Through our partnership, we bring together the knowledge and expertise of academia and industry to empower imagination with the goal of shaping a better future through fashion. This partnership offers an unparalleled opportunity to identify and honour work that demonstrates imagination, creative excellence and sustainable innovation.
In each academic year from 2014 – 2019, Kering’s luxury fashion brands – including Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, and Pomellato – set briefs for final year BA and MA students focused on specific and real-life industry challenges. The Kering Award provided students with the opportunity to gain feedback and support from a variety of industry partners, and present to some of the most influential people in sustainable luxury.
The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion
The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion was launched in 2014 as part of a five-year partnership between Kering and the London College of Fashion.
Year One: Alexander McQueen & Stella McCartney
In the first year of the Award, we partnered with Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. Three finalists were selected to work with each brand to develop ideas ranging from seaweed as a natural alternative to synthetics, to using offcuts to create new luxury materials. They presented to Kering board directors, brand CEOs and designers, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the London College of Fashion and sustainability experts at Kering’s London offices. One winner for each brand was chosen and awarded both the €10,000 prize as well as a three month internship within the brand.
Neliana Fuenmayor, was awarded the €10,000 prize as well as a three-month internship at Stella McCartney – she presented an idea for transparency as a tool for communication. She aimed to communicate the powerful stories behind the products as a means of informing and empowering the consumer.
Ingrid Rautemberg was awarded the €10,000 prize as well as a three-month internship at Alexander McQueen – who focused on creating a bioplastic made from organic food or food waste that could be used in accessories, packaging, or waterproofing for textiles.
Year Two: Brioni and Stella McCartney
In the second year of the Award, our partners were Stella McCartney and Italian luxury suit company Brioni. Five finalists were selected for each brand and underwent rigorous mentoring from the brands, LCF careers team, and sustainability experts.
Agraj Jain was awarded the €10,000 Innovation prize for his project around peace silk, which drew on his religious background as a Jainist and his belief to not harm any living being. Peace silk is a cruelty-free alternative to normal silk and features heavily in the lining of Brioni’s suits.
Elise Comrie won the internship prize for her project, ‘Tailored Tobacco’. She proposed a suit jacket dyed with tobacco, highlighting the positive properties of the tobacco plant.
Irene-Marie Seelig was awarded the €10,000 Innovation prize for her project, which proposed amadou mushroom skin as a vegetarian leather alternative.
Ana Pasalic was awarded the internship prize for her research into new material development and innovative dyeing techniques that could be used to improve the material sustainability of many Stella McCartney products.
Iciar Bravo Tomboly was awarded the internship prize for her project, ‘Social Ecology,’ which aimed at increasing environmental sustainability through ensuring the wellbeing, health and happiness of workers in the supply chain. Iciar worked with psychologists to develop a test that would determine how satisfied workers were, both at work and at home.
Year Three: Gucci and Stella McCartney
For the third year of the Kering Award we worked again with Stella McCartney and for the first time, Gucci. Five finalists were selected to work closely with each brand and two winners were selected by each brand at the end of the mentoring process.
Charlie Wilkinson was awarded the internship prize for her project focusing on the use of cork as a sustainable material in Gucci’s heritage luggage collections.
Laure Fernandaz received the Innovation and internship prize for her work exploring new ways of designing patterns and the future of printing processes.
Jenni Kusowski’s proposal for the UK’s first fibreshed – a circular system where textiles are designed, grown, processed, woven, sold, worn and eventually composted locally, all within a defined region – completely rethinks the way denim is produced and was awarded the Innovation and internship prize.
Dianjen Lin was awarded the Innovation prize for her work that developed and tested post-carbon materials to design garments that have photosynthetic or pollution-filtering properties.
Year Four: Alexander McQueen and Pomellato
For the fourth year of the Award, we partnered with Alexander McQueen and Italian jewelry brand Pomellato. All eleven finalists presented to a Kering board of directors, brand CEOs, and designers, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the London College of Fashion, and sustainability experts at Kering’s London offices.
Maria Flores Parra was awarded the Innovation prize for her project exploring the cultural heritage of Lapis Lazuli mines in Chile, proposing a fully traceable and transparent supply chain for the stone.
Hanna Moser and Tiphaine Marie Pittet were awarded the Internship prize for their joint project utilising blockchain technology to create intimate behind-the-scenes stories for Pomellato customers.
Aniela Fidler-Wieruszewska was awarded the Innovation prize for her project proposing the use of electronic waste as a possible material stream for embroidery thread and embellishment.
Ashleigh Chambers was awarded the Internship prize for her proposal of rose petal waste as an alternative source of cellulose fibre.
Year Five: Gucci
For the final year of the Award, we partnered with Gucci. Finalists presented to a Kering board of directors, brand CEOs and designers, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the London College of Fashion and sustainability experts.
Gucci – Innovation Prize
Lydia Ngo was awarded the Innovation prize for her project focusing on the use of recycled plastic collected from Gucci waste and chain-linked leather scraps as material streams for accessories.
Abhinov Asokan was awarded the Innovation prize for his Gucci Zodiac project building interactive story-telling tools based on data from Gucci’s EP&L and Gucci Equilibrium.
Gucci – Internship Prize
Damara Silva Inglês was awarded the Internship prize for her mixed-reality interactive campaign Gucci Seed, using augmented reality and a t-shirt to encourage consumers to create a lasting bond with their garments.
Shengnan He’s Gucci Empowering Ecosystem is a social project which provides a system for Gucci to co-create products with the talent of marginalised communities, encouraging inclusion across the fashion industry.
Sarah Needham – Knowledge Exchange Manager at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL
Monica Buchan-Ng – Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL