31 July 2012
Centre for Fashion Enterprise
The Centre for Fashion Enterprise announces Agi & Sam to join its Venture Programme
Design duo Agi & Sam are the most recent addition to the Centre for Fashion Enterprise’s Venture Programme, after previously completing the Pioneer Programme, which supports and nurtures new design talent in a bid to help companies start and grow.
The Venture Programme runs across two years/four seasons and is tailored to each business focusing on the designer’s vision, ambition and operations. During the course Agi & Sam will
have regular face-–to-face sessions with members of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise team, as well as industry expert workshops allowing the pair to draw on high level industry intelligence and have new ideas challenged. A full business review will take place each season to ascertain progress and plan ahead, focusing on finance advice, commercial opportunities, sales preparation, legal issues, range planning, orders, a market review and the overall sustainability of the business. Coaching and business growth advice is provided and a studio space may also be available. The Venture Programme provides cash subsidies into supported business going towards collection development, specialist business software, PR, accountancy and EU trademark registration in partnership with the legal experts Olswang.
Agi & Sam commented, “Since joining up with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise on the Market Entry Programme, we’ve been constantly learning. Every month there were lectures on subjects we had no idea about at the time, such as intellectual property, realistic costing and branding. Each time we went it didn't feel like being part of a large group either, it felt personal. Through each stage we got to know the members of the CFE and were offered help through all kinds of situations. Now we’ve been so lucky to be awarded the Venture programme. Looking back we can say the multitude of support has been incredible and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Wendy Malem, Director of Centre for Fashion Enterprise, said, “We are thrilled for Agi & Sam to join our Venture programme, we have worked with them for some time now and really believe in their brand. They have so much potential and we really feel that with our help they can continue to grow their business."
Agi & Sam met while interning at Alexander McQueen Menswear where Agi was working in the design team after graduating in fashion design while Sam was producing prints. Over the next two years they worked in London for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Armand Basi, J.W. Anderson, Blaak Homme, and Carolyn Massey before deciding to start their own label. With a strong emphasis on bespoke print and humour the pair have had their collections photographed by the likes of GQ, i-–-D, Dazed, Dansk, Vice, WAD, worn by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and are currently stocked in six stores worldwide.
Three seasons later and the pair have been awarded to show at the Topman sponsored catwalk show; MAN at London Fashion Week while continuing to sell their collections during Paris Fashion Week at BFC’s London Showrooms.
The Centre for Fashion Enterprise is part-–-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and are part of the Solutions for Business ‘Innovation, Advice and Guidance’ package of publicly funded business support products. Centre for Fashion Enterprise also offer the Pioneer Programme which is aimed at high-end designer businesses that have been trading for 2-–-3 seasons and achieved annual sales of between £10–-50k, and the Market Entry for designers who have been trading for around a year.
Other designer labels currently on the Venture Programme include: Baartmans and Siegel, Craig Lawrence, Felicity Brown, Holly Fulton, J. JS LEE, Sibling, Louise Gray, Thomas Tait and James Long.
Designers currently on the Pioneer Programme are: MASC, Marques Almeida, Teatum Jones, Corrie Nielson, Fanni Shiavoni and Palmer Harding.
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