Francine Lacqua Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg Television,  François-Henri Pinault Chief Executive Officer of Kering and  Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs at Kering. Photograph, Alex Maguire

Francine Lacqua Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg Television,
François-Henri Pinault Chief Executive Officer of Kering and
Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs at Kering. Photograph, Alex Maguire

London College of Fashion’s RHS space was overflowing last night as students, press and industry came to watch François-Henri Pinault announce Kering’s five year partnership with LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The partnership includes a talk each year, an annual Kering Award  for Sustainable Fashion, and a joint curriculum unit. More details will be circulated after the student briefing on Friday 31 October by My.LCF email and on MyArts.

Mr Pinault was joined by Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Head of College Professor Frances Corner, and Professor Dilys Williams, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, for a panel chaired by Francine Lacqua Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg Television.

Photograph: Alex Maguire

Photograph: Alex Maguire

The talk began with Mr Pinault and Professor Corner outlining their committment to sustainability, before the panel was each asked a question by Francine, then questions were taken from the students.

Mr Pinault and Ms Daveu outlined some of the steps Kering has taken to improve sustainability as a group and within its brands, such as Gucci’s zero-deforestation handbag, Volcom’s 100% organic cotton denim collection, their new Materials Innovation Lab in Northern Italy, a comprehensive library of sustainable materials and the Kering Environmental Profit and Loss Account, a tool which calculates the monetary value of any environmental damage caused along their supply chains.

François-Henri Pinault Chief Executive Officer of Kering, and Professor Frances Corner. Photograph: Alex Maguire.

François-Henri Pinault Chief Executive Officer of Kering, and Professor Frances Corner. Photograph: Alex Maguire.

Frances Corner was asked what role education can play in addressing the challenges of sustainability within the fashion industry, to which she replied that at Primary and Secondary School this is fundamental to our education then when we reach university it must not be forgotten. Cross-disciplinary collaboration was a key element of innovation – mixing chemists, designers, ecologists and creatives to truly experiment. Dilys Williams said that LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion was well placed to partner with Kering on such an ambitious agenda as they have established ties with organisations around the world with a shared sense of urgency to use human creativity to transform practice and culture with style. She said that the curriculum element of the partnership was groundbreaking as it would create platforms which could be shared with the rest of the industry. Mr Pinault too, said that Kering were developing new working practices with they ‘will share with our competitors.’

L-R: Imran Ahmed, Sarah Mower, Suzy Menkes and guest, Jamie Bill. Photograph Alex Maguire

L-R: Imran Ahmed, Sarah Mower, Suzy Menkes and guest, Jamie Bill. Photograph Alex Maguire

When asked which of Kering’s brands would be involved in the project, Marie-Claire Daveu said that all of them would be involved in different ways, and it was useful to work with different sized companies on their approaches. She finished with:

‘I am proud to announce…that the winners each year of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion will receive an internship for two months at a Kering brand, which for this year will be Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen.’

The talk ended with Mr Pinault and Professor Corner signing the official contract for the five-year partnership.

To watch the film of the talk, click this image to visit LCF Replay

  • Read more about the partnership on Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s blog
  • If you missed the talk you can watch the whole film on LCF Replay 
  • There will be a student briefing today Friday 31 October, which is already fully booked, but the film of that and the student brief will be available on MyArts under ‘Careers and Employability > LCF Careers > Competitions’

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