YOUNG MENTORS: From peers to mentors.
Sunnei’s founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo have launched their first mentorship program in collaboration with the Milan-based fashion, art and design school Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, better known as NABA.
The initiative will offer a student a full scholarship for the two-year postgraduate course in fashion design starting in October, as well as the designer’s mentorship throughout the course.
In order to be selected candidates have to possess a bachelor’s degree or a first-level academic diploma, or be enrolled and scheduled to graduate in such programs by the end of the current academic year. Talents will have time until June 15 to submit a comprehensive project, ranging from style research to communication strategy, developed based on Sunnei’s request for an innovative concept that blends a refreshing style, commercial viability and a strong purpose in today’s scenario.
In sync with their own attitude, Messina and Rizzo are said to be looking for unconventional entries, with a strong identity and clear vision regarding positioning, launch plan and an omnichannel communication plan.
“We founded our brand when we were 25 because we didn’t identify with any existing entity within the fashion industry,” said Messina. “Sunnei follows a mechanism that we invented, but we do believe that there can be endless alternative paths to follow. We are sure that amongst youngsters there are some who would do things differently and with this scholarship, we’d like to support someone who will be able to disrupt the industry with [his/her/their] ideas,” added Rizzo.
After a preselection, candidates will get the opportunity to take part in an open lab session at Sunnei’s headquarters in Milan, where they’ll present their ideas directly to the founders and the team.
In addition to the scholarship and mentorship, the winning candidate will get to experience firsthand the work of the designers at the brand’s headquarters.
“This new collaboration with Sunnei, which is a contemporary and visionary brand, is really important for the Accademia because for the first time our synergy with a partner points at implementing a shared path,” said NABA’s fashion design leader Colomba Leddi, adding that both parties’ goal is to provide with tools to those talents who “will be able to meet today’s needs with an innovative approach.”
Founded in Milan in 1980 upon the private initiative of Ausonio Zappa, Guido Ballo and Gianni Colombo, NABA has campuses in Milan and Rome. Since 2017, the school has been controlled by Galileo Global Education Italia, the Italian branch of the international private higher education company GGE. Other private schools operating in the fashion, art and design fields under GGE Italia’s umbrella include Istituto Marangoni and Domus Academy.