Since February 2011, MR PORTER has been a trailblazer and premier retailer in men’s luxury fashion, selling brands like Alexander McQueen and Montblanc as well as its own Mr. P and Kingsman lines. After a decade, the company is now introducing MR PORTER FUTURES, a yearlong mentorship for three select applicants to apprentice under seven industry cognoscenti, beginning September 2021.
Fiona Firth, Managing Director of MR PORTER, has spearheaded some of the organization’s most prime collaborations in her five-year tenure with the London-based fashion merchandiser. “As MR PORTER marks its 10th anniversary, we continue to carve a space as a leader and role model in the menswear world, with ultimate thanks to our engaged and global network, alongside the collaborative partners, brands, designers, and contributors who make up our multifaceted community,” she said. “It is with these resources and extended support system, both internally and externally, that enables us to launch the MR PORTER FUTURES programme and create new opportunities within our industry.”
From April 26 through June 6 at 11:59 p.m. BST, any person (or duo) worldwide and older than 18 years old is eligible to apply for this opportunity. A panel will review the submissions via an anonymous method, using a mix of written answers from the applicants and design briefs to assign ratings scores. Then in July, the top candidates will be asked to interview with the panel, called the MR PORTER FUTURES Mentor Selection Committee. Afterward, three finalists will be chosen, and the program will start in September.
The bulk of the mentorship will be conducted remotely. However, interested parties must be able to attend their in-person sessions this upcoming August and November 2021, to be held in London. There also will be London sessions in the spring of next year and September 2022, and travel expenses for all four sessions will be paid by MR PORTER. In that last month of the mentorship, winners will create a 15-piece men’s ready-to-wear collection that aligns with the tenets of sustainable fashion and, in conjunction with Mr P.‘s consultancy, Create Sustain.
Sam Kershaw, MR PORTER’s Buying Director, highlighted that the anonymous review process is meant to give visibility to talent who may receive unbalanced judgment based on criteria unrelated to their abilities or portfolios. “We have always been committed to championing a diverse mix of new and emerging designers throughout MR PORTER’s decade in business,” he said, “but if this year has taught us anything, it is that we have the responsibility to use our global platform to give equal opportunities to all new aspiring menswear voices, no matter their experience or background.”
Along with Mr. Kershaw, the FUTURES Mentor Selection Committee includes:
• Nicholas Daley, menswear designer and founder of Nicholas Daley
• Julie Ragolia, brand consultant, stylist and MR PORTER contributor
• Tatsuo Hino, director of BEAMS & CO and MR PORTER Style Council member
• Reese Cooper, designer, founder and creative director of Reese Cooper®
• Judith Tolley, head of Centre for Fashion Enterprise, London College of Fashion, UAL
• Olie Arnold, MR PORTER Style Director
“We are also proud to be shaping the future of menswear to produce high quality, responsibly sourced collections that are designed with inherent value, longevity and integrity,” Kershaw said, “qualities MR PORTER prizes above all else.”
Visit https://www.mrporter.com/futures/ to learn more about the MR PORTER FUTURES mentorship and how to apply.