YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation announce the launch of a responsible ready-to-wear luxury womenswear capsule collection.

The time for systemic change in the fashion and textile industry is now. 

We believe that there is no sustainability without knowledge. New generation of fashion needs new generation of professionals. Through the common ground notions and the new synergies that the Modern Artisan project creates, students get additional possibilities to transform fashion quicker and better and start an exciting carrer in sustainable fashion” says Giusy Bettoni, CEO and founder of C.L.A.S.S..

The second edition of The Modern Artisan initiative has been proudly supported by C.L.A.S.S. with its strategic sourcing, mentoring and presence during the official launch happened at the beginning of November at the Dumfries House, part of The Prince’s Foundation. Two days to introduce an amazing capsule that reflects the initiative’s commitment to advance sustainability in luxury fashion, preserve heritage textile skills and creates a new culture where respect, beauty and innovation are blended together. They also demonstrate the shared ambition of YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation to preserve the planet for future generations. The Modern Artisan aims to position artisanship as a viable and attractive career path for upcoming generations, equipping them with the skills to help shape a more circular industry.

The 10-month paid programme supports eight British and Italian graduates through the end-to-end process of designing, handcrafting, and bringing a more sustainable luxury collection to a global market. During the programme, they were given the opportunity to showcase their work to His Majesty, then The Prince of Wales, at Dumfries House.

The Modern Artisans for 2022 are:
• Zhenqi Weng, from Treviso, Italy and graduate of Politecnico di Milano
• Arianna Safayi, from Perugia, Italy and graduate of Politecnico di Milano
• Francesca Garrone, from Turin, Italy and graduate of Politecnico di Milano
• Adam Benbarek, from Turin, Italy and graduate of Politecnico di Milano
• Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, from Cheshire, UK and graduate of Nottingham Trent University and Manchester School of Art
• Merie Phillips, from South Lanarkshire, UK and graduate of Glasgow Clyde College
• Emily Dey, from Middlesbrough, UK and graduate of Teesside University
• Emma Rose Atherton, from The Wirral, UK and graduate of University of Chester

The 13-piece capsule marks the culmination of the second edition of The Modern Artisan, YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s and The Prince’s Foundation’s pioneering flagship training programme, which commenced in 2019. Building on the success of 2020’s first collection launch, this year’s YOOX NET-A-PORTER for The Prince’s Foundation capsule achieves a number of new milestones in YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s Infinity sustainability journey. It is the first collection to align 100% with the Infinity Product Guide, its sustainability and circularity design guidelines, and its first ever carbon neutral collection.
C.L.A.S.S. supported the YOOX NET-A-PORTER team and the artisans in discovering and sourcing advanced responsible materials with a strong focus on circular economy-oriented options. BACK IN THE LOOP is the smart source which collects high-quality materials from leading brands, textile manufacturers and knitwear factories and gives them another chance by ‘bringing them back in fashion”. A responsible act and an invite to integrate ethics to style that is fully represented by its selected partner Maeba International with its ReLiveTex® offer that has been adopted by The Modern Artisan collection.

The design is inspired by Highgrove Gardens, run by The Prince’s Foundation and renowned for sustainable and organic approaches to agriculture and horticulture. The Artisans were supported by industry experts from YOOX NET-A-PORTER, The Prince’s Foundation, and several mentoring designer brands, including Gabriela Hearst, Nanushka and Stella Jean among others.

Aligning with the Infinity Product Guide required careful selection of natural and certified materials with over 50% repurposed from surplus textile production through C.L.A.S.S. BACK IN THE LOOP’s partner Maeba International, and the application of circular design principles such as zero waste and data-informed design. The Artisans were given access to five years’ of YOOX NET-A-PORTER customer insights to understand long-term customer preferences and design for longevity.

The collection was crafted by the Artisans in the Textile Training Centre at Dumfries House, headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation in East Ayrshire, Scotland, where they undertook six months of intensive training in luxury small batch production. Training focused on advanced technical production skills within sewing, pattern drafting and quality control, while also developing expertise to handle wool, cashmere, and silk to ensure garment finishes meet the luxury market standard. The Artisans also learnt about the product development process at Fashion Enter in London, and luxury knitwear manufacturing, as they designed four knitwear pieces, the only styles to be produced off-site by UK-based suppliers Johnstons of Elgin and Corgi.

Each piece is embedded with a Digital ID through YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s partnership with EON, leveraging innovative technology to create a more circular industry and responsible customer mindset by unlocking unique product insights as well as care and repair and resale services. The Digital ID also shares with customers how YOOX NET-A-PORTER worked with environmental consultancy Carbonsink to minimise, calculate, and compensate for the carbon footprint of each garment. Carbon credits support the Artisans’ chosen certified offsetting project: Kariba Forest Protection, which protects forests and wildlife and supports community-based training and upskilling on the Zimbabwean-Zambian border.
“We hope that consumers value fashion differently with a greater understanding of the skill and expertise involved at every stage of the production. Seeing the artisans develop their skills over the course of The Modern Artisan has been a source of pride for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to see the impact they all make in the industry as they enter the next stage of their career.” – Jacqueline Farrell, Education Director, The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House

“We have been blown away by this group of next generation artisans and are delighted to bring this unique collection to NET-A-PORTER and YOOX customers around the world. With sustainability principles applied throughout the design and production process, the collection aligns with our ambition to drive a more sustainable and circular fashion system. We are grateful for The Prince’s Foundation’s partnership and commitment to protecting heritage skills that are the essence of luxury.” – Alison Loehnis, Interim CEO, YOOX NET-A-PORTER

The YOOX NET-A-PORTER for The Prince’s Foundation collection is available at NETAPORTER.com and YOOX.com, and their respective apps.

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