Supporting the creative talent of tomorrow has long been a pillar of the Alexander McQueen brand. From Lee Alexander McQueen’s Sarabande Foundation, the charitable trust which offers affordable studios to designers and artists, to the brand’s ongoing commitment to donating leftover collection fabrics to fashion students across the UK, McQueen is committed to providing resources, funding and mentorship to the next generation of designers, photographers and artists.
Today, the brand announces its support of A Team Arts Education, a community youth arts education organisation based in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which supports aspiring young creatives from the area with honing their craft and entering their desired fields. The ongoing project is close to home, with the McQueen himself hailing from the area. “It feels especially important for us to be able to take part in supporting young people from the East End of London,” says Sarah Burton, the brand’s creative director. “At this house we all know that talent comes from everywhere, irrespective of background. At a time when UK arts education is narrowing and being cut and young people are under pressure, we’re inspired and humbled to be able to join with A Team Arts Education in their exceptional grass-roots work in providing fashion, textiles and art and design programmes.”
It was through the pandemic when Burton first became involved with A Team Arts Education, delivering workshops with her in-house design team as part of the organisation’s free art-led school holiday and Saturday programmes. For the next 12 months, McQueen will provide financial support to A Team Arts Education, alongside continuing its workshops in design, textile and embroidery. Furthering this, McQueen has partnered with Central Saint Martins to open doors to higher education as part of the school’s Insights Programme, led by Berni Yates.
“At a time when schools and local authorities are reducing their arts budgets and provision, we still need the arts to help bring about a positive recovery and come together after the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Sarbjit Natt, director of A Team Arts Education. “Working with Alexander McQueen will provide inspiration, hope and opportunities to an area that has established links to the fashion and textiles industries that are now hidden through layers of history and a changing urban landscape. The collaboration will help the arts to flourish in a positive way for young people and the wider community of East London.”
Photography by Liam Leslie.