LONDON — Alexander McQueen is throwing its weight behind A Team Arts Education, a community youth organization in East London that works to help young people enter the arts and create paths for design careers.
A Team Arts Education creates opportunities for young people to learn creative skills and gain access to talents needed for high school art exams. It also gives them the opportunity to engage in creative subjects at school.
The organization said its aim is to be “a catalyst for progress and attainment” in inner-city London, which has one of the fastest-growing, youngest and most diverse populations in the U.K.
Over the coming year, Alexander McQueen said it will support A Team Arts Education financially, and further extend the existing workshops and classes that it began as part of a pilot program last year.
Looking ahead, the program will include experiences with McQueen’s design, textile and embroidery professionals, and other members of the team.
“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,” said 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 U.K. 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.”
The brand pointed out that while other Alexander McQueen educational schemes connect with colleges and university students nationally, the A Team Arts Education partnership “forges a practical link with younger people locally through its dynamic and free art-led school holiday and Saturday programs.”
Sarbjit Natt, director of A Team Arts Education, said that at a time when English schools and local authorities are reducing their arts budgets and provisions, “we still need the arts to help bring about a positive recovery and come together after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Natt said working with Alexander McQueen will provide “inspiration, hope and opportunities to an area of London that has established links to the fashion and textiles industries.”
She added that those links “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.”