BY: Phadria Antoinette Prendergast
Fashion Week as we know it, in all its splendour and grandeur is typically home to several prestigious fashion houses. Its FROW, occupied by the “it celebrities” of the moment, as well as established buyers, journalists and fashion insiders.
Though the 1.7 trillion dollar industry had made its strides in recent years toward greater inclusivity and diversity, it still struggled to grasp the concept of sending the ladder. In this case, the same models occupied the covers of our favourite monthly glossies, the same designers showed each year and fashion enthusiasts were overlooked if they didn’t have enough experience, the right contact or a certain upbringing.
I was adamant that our new cover was to be released a day after Paris Fashion Week, the grand finale of the September/October fashion calendar, which signified the end of Fashion Month, whilst the cover and issue entitled The New Gen of Fashion Design, signified a new beginning for creatives everywhere.
It just seemed fitting, especially after The W Fashion Week which saw our cover stars — each a burgeoning designer or model, take to the runway.
Backstage at the show, close to 180 creatives who included a young, all-black hair and makeup and in-house production team, who society had labelled experienced and unqualified, yet primped, prepped, planned, executed and delivered a seamless show.
This particular fashion issue, though I’ve delivered many others throughout my tenure in publishing, is very near and dear to my heart, and reminded me of the clueless, but eager 18-year-old who dropped out of her law degree, picked up a Christmas sales temp role in Debenhams, Oxford Street back in 2012 and fell in love.
And so amidst the existing 3.5 million labour force that makes up the coveted fashion industry, are many others, waiting to be banked on, which is what I will continue to do as editor of The W.
This entire production from the fashion show to the cover shoot, right through to the design of the issue, has included close to 300 creatives, whose part, no matter how small, has indeed made history, and with that, I thank you all. Thank you to the 18 designers who trusted us to tell their stories visually on the runway, and again in this issue. Thank you to VAUHAUS, Mustard, Origins of CJM and Model Code modelling agencies and your very beautiful models who graced our runway. Thank you to the incredible hair and makeup team who I cannot mention all by name but were led to perfection by Busola and Hannah. Thank you!! Thank you to our performers 5IVE and CEO CHXSE, who are two raw and talented musicians. You can find their music on Apple Music and Spotify. Thank you to every single media and press personnel with notable thanks to Holly at Flair Media, Sephora at PINKLONDON and Shepherds Media. Thank you to the entire in-house production team — G, Benedicta, Margaret, Shemaiah, Zoe, and Toni. I don’t know how you did it but the entire show wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you to our fashion team Ayokunmi, Annabelle, Bethany and Jennifer and our stylists Kiishi and Amina. Thank you to the extraordinary design team, from the Fashion Week marketing right through to this very cover, Debo and Abi, you have made it happen and you have not said no! Thank you to the fashion students who boldly responded to my LinkedIn post and volunteered to help at The W Fashion Week. Helenor, Pear, Trishia, Kyle, Agnesa, Cydneii and Ruweyda, you did a splendid job! Ruweyda actually wrote our Here’s What Happened At The W Fashion Week feature, give it a read here. Thank you to our partners of which events and platforms like The W Fashion Week wouldn’t be possible without. Thank you to Jaded London who so kindly dressed me for the show. And finally, to our readers, I hope this issue inspires you, no matter what industry you’re in.
Much Love,
Phadria Prendergast