The Innovators Programme –  Matchesfashion
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The Innovators Program – pushing the boundaries of fashion

Starting from September, Matchesfashion has announced to launch The Innovators Programme where twelve designers will receive a mentorship and marketing support for one year

Though the current pandemic has had a bitter side-taste to everyone’s quotidian, which we slowly arranged ourselves with, the economy remains hit. Labels and fashion houses were left in the uncertainty of their next steps while fearing financial instability.

Retail platform Matchesfashion, home to 450 labels, from newcomers to the already established, worked out a mentoring project – the year-long ‘Innovators Programme’ -, providing emerging designers the opportunity to continue growing and creating during these times. Commencing in September 2020, they intend to «champion young design talent», states the retailer.

«The Innovators Programme was developed as the Matchesfashion team collaborated with designers during the Covid-19 pandemic. It became clear that many of the designers were unsure how their brands could thrive through 2020 and that practical support and ongoing commitment was required. Kingham and Paul developed the program to ensure that each brand was amplified via Matchesfashion reach across content, social and marketing while providing business mentorship and financial terms».

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THE INNOVATORS PROGRAMME – Kevin Germanier, Harris Reed,
Ahluwalia Studio, Stefan Cooke & Jake Burt

Built upon from an existing womenswear project, The Innovators Programme comprises menswear and is an amalgamation of practical support, including mentorship, business terms, and marketing. 

The selection of twelve designers who will be representing the outstanding in global talent includes names such as Art School, Ahluwalia, Chopova Lowena, Stefan Cooke, Germanier, Halpern, Harris Reed, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Thebe Magugu, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Bianca Saunders and Wales Bonner. Eleven of these designers are already partner brands. Each designer was chosen for having a DNA that is intrinsic to the curation at Matchesfashion and illustrates the diversity and creativity that appeals to the retailer’s customer base.

«Over the last five months we have heard from our partners their worries about how their business can thrive but survive», explains Damien Paul, Matchesfashion’s head of menswear.

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THE INNOVATORS PROGRAMME – Thebe Magugu, Art School, Wales Bonner, Ludovic de Saint Sernin
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THE INNOVATORS PROGRAMME – Charles Jeffrey, Bianca Saunders, Halpern Studio, Chopova Lowena

Matchesfashion underlined the global promotion that the brands will receive via the retailer’s social media channels and editorial content. At the same time, the designers will also be given preferential payment terms providing a lifeline to their available means. Additionally, the commitment from the retailer to support the designers, in these times, provides the brands with an income.

«Putting together The Innovators Programme seemed like a logical step to ensure we help these designers, not only in a practical sense but also to allow them to continue to push the boundaries of fashion, experiment, and take risks ». 

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