Applications have opened for the first 23 studios at The Trampery Fish Island Village in east London, which is being dubbed as Europe’s largest dedicated fashion campus, spanning 11 buildings over six acres.
The site is aiming to attract start-ups and emerging businesses from across the entire fashion economy, from luxury labels to disruptive software platforms and manufacturers.
The site’s 50,000 sq ft space will include hi-spec studios, a co-working facility and a members’ lounge, venues for sample Sales and catwalk shows running alongside the canal in Hackney Wick. A fully equipped sampling suite will open in 2020.
Applications run until 30 September for the first 23 studios at the site, and nine more will be available from late 2019. Studios are available from 300 to 3,000 sq ft and users have access to investment through the London Fashion Fund, which was set up earlier this year to deliver early stage funding to entrepreneurs working across sectors in fashion.
The first seven studios will open in December, and the others will follow up until May. The members’ lounge, cafe, seminar rooms and open-plan workspace will open in June next year and the final studios will open in November 2019.
Applications will be selected by a judging panel led by Vanessa Podmore, who was previously vice-president of supply chain sustainability at Burberry, and includes Yvie Hutton, head of membership and designer relations at the British Fashion Council, Matthew Drinkwater, head of the fashion innovation agency at London College of Fashion (LCF), and Charles Armstrong of The Trampery.
Efforts are being made to ensure the location is affordable for creatives, and rents start at £25 per square foot. The Trampery’s previous fashion shared studio in London Fields was forced to close in 2015 when rents increased by 400%.
Users can access a range of on-site business and advisory support, free of charge via funding from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The project has also received support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Mayor of London.
“Five years ago, The Trampery opened London’s first dedicated workspace for fashion at London Fields; where we were joined by some of the UK’s most talented designers such as James Long, Holly Fulton and Jonathan Saunders,” said Charles Armstrong, founder and chief executive of affordable workspace provider The Trampery.
“With The Trampery Fish Island Village we’re taking the vision to the next level, creating an amazing new campus for fashion innovators. Through Fashion District we’re also part of a much greater endeavour to turbo-charge London’s fashion economy. I hope fashion labels and start-ups of all kinds will submit applications and join us on this great adventure.”
The project is part of the wider Fashion District, an initiative that aims to establish the Lea Valley and specifically Poplar, Bow and Hackney Wick as a new focal point for the UK fashion industry.
Frances Corner, head of LCF (UAL) and chair of Fashion District, said the studios will provide “great conditions” for designers to create their best work and expand their labels.
In 2022, London College of Fashion will open a new 387,500 sq ft campus for 6,500 staff and students at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, which is located just 10 minutes’ walk from the new studios.
Corner said: “Together, this will create a hotbed of fashion innovation that will bring opportunities to learn and work, attracting new businesses, supporting local people and growing our industry.”
Read more about the Fashion District plans here.