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1 Granary Launches Virtual Mentorship Program With Tencel

It aims to address the need for peer-to-peer learning post-graduation and connect education with the industry on a practical level.

1 Granary Launches Virtual Mentorship Program With Tencel

1 Granary is launching a virtual mentorship program with Tencel.

LONDON — 1 Granary, the London-based education and design platform born out of a Central Saint Martins student-led magazine, is launching an invitation-only virtual club with Tencel, the wood-based textile fiber brand under Lenzing Group.

It aims to address the need for peer-to-peer learning post-graduation, and connecting education with the industry on a practical level.

1 Granary began to organize private virtual Q&A sessions for emerging designers with industry experts during the COVID-19 pandemic on WhatsApp. So far, mentors have included Stefano Pilati, Francesco Risso, Sophie Brocart, Christopher Kane, Brigitte Chartrand and Charles Jeffrey.

Olya Kuryshchuk, founder and editor in chief of 1 Granary, said the support from Tencel enables the mentoring program to come under the spotlight and turbocharge it with their extensive knowledge, as well as their broad production and sustainability networks, and bring more mentors and invest time into it.

To make sure that this initiative invests in the right talent, 1 Granary and Tencel went through an elaborate selection process to create a comprehensive database of “club members” from more than 50 schools worldwide. It’s estimated that the program will admit around 100 members a year.

“From what we learned with other schemes we were involved in, only some students apply. So we look at every single portfolio from every school we approach. With many key schools, we travel and spend at least two full days in one-on-one meetings with each student. When we can’t do this, we request every single portfolio, so that no one is missed,” Kuryshchuk said of the selection process.

Kuryshchuk added that the collaboration with Tencel ultimately “enables us to tap into the full spectrum of the supply chain and focus more thoroughly on sustainability, production and innovation,” which are generally absent from most fashion schools’ teaching curriculums.

“With over 10 years of experience, 1 Granary has built a one-of-a-kind fashion design community that encompasses more than 40 leading fashion schools worldwide. Our team consistently visits graduate shows globally and directly engages with students through teaching opportunities, a variety of community events, recruitment and brand development programs. This deep involvement provides us with unparalleled insights into the existing knowledge gaps and the essential support that recent graduates need to successfully navigate the dynamic fashion industry,” added Kuryshchuk on why a peer-to-peer, knowledge-sharing network is vital.

Leonie von Lieres of Lenzing Group also believes that “through our collaboration with 1 Granary, we can ignite our joint networks to provide full access and knowledge across the whole supply chain, whilst empowering and supporting young designers through the community.”

The virtual mentorship program is 1 Granary’s latest effort to bring industry know-how to emerging brands. Last year it reached a partnership with The Bear Scouts, an international production and supply specialist that aims to provide access to technical innovations and implement sustainable solutions for young talents.

Since its inception in 2013, 1 Granary has become an active advocate via print, digital content, events, recruitment and brand development programs to drive positive change in the fashion industry and provide practical resources for the next generation of creative minds.

Through initiatives like fashion showroom support, individual mentoring and consulting, the platform has also assisted in the development of multiple fashion design businesses, including Chopova Lowena, Knwls, Ranra, Paolina Russo and Talia Byre.

It also hosts offline networking events in cities like London, Paris and Milan. Earlier this week, it organized a John Galliano movie screening with Mubi for 50 designers in London.