Faced with a shortage of talent, Britain’s only couture house, Ralph & Russo has launched a training scheme for artisanal skills and craftsmanship with Fashion Enter Ltd.
Ralph & Russo are the only British couture brand certified by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, co-founder Tamara Ralph revealed that it has been extremely difficult to recruit for artisanal roles in her London atelier.
This week (8th May 2019) Ralph launched a couture apprenticeship programme in partnership with Fashion Enter. (The brand has quietly been running the scheme since October but wanted to wait six months before the public announcement.) “To this day you get hundreds and hundreds of applications a year for design positions, but there is a very small pool of [young] people who want to learn craftsmanship,” she told Vogue Business.
The Ralph & Russo programme invites three students to spend two years in the label’s atelier. The students, who are selected in partnership with the Fashion Technology Academy (FTA), will work in the studio four days per week, with one day spent at the academy. The aim of the two-year scheme is to prepare apprentices for full-time employment.
Fashion Enter Ltd / FTA CEO Jenny Holloway told Vogue Business: “I think [fashion craftsmen] have been the poor relations to an extent. [For most fashion students] the desire is to be a designer. But it’s so difficult to have your own brand and be successful. We need to stop this mindset that construction or garment-making is second to being a designer.”
To read the full article by Lucy Maguire published in Vogue Business on 7th May 2019 please click here.
We are currently recruting for an Apprentice Atelier Assistant for Ralph & Russo. To find out more and apply click here.