Foot Locker announces six successful creatives taking part in Fashion Design Programme

Get ready to spot some new and innovative streetwear designs by up-and-coming British designers at the retailer's Marble Arch store.

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Foot Locker Europe has announced the six successful applicants who will be taking part in their 10-week creative educational fashion programme, in partnership with charitable foundation Metallic Fund, which issues financial grants and mentorships to support Black creatives. The six aspiring designers from across the UK - Tianan Ding, Celine Kreis, Nicole Vernon, Pokuaa Ansere, Niran Nair, and Nigel Sununguro Matambo - will begin their involvement in the programme, led by expert mentors at the end of this month.

Nicole Vernon
Nicole Vernon - “My ultimate goal is to be able to have creative freedom and create my own world by bringing to life all my ideas with no rules or restrictions. I hope to inspire others around me to do the same.”
Celine Kreis
Celine Kreis - “I’ve been running my brand for 5 years but because I went into it straight from school I lacked experience. I wanted to utilise this programme because I feel I now know what I’m looking for in terms of what I want to learn and I am excited to learn from industry professionals.”

The Fashion Design Programme is an intensive and immersive educational scheme aimed at young Black and minority ethnic creatives in the world of fashion, streetwear, and sportswear who are at the beginning of their fashion careers. Led by a team of industry trailblazers who act as mentors to participants, the syllabus will cover a comprehensive range of topics in order to guide and inform students of the ins and outs of the industry at all levels. Selected streetwear products designed during the programme will also be made available for purchase, exclusively at Foot Locker’s Marble Arch store.

Pokuaa Ansere
Pokuaa Ansere - “Up until now the idea of navigating and starting a business has been so big, it's kind of crippled me. I’m excited to be part of a network of people who are doing exactly the same things; guided by mentors who have done it already.”
Tianan Ding
Tianan Ding - “I hope through completing this programme I will find my target community and can consider things as a real designer and not as a student. The business element is so important!”

A diverse committee of experts from design, fashion and cultural circles will lead workshops and provide guidance on the course. Mentors include established, globally influential names such as:

  • Yoon Ahn (Dior Homme’s Jewellery Design Director)
  • Carlos Nazario (Global Fashion Director of i-D Magazine)
  • Ib Kamara (Editor-in-Chief of Dazed Magazine)
  • Guillaume ‘Gee’ Schmidt (Co-Founder of Dutch streetwear label, Patta)
  • Angelo Baque (Founder of Baque Creative)
  • Fraser Cooke (Global Influencer Marketing Special Projects Senior Director at Nike)
  • Martine Rose (Founder of the London brand Martine Rose)
  • Florence Tétier (Founder of Novembre Magazine and Creative Director at Jean Paul Gaultier)
  • Tremaine Emory (Founder of Denim Tears brand and Creative Director of Supreme)

Global fashion director at i-D Magazine, Carlos Nazario, said: “I am so proud to be a part of a generation and a movement that is ensuring that no young person ever has to wonder if the colour of their skin or the root of their origin will be a deterrent on their road to success. Initiatives such as the Metallic Fund represent both the strides that we have made and the long way we still have ahead.”

Creative director at Ambush and jewellery design director at Dior Homme, Yoon Ahn, said:There is no exercise better for the heart than lifting others up. I’m very much looking forward to meeting these six young creatives who will no doubt help open up our future!”

Nigel Sununguro Matambo
Nigel Sununguro Matambo - “I applied to the Fashion Design Programme to learn more about fashion design in order to think contextually about how digital fashion and the future of digital wearables applies. My fashion inspirations are Virgil Abloh, Samuel Ross, Nigo and Demna.”
Niran Nair
Niran Nair - “Design is something I’ve always wanted to pursue, but the opportunity to take it to the next level hadn’t presented itself until now. Looking at the list of mentors is pretty amazing, these are the types of people whose work I’m looking at every day, so learning from them would be a privilege.”

Housed within the new London-based Metallic Fund Space, the six participants will have access to resources and stimuli including a design studio, sampling workshop, content studio, video conference booths and a research library. The course will involve various modules, covering everything from art direction and graphic design, to supply chain management, and garment construction.

To truly deliver the ambition of nurturing a new generation of creatives in the world of design, essential tools including sewing machines, a heat press, screen printing station, and a digital suite will enable participants to operate in an experimental atelier environment, from which they will each work to produce a limited-edition capsule collection. Select items designed by aspiring young talent during the programme will be sold exclusively at Foot Locker’s Marble Arch flagship store in London.

This partnership with Metallic supports Foot Locker’s Leading Education and Economic Development (LEED) initiative, a commitment focused on education and economic development within the Black community.  The aim of the collaboration is to partner with Metallic Fund which is a Black-led organisation to accelerate the careers of some of the UK’s most promising young Black and minority ethnic creatives.

Metallic Fund founders Alex Sossah and Grace Ladoja, explain,It’s a dream come true for us to finally launch our Community Space with the help of our London creative family and Foot Locker. We are so excited to spend time with the designers, connect them with our network of amazing mentors and watch their design ideas come to life throughout the duration of the programme.”

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