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Graduate Fashion Week cancelled

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Mar. 23, 2020

The Graduate Fashion Foundation has confirmed that it is cancelling Graduate Fashion Week 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The annual event was due to take place at the Old Truman Brewery in east London in from May 31 to June 3, but following a trustee meeting on Friday, March 20, organisers have decided that the Graduate Fashion Week event “could not possibly go ahead in the past format”.

In a statement, the foundation explained that they discussed many options, including postponement, curtailment, and event redesign, however, in response to the “evolving guidance” from the World Health Organisation, national government and health agencies it felt the only option was to cancel.

“The safety of you, the students and attendees, as well as volunteers and event team, come first, and the potential risk is too high for the event to go ahead at this time,” explained the Graduate Fashion Foundation. “The cancellation of this year’s event will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredibly talented final year students, our global member universities and our supportive sponsors and partners, who have been working so hard to make this event happen.”

Graduate Fashion Foundation cancels Graduate Fashion Week 2020

The statement, added: “Graduate Fashion Week is inextricably linked to the academic year. This, plus the closing of academic buildings and facilities and dramatic changes to students in their final year of studies, meant postponing was not a viable option.”

Organisers did add that there are determined to ensure that “the magic of GFW is not lost for the class of 2020” and that there will be a series of activities that will allow the Graduate Fashion Foundation to showcase students’ work. More information on this will follow.

“A lot of incredible people put their heart and soul into Graduate Fashion Week 2020, to our Graduate Fashion Foundation family, thank you,” added the foundation. “We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel, but look forward to seeing you again soon and welcoming you back for our 30th Anniversary celebrations in 2021 and to showcase the largest exhibition of BA fashion talent in the world.”

The organisation said it is communicating with ticket holders and business partners, including its suppliers and sponsors. Anyone who purchased tickets via Eventbrite will be offered the option of either a refund of the full face value of their ticket or to donate the money to Graduate Fashion Foundation in support of the future of the charity.

2020 would have been the 29th annual Graduate Fashion Week showcasing the latest emerging talent from more than 3,000 BA graduates from design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, and illustration. The event would have included more than 20 catwalk shows from universities including Edinburgh College of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, UCA Rochester, Nottingham Trent University and Bath Spa University.

Image: courtesy of Graduate Fashion Week of Brian McLysaght collecting his awards and his graduate collection in 2019