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Alexander McQueen announces community initiative in East London

Jeremy Lim
10 November 2021

Alexander McQueen has announced its partnership with A Team Arts Education, a community organisation based in Tower Hamlets in London’s east End, where the brand’s founder Lee McQueen grew up.

By supporting the community arts charity financially, the luxury fashion brand aims to inspire and enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds with hopes of opening doors to jobs in the creative industries.

Sarah Burton, Creative Director for Alexander McQueen said: "It feels especially important for us to be able to take part in supporting young people from the East End of London, where Lee Alexander McQueen grew up.

"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 grassroots work in providing fashion, textiles and art and design programs"

Over the approaching 12 months, the British fashion house will contribute funds to the community organisation and lengthen prevailing workshops and lessons that it started as a part of a pilot program in 2020. The brand will also host collaborative fashion classes including practical, community-led workshops, Saturday schools and courses over school holidays, where 11 to 18 year-olds are taught skills from sewing button holes to draping silk satin on mannequins.

More importantly, the initiative focus on letting participants, many of whom have not had the chance to take GCSE or A Level qualifications in creative subjects, learn about lesser-known jobs available within the fashion industry.

Burton added: "There are so many possibilities. You can be an embroidery designer, you can be a print designer, you can be a pattern cutter – we are all part of the same team. I want people to understand that even if you don’t want to be a designer, you can still be creative."

Sarbjit Natt, Director of A Team Arts Education, said in a statement: "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. 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."

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