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Inaugural Mr Porter Futures mentorship programme names first recipients

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

16 Sept 2021


Image: courtesy of Mr Porter; Saif Ud Deen, Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda, and Kat Tua

Luxury menswear e-commerce platform Mr Porter has selected Saif Ud Deen, Kat Tua and design duo Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda as the first recipients of its Mr Porter Futures mentorship programme in partnership with Klarna.

The successful menswear designers were selected from thousands of entries from 77 countries around the world, explains Mr Porter, and will now receive the opportunity to build their own brand, as well as design and produce a minimum 15-piece responsible collection to launch on Mr Porter.

In addition, each designer will also receive a 12-month bespoke high-level business incubation programme, coaching sessions from leading industry mentors, and 50 percent of the net profits generated from the sales of their collection on Mr Porter for 12 months.

Klarna will also donate a 10,000 pounds award to each designer or design duo to help establish and grow their business following the programme.

Mr Porter Futures 2021 designers are Kat Tua, Saif Ud Deen, and Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda

The goal of Mr Porter Futures was to discover “original voices, lift new talent and introduce them on a global stage,” explains the e-tailer. Applicants were not required to have any previous design experience and were selected by an anonymous review process before being nominated by its mentor selection committee that included menswear designer Nicholas Daley, Beams and Co director Tatsuo Hino, designer Reese Cooper and Mr Porter’s style director Olie Arnold and buying director Sam Kershaw.

Image: courtesy of Mr Porter; Saif Ud Deen

Each of the three designers was chosen to represent unique perspectives: Saif Ud Deen from Manchester, Messrs Julian Canda and Ryan Edmonds of Oregon, US; and New Zealand-born designer Kat Tua, who now resides in Sydney, Australia.

The designers will undergo a year-long programme of in-person and remote workshops and one-to-one coaching and will have access to leading mentors in the fashion industry alongside Mr Porter’s in-house team of buyers, designers, and creative and marketing experts.

Beyond the mentoring and coaching, each designer will also gain the essential marketing and retail skills required to build successful, standalone brands in an increasingly competitive marketplace, while also designing, developing and delivering their very own responsible collections, through the support of the team behind Mr P., Mr Porter’s own-label, and consultancy Create Sustain. The collections will be made globally available on Mr Porter in September 2022.

Image: courtesy of Mr Porter; Kat Tua

Sam Kershaw, buying director at Mr Porter, said in a statement: “We are overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of applications received for our foundational year of Mr Porter Futures – it has been amazing to witness what great, untapped talent there is around the world.

“We are excited to be working with Kat, Saif, Julian and Ryan – all of whom impressed the Mentor Selection Committee with their vision, designs and determination to shape their experience and deliver environmental and socially positive collections. We know that each designer has a bright future ahead of them and we’re thrilled to able play a part in their journey by propelling them onto Mr Porter’s global stage.”

Meet the Mr Porter Futures 2021 designers

Saif Ud Deen

The only British designer in the mix is a recent fashion design graduate from the University of Salford, based in Manchester. He is the youngest of the designers at 23, a third-generation British Pakistani and practising Muslim. His design work takes inspiration from his own lived experience and explores the relationship between traditional Islamic attire and streetwear.

Kat Tua

Originally from New Zealand, Tua now resides in Sydney, Australia, and has a decade’s worth of experience working as a product developer and designer for various fashion retailers. Keen to pursue a career as a solo designer, Tua quit her job at the end of 2020 to focus on developing her own range. The Mentor Selection Committee were highly impressed with Tua’s response to the design brief, which references her Maori heritage and takes inspiration from cultural movements in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Image: courtesy of Mr Porter; Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda

Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda

The only design duo among the Mr Porter Futures finalists, Messrs Ryan Edmonds and Julian Canda hail from the Portland area of Oregon in the US. The duo met prior to the pandemic and have since been collaborated on a joint project that takes inspiration from the natural world and garden, and has a strong focus on craftsmanship through functional silhouettes and natural fabrics. The Mentor Selection Committee was excited by the duo’s “attention to detail, their skillful application of classic tailoring techniques and the commercial potential of their designs”.

Mr Porter Futures is an annual, ongoing programme where new talent will be nurtured and developed for introduction across the menswear e-commerce. Applications for next year’s Mr Porter Futures programme will open in March 2022.

Emerging Designers
Julian Canda
Kat Tua
Mr Porter Futures
Ryan Edmonds
Saif Ud Deen