within the fast fashion industry. From her experience working in a manufacturer, Mariah was open to the amount of waste fabric and labels that were being thrown away and she found that garment labels were one of the main items being disposed of for slight faults. Sourcing labels which were either over produced or classed as rejects in the fast fashion industry, Mariah repurposed these waste garment labels and upcycled them to create the base fabric of her award-winning graduate collection. As the winner of The SHEIN People’s Choice Award 2019, Mariah will receive the opportunity to turn her winning collection into a SHEIN womenswear capsule collection to be sold online in SS20, as well as a trip to China in January 2020 to see the collection go into production.


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Sally Mankee – Graduate of University of Creative Arts Rochester 

Sally Mankee is a textile and womenswear designer based in Kent, England whose work celebrates a bygone era. She has a passion for the past and can be inspired by anything ranging from a postage stamp to an umbrella stand. Sally takes mementos from days gone by, combining them with illustrations in her signature quirky playful style to produce fabrics full of charm and rich in narrative. These are then lovingly made in to beautiful garments and accessories, classical in design yet modern in their appeal, owing to the techniques and processes involved in their creation. Sally was recently awarded a first-class BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Textiles: Print from the University for the Creative Arts, Rochester with her graduate work entitled A Collectors Collection. It is based on the world of antiques and curios, featuring six muses who quite literally wear their heart on their sleeves. Each ensemble takes inspiration from their ephemera and most treasured possessions. Every outfit contains a rich tapestry of imagery, techniques and textures, emulating the charm of antique shops and eclectic nature of curiosity cabinets from days gone by. 


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Janislav Solovjov – Graduate of Arts University Bournemouth

Janislav Solovjob is originally from Tallin, Estonia and his fashion label ÖÖ is located in Bournemouth. ÖÖ translates from Estonian as "night". Nowadays the fashion industry's reality is darkness, being non-sustainable and irresponsible to the environment. ÖÖ looks into the future, combining sustainable technologies in garment engineering and manufacturing, natural fabrics and Estonian heritage. Janislav’s collection was created with digital pattern cutting using Lectra and CLO software to minimise on pattern paper. He also a minimised toiling process trying all garments in 3D on FLO software first. All lay plans were made digitally which helped to save on fabrics waste and the components of the collection including buttons and fastening are vintage, some as far back at the 19th Century. The connection between Estonian folk celebration and contemporary dance gave birth to his collection. Dancing steps of Martha Graham and Maya Plisetskaya inspired draping, lightness of fabrics and flightiness of silhouettes. The 19th century coloured postcards of Estonian traditional clothes influenced the colour palette and prints, while the folk garments worn by peasants in Estonia played a big role in his design.  Their reflection can be found in embroidery, garment structure and silhouette. The collection is made from 100% natural base fabrics.