Partnership Announcement

TikTok partners with The Graduate Fashion Foundation as European Merchandise Partner

By TikTok for Business@tiktokforbusiness

TikTok is partnering with British charity organisation the Graduate Fashion Foundation (GFF) to create official merchandise for the short-form mobile video entertainment platform while providing a stage for up-and-coming designers.

For over 25 years, the GFF has bridged the gap between the fashion industry and its rising stars, providing education and employment pathways for fashion students in Universities across the UK and even further afield – and now, they’re presenting students the chance to create TikTok’s range of corporate merchandise.

The partnership will see GFF’s Class of 2020 students tasked with designing a range of fashionable, ethical and distinctly TikTok merchandise, with entries judged by an expert panel of judges including Graduate Fashion Foundation Ambassador Henry Holland and GFF Lifetime Patron Zandra Rhodes DBE RDI, Director of Fashion Enter Caroline Ash and TikTok’s Cassandra Russell, Fashion and Retail Brand Partnerships for EU.

The partnership was devised by TikTok and GFF as a response to the impact the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had upon fashion students, whose studies have been affected in a litany of ways by the pandemic, including lack of access to studio space, high-spec equipment, technical services, as well as the inability to present their graduate press shows and showrooms. 

By working together to overcome these challenges, TikTok and GFF hope to give the Class of 2020 students from GFF’s 38 member universities the opportunity to enter their designs for the chance to create the first ever range of official TikTok merchandise in Europe.

The project will see two students from each member university selected to participate in a 5-day creative residency, in association with TikTok. Held within  a professional factory environment in London, the residency will give more than 70 students direct access to practical industry skills and experience such as design for manufacturing, commercial patterning and quality control, all under the mentorship of some of today’s most prominent fashion designers, GFF patrons and TikTok Creators. Accommodation will be fully covered by TikTok and, to top it all off, each attendee will received a competition prize of £500.

At the project’s conclusion, each student will have four garments of their design produced to be gifted to TikTok’s Creator and VIP community. TikTok users will be able to follow the process from start to finish by following the #TikTokxGFF hashtag and @TikTokxGFF profile on the platform.

Once all of this is over, TikTok will select five of its favourite designs from the project to be translated into a five-piece commercial capsule collection to be professionally manufactured and distributed among TikTok staff, partners and consumers all across Europe. Every element of the collection, from packaging, to boxing, swing tags and even the printed packaging tissue, will be designed by one of GFF’s Class of 2020 students – and produced ethically to the highest standards.

Hilary Alexander, President of Graduate Fashion Foundation, had this to say about the project:

TikTok are making a hugely positive contribution not only to our graduating students but to our charity that supports the creative talent of tomorrow. As a brand that understands the importance of the creative journey, we are delighted that they will be allowing our students to experience manufacturing in this way and we know that they will walk away with an experience that will not only be fun, but also put them in a stronger position as they enter the competitive job market.

Cassandra Russell, Brand Partnerships, Fashion & Retail at TikTok, echoed Alexander’s sentiments:

TikTok is a platform with creativity at its heart, so working with the Graduate Fashion Foundation to provide financial and educational opportunities for final year fashion students was a no-brainer. The need to overhaul brand merchandise is long overdue and we are excited to see what the most talented fashion students in the country can bring to TikTok’s first collection. Supporting the UK creative industries has never been more important and we believe the scale of our community and platform can open up new audiences for fashion students and give them a head start where it’s most needed.

Keep an eye on #TikTokxGFF for further updates on the coming residency.

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