The King's Foundation The King's Foundation
The Modern Artisan students with HRH The Prince of Wales

Journal 13 November 2019

The Foundation partners with YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP on The Modern Artisan project

The Modern Artisan project will expand on The Prince’s Foundation commitment to strengthen textile skills training within the UK

British textile manufacturing is on the rise. Heritage brands are increasingly turning to British manufacturers to produce their textiles and garments due to a greater desire by the consumer for clarity of provenance and sustainable practice. With this demand, one of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry is the skills gap in textile manufacturing, and the lack of a suitably equipped workforce to meet the demand of this rapidly evolving industry.

The Prince’s Foundation works closely with many of the UK leading manufacturers of both fabric and clothing such as Community Clothing who produce all of their garments in the UK from a variety of British fabrics and knitwear. Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl is also working closely with the Foundation sharing her experience of sourcing British woven fabric and locally made goods.

HRH The Prince of Wales and Federico Marchetti
HRH The Prince of Wales and Federico Marchetti

The Prince’s Foundation also endeavours to directly address this issue and aims to inspire and educate people of all ages in traditional textile skills. The Future Textile programme delivered by The Prince’s Foundation on-site at both Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland and Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, provides expert training for the next generation of talent with real-world textile manufacturing skills. The no-cost workshops are available to secondary school teachers, pupils and those seeking employability skills to kickstart their careers.

Following on from the Future Textiles initiative, The Prince’s Foundation has partnered with YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP on an exclusive new project; The Modern Artisan. This initiative will see Italian and British design and manufacturing students and graduates work collaboratively to produce a luxury Autumn/Winter capsule collection of menswear and womenswear, that succinctly marries artisan design with luxury garment manufacturing that has sustainability at its core.

“Designed in Italy and crafted in the UK, the Modern Artisan collection will be an important expression of how talent and technology can work across boundaries and borders,”

Federico Marchetti, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Six specially selected Italian students from leading design school, Politecnico di Milano, will design the collection, drawing inspiration from the life work of Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci, combined with the rich heritage of British and Italian textile craftsmanship. While the Italian artisans are designing the collection, The Prince’s Foundation will work with six graduates from the United Kingdom to take part in a specially designed ‘Future Makers’ training course in luxury small batch production skills, which has been specifically constructed to help them gain employment in the industry and will see graduates develop expertise in handling wool, cashmere and silk fabrics. The Modern Artisans will be based in our industry-standard Textiles Training Centre at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire and will complement The Prince’s Foundation’s existing Future Textiles programme, which was initiated by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2014.

“At The Prince’s Foundation, we deliver education programmes to thousands of people every year inspired by the vision of HRH The Prince of Wales. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do so we are proud to have partnered with YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP to deliver this truly innovative training programme,”

Jacqueline Farrell, Education Director for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House

The Modern Artisan students, HRH The Prince of Wales, Federico Marchett
The Modern Artisan students, HRH The Prince of Wales, Federico Marchetti

“This project, part of a long-term partnership between YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation, will help equip a new generation of skilled men and women to fuse traditional craft with digitally-infused creativity – and, importantly, to do so sustainably, following the example of HRH The Prince of Wales who has dedicated the last 40 years to building a more sustainable future,”

Federico Marchetti, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Throughout the project, the two groups of trainee artisans will meet in both in Milan and in Scotland, to share ideas on product development to progress their collections from design stage through to final samples.

The collection will be launched next year to coincide with YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP’s 20th anniversary and will be sold across all YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP brands. Profits from the sale of the collection will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation to support its charitable work. Following the launch of the collection in mid-2020, the Modern Artisan Project will be exhibited at the Michelangelo Foundation’s Homo Faber showcase of European craftsmanship.

For more information please visit the YNAP website and YouTube channel.

Imagery: Mike Wilkinson

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