For the past 13 years Lulu Kennedy has helmed Fashion East, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to finding and nurturing new design talent in the fashion industry. Each season Fashion East offers three womenswear and three menswear designers the opportunity to stage a runway show for international press and buyers attending London Fashion Week.
"Basically, what we do is select designers we believe in the most and who need some support and then we give them sponsorship, a show, advice and mentoring. We bring a good audience into the show and we give them a small bursary as well, which doesn't get very far. The equivalent would be a music industry showcase," Kennedy told The Guardian.
Designers receive a bursary, free venue and complete catwalk show production, professional catwalk photographs and video. They are mentored and guided by Kennedy and her in-house PR throughout the season.
Kennedy has guided and assisted in the evolution of Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Holly Fulton, Jonathan Saunders, House of Holland and Gareth Pugh. Although Kennedy insists "I'm just a foster mum. The designers are with me for one or two seasons and then I let them go. I can't grant them wishes. They make things happen. They've got to put the work in," her reputation as a new talent savant however is justifiably deserved.
She also owns and runs Lulu & Co, a line featuring the designs of those she has nurtured through Fashion East. She is also editor at large for Condé Nast’s biannual Love Magazine, edited by Katie Grand.
Kennedy received an MBE in 2012 for services to the fashion industry.