03.07.2017 | fondazione zegna

A fashion committed in change and redemption

The project by London College of Fashion, San Patrignano and Making for Change aimed to build a double value for fashion, where creativity combines with people recovery and social inclusion

San Patrignano joins UAL’s London College of Fashion (LCF), in London and social enterprise Making for Change in a partnership to build a virtuous chain where creativity takes shape through ancient craft and generates social value.

Born from an idea of ​​the Zegna Foundation, the project named "Conscious Contemporary Tailoring" aims to combine the talents and capabilities of each of the three players involved, enhancing craft skills and the ability to design and innovate, with an emphasis on the values ​​of recovery and integration.

Anna Zegna on behalf of Fondazione Zegna: “As seen already by its name, Conscious Contemporary Tailoring is a special project identified by three important words that give central focus to the value of the people, the contemporaneity of its inspiration, and the stylistic and textile reference points of the idea. The London College of Fashion, the San Patrignano weaving department and Fondazione Zegna have created something extraordinary by combining the manual skills of ancient crafts with innovative technologies and new elements of creativity. I am particularly attached to this project because it recalls the attention to social issues that was so dear to my grandfather, and that remains intact through the spirit and commitment of Fondazione Zegna.”

The project took its first step with the girls of the weaving workshop of San Patrignano. In February 2017 Tom Adams, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear at LCF and Bethany Williams, a menswear designer and recent graduate from LCF, visited the community to create with the girls some fabrics using the traditional technique of handloom. Unique samples were born, made by interlacing industrial waste materials, or textile fibers, paper or plastic wires. These fabrics were the basis and the inspiration for a contest of ideas involving London College of Fashion UAL students who presented over 70 menswear proposals. On June 28, this second phase ended, with the final selection chosen by a College Committee to produce six student projects as finalist. During the summer, all finished fabrics will pass from the hands of community weavers in San Patrignano to those of the women at Making for Change, a fashion training and manufacturing unit, based in a women’s prison in the UK, here is where the winning sketches will take shape.

“We are really excited to have worked together with the Zegna Foundation and San Patrignano, on this truly collaborative project with joint ambitions of supporting rehabilitation.  This project comes under our work of Better Lives, a term we use at LCF to describe how fashion can be used as a discipline to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. As Head of London College of Fashion, I have a long-standing commitment to Better Lives, and I know that education is a key factor in the rehabilitation process and keeping people out of prison. Social enterprises such as Making for Change and San Patrignano are vital in ensuring access to the creative industries for all; they give individuals the chance to become independent and contribute to society in a more positive way, and I strongly believe that talent and creativity know no social or cultural boundaries”, remarks professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion, UAL.