Oct 5, 2021
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YNAP and Prince's Foundation names next raft of trainee artisans

Oct 5, 2021

There are eight more young fashion trainees to watch out for. Yoox Net-A-Porter and The Prince’s Foundation have unveiled the new intake of young artisans for the second edition of their collaboration, The Modern Artisan project.

YNAP/The Prince's Foundation

The luxury training programme, which focuses on “responsible design and sustainable luxury textile craftsmanship”, this year features four British and four Italian fashion and textiles graduates.

The trainee artisans include: Emma Rose Atherton, 28, from the Wirral in North West England. The University of Chester graduate launched her own size-inclusive label at London Fashion Week; Adam Benbarek, 21 from Turin, the graduate of Politecnico di Milano is inspired by art and literature; Emily Dey, 23, from Middlesbrough. The Teesside University graduate is using her sewing skills as a volunteer at a local charity to upcycle clothes; Francesca Garrone, 22 from Turin. The fellow Politecnico di Milano graduate aims to build her own brand using only discarded materials.

Meanwhile, accessories designer Merie Macdonald, 49, from South Lanarkshire in Scotland, has retrained and completed an HND in Fashion Technology at Cardonald College in Glasgow; Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, 24, from Cheshire, is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University and Manchester School of Art who volunteered to sew PPE for the NHS during the pandemic; Arianna Safayi, 22 from Perugia, is another graduate of Politecnico di Milano, wants to use fashion to spark conversation on themes such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion; and Zhenqi Weng, 26, from Milan, studied pattern making at the Istituto di Moda Burgo Milano and fashion design at Politecnico di Milano, developing an interest in fashion and tailoring.

The eight will complete a collaborative 10-month paid programme — with design training by experts from YNAP and industry mentors — to bring to market a luxury collection on a global scale with sustainability at its heart. Initial brand mentors include Gabriela Hearst, Giuliva Heritage, Nanushka, VIin + Omi, Johnstons of Elgin, Tiziano Guardini, Flavia La Rocca and Zerobarracento.

The resulting womenswear capsule will debut to customers on Net-A-Porter and Yoox in late Summer 2022. Profits from sales will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation to support the charity in developing and delivering training programmes that will help preserve traditional textile skills.

The artisans will first undertake a four-month period of immersive design training guided by industry experts in London and Milan for the British and Italian groups respectively.

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