Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Not only is today the first week of London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter '12 but it also marks the tenth anniversary of Topshop's sponsorship of the NEWGEN scheme. This morning, the fashion world's collective heart was in its mouth as Sir Phillip Green announced that 'the ten year sponsorship has come to an end'. Surely not? However, in the next breath the Arcadia boss confirmed that the partnership would continue for the next decade- what a great start to London Fashion Week!

Topshop have made a timeline of their Newgen sponsorship at
Topshop's sponsorship will not just be about catwalk shows. The high street giant will also be working with the British Fashion Council and the government to look at ways to grow British manufacture. Over the past three years, there have been signs that a revival is beginning to take place.  The BFC's 'Future of Fashion' strategy claims that 'where gaps exist, action must be taken to fill them, for example through carefully designed apprenticeship programmes'. Furthermore, 'our fashion education system needs to be marching in step with the needs of our fashion industry'. Phillip Green is clearly dedicated to this cause; 'we need as much focus on the new generation of production talent as there has recently been on new design talent'.

This is all about taking the incredible leaps which British fashion has made in recent years and consolidating the benefits it's already reaping. London can now keep its best designers at its own fashion week rather than losing them to Paris, Milan and New York. So, why not MAKE the clothes here too, rather than losing the business to other economies just because they're better equipped to cope with the demand?

To celebrate ten years of NEWGEN, Topshop teamed up with SHOWstudio to create a film starring Karlie Kloss. Kate Phelan, who recently joined as Topshop's Creative Director after twenty years at Vogue, and Nick Knight collaborated on this brilliant showcase of work by designers who've come through NEWGEN in the past decade. It's an inspiring reminder of all the designers London is proud to call its own...


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