These Designer Brands are Giving Back With Prestigious Scholarships

These brands are paying it forward with their generous contributions to the world of art and design with prestigious scholarships and prizes:



The Burberry Foundation recently pledged £3 million (S$5.3 million) to the Royal College of Art, to establish the Burberry Material Futures Research Group whilst expanding the Burberry Design Scholarship Fund. The research group is said to be a first in the world of its kind, and will be the first explicit research centre for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) and a traditional art and design university.

“The Group will cover a broad scope of work, from researching and developing more innovative sustainable materials to designing new manufacturing methods, as well as nurturing and supporting even more British-trained design talent,” commented Christopher Bailey, Burberry CEO in a statement to the press.

The grant will also include £750,000 (S$1.3 million) to fund the existing Burberry Design Scholarship at the College, so that more UK and EU students can be included to reach their educational potential, regardless of their financial circumstances. The grant is also the first in a series to be announced further this year, as Burberry moves towards tackling educational inequality, reducing waste and supporting socio-economic development.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art added that the establishment of the group marks an exciting step in incorporating the future of materials science into research and teaching. “The expansion of these scholarships will ensure the Royal College of Art can continue to generate outstanding creative talent in the UK,” he adds.

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After its successful inception in 2016, the International annual LOEWE Craft Prize has returned for its 2018 edition, and is now accepting submissions. Like its debut edition, the prize seeks to showcase novelty and excellence in craft, and celebrates artistic merit in modern craftsmanship. The prize was originally launched to recognize the importance of craft in today’s culture, while acknowledging the talent and vision of today’s artists.

According to Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE creative director, the initiative was conceived with the inspiration of the luxury house’s beginnings as a craft cooperative in 1846. The official website describes the prize as an attempt to acknowledge and support international artisans over the age of 18 who can demonstrate an ability to create objects of exceptional aesthetic value. The prize for the winning entry, selected by a jury, is €50,000 (S$80,310). Before the announcement of the winner, the works of the finalists will be showcased in a London exhibition.

“Craft is the essence of LOEWE,” says Anderson in a statement. “As a house, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our modernity lies, and it will always be relevant.”

Earlier this year, German wood artist Ernst Gamperl beat 26 finalists to achieve the 2017 edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize which saw almost 4,000 submissions from more than 75 countries. His winning entry, ‘Tree of Life 2’ was described by president of the jury Anatxu Zabalbeascoa as a beautiful work with a maker that “has developed a distinctive individual voice rather than a style or signature.”

For those interested to submit your very own work of art for the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018, submissions will close on October 17, 2017, with the shortlist of finalists announced in January 2018.

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Video: Kering 2025, Crafting Tomorrow's Luxury

If you consider yourself a lover of not just haute couture, but the work behind it, then you can look forward to Saint Laurent’s latest venture. The Kering-owned luxury brand has announced plans to launch a special couture training program in partnership with the Institut Français de la Mode and the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Applications for the program are currently open at the participating schools.

That luxury conglomerate Kering has declared many times its intent to make sustainability a focus is no secret, as it moves towards an ideal of pushing out a more sustainable luxury by 2025 in a series of moving campaigns and announcements.

Saint Laurent’s program, which focuses heavily on sustainability and innovation, will have two parts. The first part will see an internship commence at the maison’s headquarters, where students are taken through an experiential learning of "craft and creativity". Classes will be taken through the participating French schools over a period of 25 days. By the end of the six-month program in March 2018, students are expected to present their project to the school faculty and Saint Laurent staff members.

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