The Fashion Memo

Introducing The 4 Winners Of NET-A-PORTER’s Inaugural Vanguard Education Fund

From left: NET-A-PORTER market director Libby Page, creative consultant Mimma Viglezio, writer and multidisciplinary artist Wilson Oryema, and fashion designer Supriya Lele interviewed finalists at a judging day in May 2022

In partnership with the British Fashion Council, NET-A-PORTER’s Vanguard Education Fund provides both financial support and dedicated mentoring to final-year students as they embark on their careers to help them gain a foothold in the fashion industry


The Vanguard Education Fund sees NET-A-PORTER join forces with the British Fashion Council to identify and nurture the industry’s next generation of innovators. Final-year BA students studying at UK universities within the BFC Colleges Council and selected international institutions (Parsons School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, TAFE Australia and FEDISA Fashion School Cape Town) are eligible. Applications closed on March 3, 2022 – so, if you’re an aspiring designer and think you have what it takes, don’t hesitate to apply next year.

In May 2022, a shortlist of creatives were invited to a judging day, where four winners were selected. The lucky winners Maïssane Zinaï, Benjamin James Davis, Finlay Roberts, and Renato Brás were each awarded a £12,500 bursary fund and paired with two of the fund’s influential mentors – an impressive list that includes designers Cate Holstein (founder of Khaite), Conner Ives and Christopher John Rogers; renowned stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois; editorial and tech expert Eva Chen; business mogul, musician and actor Jessica Jung; and NET-A-PORTER’s content director Alice Casely-Hayford and market director Libby Page.

On the judging day, each finalist had the opportunity to present garments from their collections alongside their research and design work

With the pandemic creating a particularly turbulent landscape for emerging designers, NET-A-PORTER’s chief buying and merchandising officer Lea Cranfield sees this new venture as an essential means to supporting up-and-coming talent from myriad backgrounds.

“Our goal is to en