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Winner of first ‘Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial’ Award revealed

As part of Graduate Fashion Week, which ran from 10-13 June at The Truman Brewery in East London, Eleanor McMahon from the Manchester Fashion Institute became the first winner of the ‘Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial’ Award.

The award marks the relaunch of the Designers at Debenhams programme, first introduced in 1993, fostering talents including Julian MacDonald, Matthew Williamson and Henry Holland.

As the winner, McMahon gets a 12-month in-house contract at Debenhams, with the opportunity to create a collection for the Boohoo Group-owned retailer which will go on sale in 2025 – as part of the wider Designers at Debenhams relaunch.

Dan Finley, CEO at Debenhams, said: “Bringing back Designers at Debenhams is a significant milestone for us. Debenhams was a pioneer in this space, writing the blueprint for many talent collaborations.

“Eleanor’s final collection aligns perfectly with the ethos of our business, and she will be a part of our Designers at Debenhams journey. We’re looking forward to welcoming her to learn from our in-house experts and bring her inspirational collection to life for SS25.”

Rachel King, Buying and Design Director at Debenhams, added: “We are so excited to welcome Eleanor into the Debenhams family. Although all students presented impressive collections, Eleanor’s designs stood out to us immediately as the stand-out winner of the Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial Award. We can’t wait to see what she imagines for her debut collection with us.”

On winning, McMahon commented: “Embarking on the next stage of my career with Debenhams is incredibly exciting, and I’m eager to dive into the commercial side of the fashion industry.

“Showing my final collection at Graduate Fashion Week was an unforgettable experience, and I look forward to designing for such a renowned British powerhouse as Debenhams.”

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