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ITV joins forces with M&S on new Dress The Nation fashion format

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is teaming with retailer M&S on a new format that aims to seek out the next top design talent.

Katie Rawcliffe

M&S: Dress The Nation has been commissioned for ITV1 and its ITVX streaming service and will be hosted by AJ Odudu and Vernon Kay.

The series will document the search process over the course of six episodes with 10 candidates competing to secure a coveted in-house design role working alongside some of the best designers in the industry at M&S’ colleague support centre in Paddington, London.

The retailer wants to hear from people of all walks of life and aims to reiterate that a formal qualification or training in fashion design is not essential.

Over the course of the recruitment process, the 10 candidates will be set a series of briefs which will assess their design, problem-solving, commerciality and collaboration skills.

Each week a judging panel – made up of senior leaders at M&S alongside a rotation of celebrity guests and designers – will select which budding designers move forward to the next round and one step closer to being crowned the winner.

The winner of the series will be offered an in-house junior designer role with M&S which will be built around their skillset and experience.

This series is produced by ITV Studios-owned South Shore and comes via BE Studio from ITV, a full-service creative studio producing Ad Funded Entertainment (AFE). BE Studio has previously paired with M&S on ITV series Cooking with the Stars and new series Tom Kerridge Cooks Britain.

The show will air on ITV1 and ITVX from early Autumn.

Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, said: “M&S: Dress The Nation offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a member of the public to be able to design the fashion collection of their dreams. We’ve had real success previously marrying two of the UK’s most loved brands in ITV and M&S for food content and so we’re hugely excited to be able to extend this partnership into the world of fashion.”

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