Marks & Spencer has teamed up with the Royal College of Art (RCA) to give its students the chance to create a collection for the chain’s Limited Collection.

M&S, which is also working on the competition in collaboration with the online version of glossy magazine Elle,, said the initiative marked the start of a programme of support that will become a nationwide strategy to engage with design courses and students.

RCA students from the MA Fashion and Textiles courses were invited to answer a brief set by the M&S design team asking them to create a collection for M&S’s Limited Collection. 

Ten designs have been chosen and the garments will appear in M&S’s Marble Arch store in London and online from September 17 during London Fashion Week. The 12 piece collection will range in price from £35 to £150 and be available in sizes 8 to 16.

One of the students will be crowned the overall winner by a panel of judges from M&S, the RCA and on September 2 and will go on to produce a bigger collection for spring 11 for M&S.

Neil Hendy, M&S head of design said: “We have been really impressed by the standard of the designs produced by the RCA students; it’s been a great experience for M&S to work with such inspiring design talent. We can’t wait to see their unique designs on our shop floor.”

Professor Wendy Dagworthy, head of school Fashion & Textiles, RCA added;

“This is a fantastic competition for our students to be involved with. Not only are they gaining valuable experience working with one of the UK’s most popular retailers but they are also having their designs worn by the public before they have even graduated from College. We’re looking forward to seeing the finished garments hanging in M&S.”