Graduate Fashion Foundation X Tiktok official merchandise residencies come to a close in style
20 Jul 2020
The partnership sees GFF become TikTok’s official merchandise partner across Europe, with products designed and created by Class of 2020 fashion graduates
Graduate Fashion Foundation and TikTok concluded their two-week manufacturing residency in Fashion Enter’s factory in North London on Friday evening, where 58 Class of 2020 graduates from across the UK, designed and manufactured TikTok’s first-ever range of European merchandise that is fashionable and distinctly TikTok.
The two-week project which was run under safe social distancing restrictions, ended with a celebratory showcase of the final garments to Graduate Fashion Foundation Global Ambassador Henry Holland, alongside Hilary Alexander OBE the charity President of GFF and Cassandra Russell, Brand Partnerships for Fashion and Retail at Tiktok.
Henry Holland, Designer and Global Ambassador for GFF said: “I’m so blown away and impressed by what the graduates have achieved in the last two weeks. They’ve done their own original prints, some have made up to 10 garments, one girl made 20 bags and the tenacity and the drive of these young people is insane. I’m really impressed.”
The graduates from GFF UK member universities participated in one of two 5-day creative TikTok residencies, held within a professional factory environment, giving them opportunity to access practical industry experience and learn new skills. Many graduates also designed their own bespoke printed for the fabrics. They learnt about design for manufacturing, grading and realising designs into commercial patterns, production lines, quality control, as well as being mentored by some of today’s leading designers, GFF patrons and TikTok Creators. Accommodation was provided by TikTok to all participating graduates along with a competition prize of £500 each.
The innovative and limited-edition designs produced for TikTok, will now be gifted to their Creator and VIP community. All winning graduates who attended the residency documented their design and manufacturing process on the platform, with relevant content curated in on the TikTokxGFF hashtag and @OfficialGFW profile.
Cassandra Russell, Brand Partnerships, Fashion & Retail at TikTok added: “We’re sending these out to a combination of influencers and our most VIP clients, so it’ll be the head of marketing for Burberry getting one of these items, and lots of other fashion houses too.”
Additionally, TikTok selected Bethany Redhead from University of Central Lancashire to design and create the official ethical packaging for the merchandise to be sent in. This included bespoke print for the outer box packaging, tissue paper and swing tags. Ultimately, a commercial capsule collection will be created from selected student designs from the residency which will go into a professionally manufactured collection for further gifting to staff and partners across Europe.
Leah Holmes, 2020 graduate from Edinburgh College of Art said: “I made an oversized shirt this week that is printed with my original Illustration print of TikTok dancers. This week I learnt so much including all about 3D CAD design and how to quickly adapt your patterns, as well as the industry and manufacturing, which is really good to know for the future if I start my own brand.”
Tamsin Lines, 2020 graduate from University of Leeds said: “I made a hoodie this week, I used neoprene for the first time and it taught me a lot of lessons in terms of working with it. It was quite hard to make my initial design so I had to change and adapt it. That’s something I'll take into what I do next, to experiment more before I go straight into it. I’m a textile design student, so I haven’t done pattern cutting professionally before using industry machines so I’d like to go into garment tech and pattern cutting to experiment a little more. I’m really into creating silhouettes on the body through tailoring and shape because a lot of my work is oversized. It’s been one of the best weeks ever! Everyone has been so nice and the fact that I’ve learnt so much means that I’ve taken a lot from it and it’ll be something I’ll always remember.”
Isabella Nicholson, 2020 graduate from Coventry University said: “TikTok is so big and eccentric. The fact you can put a fashion name to it is really great. I wanted to express how I view TikTok - it's a place to fit in. In my home town people look at me with my purple hair and crazy colours and they're like 'where do you come from' and then when I go on TikTok, everyone's got crazy hair and crazy colours. I'm like - this is where I belong."
Hilary Alexander, President of Graduate Fashion Foundation said: “I’m incredibly impressed with the standards and the variety of designs and although in some cases they used a logo or the TikTok colours, it’s not typical logo merchandise, it’s new and innovative and the spirit of TikTok. Having a look round the whole set up for Fashion Enter, it’s unique in London and incredible facilities for the residencies to be run from. It’s really inspiring and I’m so thrilled we’ve been able to bring TikTok and our graduates together in this amazing project. TikTok is fun, it’s about youth, creativity and being happy and all of those things have been reflected in the clothes created for merchandise. TikTok have made a hugely positive contribution not only to our graduating students but to our charity. We are delighted that they have helped our new graduates to experience manufacturing in this way and we know that this experience has also put them in a stronger position as they enter the competitive job market.”
Author: Graduate Fashion Foundation
Photo Credit: Graduate Fashion Foundation