Published

28 April 2021

Students from the University of East London will have the opportunity to intern this summer at inclusive fashion brand Gender Free World Clothing (GFW).

A minimum of three students from the MA International Fashion Business programme will be selected through a competition developed by programme leader Kent Le in co-operation with GFW.

Gender Free World Clothing was set up by Sally Russell OBE, Paul Dickinson and Lisa Honan to tackle issues around body positivity in fashion. The brand has seen significant growth and is looking for fresh talent and new ideas to boost its market growth and develop new marketing strategies.

Managing director Lisa Honan said:

We're now at going through significant change both in scope and in scale and we're excited to have fresh talents from UEL to step in and provide specialist inputs on how we shape the future of our business.

"Paul, Sally and I founded the brand to tackle the injustice in the way shirts were sized, acknowledging that there are many different body types out there and that to stick to one ratio was to ostracise a whole bunch of bodies.

"Additionally, societal expectation of gender presentation has been rigidly applied in high street retail, forcing you choose from a 'men's or 'women's department' which excludes many people getting their style needs met because of their gender."

The successful students will secure an internship lasting six weeks.

Forefront of inclusion

Kent Le, programme director of MA International Fashion at the University, said: "It was a pleasant surprise when I was approached by the board of directors of GFW saying they would love a partnership between UEL and GFW in which UEL fashion students would be able to participate in a real case study where they’re able to put a range of fashion marketing and business theories into practice.

"UEL has always been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in fashion. The fact that staff and students are invited to work with one of the leading gender free clothing brands that embrace body positivity is a testament to our commitment."

To be in with a chance of winning, students will need to provide market audit for the company and outline key marketing and social media strategies for the brand. The competition will close once positions in marketing, strategy and buying are filled.

The competition forms part of the Level 7 fashion consultancy project which provides students a chance of gaining work experience in a fashion company, build up their exit portfolio and improve their employability.

The UEL International Fashion Business programme is no stranger to industry partnerships. Last academic year, two students on the programme travelled between London and Paris for their exclusive internship with luxury bridalwear Temperly London developed by Ludovica Gentili, senior global sales executive, and Kent Le.

To find out more about how to enter the fashion business, see our course website pages.

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