Graduate Fashion Foundation is thrilled to announce that fierce fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE RDI will be joining the charity as a new Lifetime Patron this March 2019.
Dame Zandra Rhodes has been an iconic figure within the UK fashion industry, celebrating her 50th year of the brand this spring 2019, best known as a pioneer of British Punk fashion with her use of bold prints, strong feminine patterns and a theatrical use of colour.
Rhodes’ new role for the Graduate Fashion Foundation will include being a judge for Graduate Fashion Week 2019 as well as playing an important role in grabbing the attention of admired fashion houses and retail brands to support the charity. As a Lifetime Patron, Rhodes will also help to launch this year’s graduate’s careers by increasing exposure of the weeklong event and offer vital advice and guidance.
Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE RDI, said: “I have become a Patron for Graduate Fashion Foundation because I think it is a very important cause, supporting upcoming talent across the UK and internationally. My good friend Hilary Alexander asked me to get involved and it was a no-brainer! I think UK colleges are the best in the world and graduates and UK talent need this visibility which the charity offers.”
Dame Zandra Rhodes joins the charity as the seventh Lifetime Patron, alongside Christopher Bailey MBE, Victoria Beckham OBE, Vivienne Westwood DBE RDI, and Nick Knight OBE who were all appointed in 2016 during the charities 25th anniversary as well as Diane von Furstenberg and Nadja Swarovski who were appointed in 2018.
As part of her role, Dame Zandra Rhodes will join the Graduate Fashion Week event on Wednesday 5th June at the Gala Award Show. She will join an exciting panel of judges for Graduate Fashion Week’s most creative award with a cash prize, The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award.
Since opening her first shop 1967, Dame Zandra Rhodes has become one of the industry’s most distinguished designers. After studying at Medway College of Art, and then at The Royal College of Art in London, Zandra Rhodes early textile designs were considered too outrageous by the traditional British manufacturers so she decided to make dresses from her own fabrics. Fast forward six years, Zandra Rhodes became an award-wining designer, creating garments for a range of diverse clients such as Diana Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen’s front man Freddie Mercury.
Martyn Roberts, Managing Director of Graduate Fashion Week, commented: “We are delighted and privileged to announce that Dame Zandra Rhodes will join us as a Lifetime Patron. Zandra Rhode’s work has had a huge influence on fashion and British culture over her long spanning career. Her story is an inspiration to graduates to keep persevering and proof that hard-work pays off in the industry. Her influence on the judging panel is hugely welcomed by the charity.”
Thousands of the most gifted students from around the world take part in Graduate Fashion Week each year. It has become an unmissable industry event attended by 30,000 guests including many of the most powerful figures in the industry, all wanting to see the emerging new design talent and fashion of the future.
Graduate Fashion Week is the world’s largest event for BA Fashion talent and this year’s event will be taking place on 2nd – 5th June 2019 at The Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London.