ABOUT THE MERIT AWARD
THE NEW TALENT INITIATIVE IS WORTH £20,000 OVER THREE SEASONS AND HAS BEEN CREATED TO SUPPORT AND DEVELOP NEW DESIGNER BUSINESS ON A GLOBAL LEVEL.
SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 2009, THE MERIT AWARD’S ROLE CALL INCLUDES HAN WEN, EUDON CHOI, ROBERTS|WOOD, DAVID KOMA, XIAO LI, PHOEBE ENGLISH, KATIE ANN MCGUIGAN, JAMES KELLY, GYO YUNI KIMCHOE, HERMIONE DE PAULA, GEORGIA HARDINGE, HEOHWAN SIMUALTION, EDDA AND I-AM-CHEN.
THE MERIT AWARD IS A HIGHLIGHT EVENT OF THE FASHION WEEK SCHEDULE AND ACTS AS A KEY DRAW FOR UK AND INTERNATIONAL PRESS AND BUYERS EACH SEASON. IT IS A VITAL PLATFORM FOR ELEVATING THE INTERNATIONAL CAREERS OF EMERGING DESIGNERS.
THE WINNER OF the FASHION SCOUT AW19 merit award IS TOLU COKER.
“Finding out I’d won the Merit Award was the perfect end to a fantastic and very busy 2018! It came as somewhat a surprise and it’s also a challenge, preparing for a debut show because I’m a one-woman band. But I’ve been ready for a new collection since graduation and I have new stories to tell, so while it's nerve racking, I’m very excited!
It’s such an honour and it’s come at such an important time, because storytelling is such an integral part of my brand and my artistry - I’m passionate not just about designing, but also about how I communicate my design and use my voice.
That freedom of expression requires financial and logistic support, so this definitely feels like a step in the next direction. I’m really looking forward to the mentorship, pr and business advice too, it’s such a necessary resource.”
TOLU COKER, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER