• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • M&S launches search for junior fashion designer with TV show

M&S launches search for junior fashion designer with TV show

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


Scroll down to read more


M&S campaign image Credits: M&S

British high street retailer M&S is teaming up with television network ITV to launch a nationwide search to find its next top fashion designer.

The six-part series with the working title ‘M&S: Dress The Nation’ will air on ITV1 and ITVX in early autumn, presented by AJ Odudu and Vernon Kay.

The show will document the search process of finding M&S’s next designer “from start to finish,” featuring 10 candidates who will compete to secure an in-house design role as a junior designer for the retailer at its headquarters in Paddington, London.

The retailer notes in the press release that it wants to hear from people “of all walks of life” as it aims to reiterate that a formal qualification or training in fashion design is not essential. What’s more important “is creative flair, a willingness to learn and a passion for design”.

Anna Braithwaite, marketing director of clothing and home at M&S, said in a statement: “The UK has some of the best-emerging design talent in the world and we want to meet them. We’re on the lookout for the next generation of designers who can be part of our journey to evolve M&S’ style credentials and design original products that not only appeal to our existing customers but also turn the heads of customers who may not have previously considered us.

“We know customers loved the behind-the-scenes look at how we deliver Christmas for our customers, so we’re very excited to lift the lid on our clothing and home design process for the first time with this brand-new show format. It’s going to be fast-paced, creative, and fun – and for the winning candidate a rare opportunity to work alongside some of the best in the business to design collections that will be worn by thousands.”

M&S teams up with ITV to search for “next top designer”

For the duration of the TV competition, candidates will work out of a purpose-built design studio and work individually, as well as in groups, to design and create garments that will resonate with the M&S customer. The 10 candidates will be tasked with a series of briefs to assess their design, problem-solving, commerciality and collaboration skills as part of the recruitment process.

Each brief will be reflective of M&S’ design and product development process, such as gathering insights to identifying key product trends to designing and developing original products.

The candidates will be judged each week by a panel of senior leaders at M&S alongside a rotation of celebrity guests and designers, who will select which budding designers move forward to the next round and one step closer to being named the winner.

Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning ITV, added: “M&S: Dress The Nation offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a member of the public to be able to design their fashion collection of dreams.

“We’ve had real success previously marrying two of the UK’s most loved brands in ITV and M&S for food content and so we’re hugely excited to be able to extend this partnership into the world of fashion.”

The series comes via BE Studio from ITV, a full-service creative studio producing Ad Funded Entertainment (AFE).

Emerging Designers
Marks & Spencer