France / United Kingdom – As part of their five-year partnership, Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) at London College of Fashion (LCF), UAL, and Kering, a world leader in luxury apparel and accessories, will welcome Kelly Slater, world surfing champion and founder of menswear brand Outerknown, as their main guest at the 2015 Kering Talk on 3 November 2015.During the event held at London College of Fashion, UAL, Kering and CSF will reveal the two winners of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion, following a cross-disciplinary contest for students of LCF.
The event will also mark the launch of the second year of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion, and year 2 of the Masters level “Sustainable Fashion” course, jointly developed by Kering and LCF.
2015 Kering Talk: Sustainability at the forefront
Following the inaugural talk by François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, in 2014, Kelly Slater, founder of the sustainable menswear brand Outerknown, will this year share his beliefs and vision for sustainability within the fashion industry. Kering and Kelly Slater share the same commitment to sustainability and recognise its crucial role for the future of fashion as well as for businesses in general.
Kering and Kelly Slater further believe in the importance of engaging and encouraging young talents to put sustainable practices and thinking at the heart of their professional development. Moderated by Todd Hymel, CEO of Action Sports Brands at Kering, this Kering Talk will be an opportunity for LCF students, industry professionals and experts alike, to learn more about Kelly Slater’s experience as an entrepreneur willing to put sustainability at the forefront of his business.
“I believe that it is vital for our future that businesses build sustainable practices into the core of their development. Sustainability starts with transparency and I hope that through the Kering and London College of Fashion, UAL partnership we are able to create change in the fashion industry from the ground up. I am honoured to share my story and experiences with the students here tonight and encourage them to all join Kering and Outerknown on our journey toward sustainability,” says Slater.
Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion: this year’s winners
On the same day, Kering and CSF will also reveal the winners of the first Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion contest. Following an initial brief under the topic of “the positive fashion product”, over 160 applications were submitted by LCF students across all disciplines, resulting in a final shortlist of 30 projects. Selected students were given the opportunity to work and improve their projects through a personalised mentoring scheme consisting of training sessions by professors from LCF and one-to-one coaching by experts from the Kering brands. The winners of the annual contest were selected by a jury consisting of members from Kering leadership teams, brands Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, as well as LCF’s Head of College and CSF’s Director.
Belén Essioux-Trujillo, Senior Vice-President Human Resources of Kering, declared: “Thanks to our fruitful collaboration with LCF and Centre for Sustainable Fashion, we have built a successful bridge between university and the industry. Our partnership has allowed us to engage young professionals around sustainable fashion and new creative thinking, while giving them the proper support to directly put these principles at the heart of their professional initiatives. The innovative and elaborate projects that were submitted to us for this first edition are extremely inspiring and suggest even more creativity and success for the next rounds.”
Professor Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion and Pro Vice Chancellor of University of the Arts London said, “As we come to the end of our first year of partnership with Kering we have made significant progress in embedding sustainability into our Masters curriculum. Our students have been given an unrivalled opportunity to exchange expertise between world leaders in research and luxury fashion in relation to fashion and sustainability. These skills will be vital to their development as professionals for a rapidly changing industry and I look forward to taking this crucial work forward into 2016.”
The two awarded students from LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion will each receive a €10,000 grant for their work, as well as an internship opportunity within Alexander McQueen or Stella McCartney. Luxury brands Stella McCartney and Brioni will host next year’s contest.
A unique academic framework
The event will also mark the beginning of the second year of the sustainability Master’s course, an innovative curriculum co-developed and co-delivered by Kering and CSF at LCF. For its pilot year, the module gathered 40 students across various disciplines, from fashion design to business and media. Through active learning, the involvement of a multitude of experts from Kering, LCF as well as external industry professionals, the course has succeeded in raising students’ awareness on sustainability challenges within the industry and provided them with practical know-how to apply at every step of the creative process. The co-created curriculum is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for CSF to trial new methods of teaching and learning that put our world’s shifting needs first.
Dilys Williams, Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, commented: “We have developed a partnership of trust between the teams at Kering and CSF at LCF, which is extremely exciting as it means that we encourage each other and ourselves to step beyond the current accepted thinking and doing, into imagined prosperity based on deep knowledge and creative possibility. This is vital if we are to enjoy futures within nature and in equity. It is hugely important to be taking part in this co-creation of curriculum and design practice for fashion; the work is essential, but not easy and is only made possible through the incredible commitment of those involved.”
Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional Affairs at Kering, declared: “We are very proud to be able to offer this pioneering academic program to Masters’ students of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF. Nurturing talent is critical to drive innovation, and make sustainable practices a standard rather than an exception in the fashion industry. The partnership between Kering and CSF at London College of Fashion is fully in line with this spirit and objective. The high-quality curriculum we have developed together will help shape the future of sustainable fashion.”