Fashion East, the legendary London-based non-profit mentorship scheme, has quietly disrupted the London Fashion Week schedule for the last 17 years. Carefully selected by a panel with razor sharp fashion sensibilities, six rising designers get the opportunity to be sponsored, mentored and guided by the team; from the classroom all the way to the catwalk, and beyond.
In the first episode of i-D’s latest documentary, we get to know Fashion East’s founder and director, Lulu Kennedy, and the elusive team behind the runway, who together have steered the careers of Gareth Pugh, Craig Green, Wales Bonner, Henry Holland, Martine Rose, Kim Jones, Charles Jeffrey, Matty Bovan and JW Anderson, amongst a myriad of other unique quintessentially British designers, all from an attic at the top of a winding staircase at their East London HQ.
We’re introduced to current designers including A Sai Ta and his nomadic-influenced ‘global aesthetic,’ derived from a Western perception of his Chinese-Vietnamese heritage, and fashion pranksters Rottingdean Bazaar, who drop in on a seaside Zumba class in their hometown on the south coast. Elsewhere, at the Royal Albert Hall, the 2017 Fashion Awards are looming, and Fashion East alumni are nominated in the star-studded line-up. Join us as we witness a season within Fashion East, the scheme that put young London fashion on the map.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.