We are pleased to announce that Swarovski returns to GFW18 to sponsor both the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award and the International Fashion Award, set to be the biggest show to date in the history of the worldwide competition. The world-renowned crystal company will provide 28 crystal trophies for the award winners at the prestigious Gala Award Show and are launching a new Swarovski Sustainable Accessories Competition showcasing upcycled crystal!

The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award has been created in order to capture and reflect Hilary’s evident enthusiasm for new, fresh, and unpublished fashion design. The winning collection must provide a refreshing and innovative direction, it must address the important issue of sustainability; and illustrate the ground-breaking, fashion-forward thinking that the UK is renowned for. With last year's winner, Halina North, graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, receiving both the coveted Christopher Bailey Gold Award and the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award for her sustainable creative collection, we're eager to see which expressive graduate impresses the judges at GFW18. 


“Swarovski has a long history of support for fashion education, and we are looking forward to expanding our partnership with Graduate Fashion Week in 2018 with a renewed focus on the power of emerging talent. We are also delighted to further champion conscious design by introducing the new Swarovski Sustainable Accessories COMPETITION.”

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board


The event’s famed International Fashion Award Catwalk Show takes place on Wednesday 6th June 2018. Starting with four universities just five years ago, the 2018 edition will feature 48+ participants from leading design schools around the world, including The New School Parsons in New York, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China, Osaka Institute of Fashion in Japan, Accademia Costume & Moda Rome and numerous other international institutes.

The Swarovski International Fashion Award invites these fashion institutes to enter their best and most innovative students for the opportunity to showcase their collection at Graduate Fashion Week. The first winner in 2012, Angus Chiang, has gone on to launch a successful fashion house now showing at Paris Fashion Week. The winner of The Swarovski International Fashion Award will be announced during the prestigious Gala Award Show that same evening, and will receive a prize of £1,000, alongside the opportunity to showcase for free at London Fashion Week SS19 under Fashion Scout. Additional runner-up prizes will also be awarded.


“Through GFW International and the Swarovski Fashion Award we are able to unite so many different countries that reflect their great cultural diversity within fashion culture as well as the different approaches to education. We give the opportunity for institutions, large and small, well known and less to discuss, socialise and above all have sensational visibility in London which is in many ways is the world’s fashion capital for new design talent“

Adrien Yakimov Roberts, International Trustee at Graduate Fashion Week


As part of the extended partnership, Swarovski will host a hub featuring an installation and interactive learning space within the sponsorship floor during Graduate Fashion Week 2018. The Swarovski hub will offer workshop sessions which provide students the opportunity to gain career insights at Swarovski and learn about crystal product and applications. In addition to the International Fashion Award show, we are hosting an International Showcase on the new second floor exhibition space, and specialist masterclasses will be given exclusively to international academics and graduates, with the chance to meet industry contacts and develop collaborations.

Graduate Fashion Week's growing international reach and the crucial role that it plays in launching graduates’ careers; offering a global stage for students to receive exposure to job opportunities within the world's most admired fashion houses and retail brands. With the shared international  It was a natural fit for Swarovski to expand its support for Graduate Fashion Week with Nadja Swarovski now named a Lifetime Patron and the launch of an exciting new competition: The Swarovski Sustainable Accessories Competition. Running ahead of the event in June, the competition winner will be commissioned to create a one-off accessory with up-cycled crystals, which will be displayed during Graduate Fashion Week.