Westfield has launched an initiative at its forthcoming Stratford shopping centre to tap into east London’s emerging talent.
The developer hopes the Studio East initiative, led by a committee comprising representatives from the worlds of fashion, art, product design and environment, will help deliver a “completely new and fresh experience for retailers and consumers alike”.
The committee, which had its first meeting last week, is chaired by retail guru Mary Portas, while supermodel and environmental campaigner Erin O’Connor, French fashion designer Roland Mouret, artist Tracey Emin and British designer Tom Dixon also sit on it.
The committee will search for undiscovered talent from east London. The best will be awarded commissions to be used in the development. The winner in the fashion category, for instance, will be commissioned to design a concierge uniform.
Winners will also be mentored by the members on the committee, and Westfield said it is considering a “number of ways” to support them. Westfield UK and Europe managing director Michael Gutman said: “The result will be a vibrant shopping destination. Westfield is a global innovator in retail. The talent of the next generation helps keep us in that position.”