If you're currently a fashion student strapped for cash to buy fabric for your imaginative designs or you're even wondering where to buy your supplies with all non-essential shops closed, fear not, a handful of Alexander McQueen fabrics may be on their way to you. Alexander McQueen are donating piles of deadstock fabrics for the second time in order to support young creatives studying fashion and textiles across the UK. The scheme was initially introduced in 2019 by the house's creative director Sarah Burton in the hopes of reducing excess waste from their collection manufacturing while also simultaneously continuing their ongoing commitment to support students in creative education.
The move comes after Alexander McQueen also announced last month that they would be the first luxury label to work with Vestiaire Collective on a new 'Brand Approved' programme which will see luxury brands like Alexander McQueen have more control over their timeless pieces in regards to what is bought and sold via the clothing app - another contribution towards helping the fashion industry slowly become more conscious of its approach to waste, effectively embedding circularity at the heart of the fashion ecosystem.
Supporting students and education is particularly important, especially during the times we're living in, sandwiched between multiple lockdowns with very few fabric shops open (if any). Times are hard enough as they are; students have less money than ever before with ongoing education fees to pay that are at their highest yet, and there's no sign they're coming down any time soon.
Considering Alexander McQueen's namesake founder was once a young design student who was full of ambition himself - just like today's students - Sarah Burton knows only too well how important it is to invest in the next generation of creative talent. The creative director said of the programme, 'When times are so much more difficult for young creative people, taking action to share our resources and open eyes to opportunities has become a central in-house commitment at Alexander McQueen, which we all take very seriously,' proving their endless dedication to the designers of tomorrow.
2020 Westminster graduate Steven Stokey-Daley is just one example of how the scheme is benefitting young designers. The Liverpool-born designer (who's probably best known for his role in creating those effortless billowing white shirts worn by Harry Styles in his Golden music video) used McQueen's old tattersall check raglan to form a trench, recycled wool to make a tennis coat, and also created a dressing gown made from 120 strips of flesh and blood-coloured fabric last year.
'It's our responsibility to extend our programme of practical help and encouragement to students and fashion schools. The fabric donations build on the relationships we've made with educationalists across the UK who are teaching students from school age to graduate level and is broadening out to reach further in 2021,' Burton adds.
Specialist teams at Alexander McQueen are also on hand to share real-life knowledge of cutting, draping, pattern cutting, tailoring, textile construction, embroidery and collection research with the students, adding invaluable experience and expertise that certainly won't go a miss. To date, the project has seen surplus fabric and materials delivered to more than 20 institutions and fashion education community projects all over the country.