LONDON – LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is investing further in British fashion talent with a “major” investment in Central Saint Martins that will focus on sustainability, WWD has learned.
An announcement is expected this week.
The new investment comes after six years of collaboration between LVMH and the college, which is part of University of the Arts London and the alma mater of designers including Riccardo Tisci, Phoebe Philo, Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan.
The money will provide additional scholarships and fund an original sustainability and innovation program. Its aim is to combine imaginative ideas and creativity with the discovery of “new, holistic solutions that balance the needs of people, planet and business,” Central Saint Martins said. The value of the LVMH investment has not been disclosed.
According to the school, the program will combine “disruptive thinking and sustainable practice” to question the future of creativity in relation to challenges that face the fashion industry and wider society. “It will enable knowledge exchange between LVMH teams, CSM students and representatives, and will expand the already solid relationship between the group and the college,” CSM said.
A new CSM-LVMH director of sustainability and innovation will be appointed to steer the relationship and enhance ongoing curriculum development. The aim is to embed sustainable innovation across disciplines at Central Saint Martins. An advertisement for the post will be going live this week on the CSM site, arts.ac.uk/csm, and the plan is for “ambitious” projects to be created in collaboration with LVMH brands.
The investment and sustainability initiative is the latest in a series of collaborations between the French luxury group and the college. In 2011, the luxury group created three original Grand Prix LVMH Scholarships, and sponsored the LVMH Lecture Theatre. Over the years, CSM-LVMH collaborative projects have also resulted in design proposals for a number of the brands, including sustainability and innovation projects across all CSM disciplines.
“The LVMH group is very excited to launch this unique sustainability and innovation program with Central Saint Martins, a step further in our support of tomorrow’s talents, reinforcing this historic partnership and the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarships,” said Chantal Gaemperle, group executive vice president human resources and synergies.
Jeremy Till, head of Central Saint Martins and pro vice-chancellor of University of the Arts London, called LVMH’s commitment to Saint Martins “exceptional,” adding that it would enable the two partners to co-design a program for the talents of tomorrow.