Nov 12, 2020
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YNAP and Prince’s Foundation launch da Vinci-inspired, data-driven luxe collection

Nov 12, 2020

Yoox Net-A-Porter Group has launched a luxury ready-to-wear collection in conjunction with The Prince’s Foundation, the charity headed by the UK's Prince Charles.

Yoox Net-a Porter Group/The Prince’s Foundation

The 18-piece womenswear and menswear capsule, is the culmination of the pair’s Modern Artisan project, which guides trainee artisans through the process of bringing a luxury collection to market.

In a “group first”, the capsule collection comprising 10 pieces of womenswear and eight pieces of menswear, is available across all its online stores (Net-A-Porter, Mr Porter, Yoox and the Outnet) “giving the artisans a unique opportunity to debut their work to 4.3 million customers”.

An evolution of the relationship between The Prince of Wales, president of The Prince’s Foundation, and Federico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox Net-Porter Group, the collection “celebrates both the rich heritage and future of British and Italian textile craftsmanship”.

The collaboration is described as “a first of its kind partnership which aims to strengthen textile skills training and equip trainee artisans in the UK and Italy with the skills and confidence needed to produce luxury apparel collections to the highest standards”.

The collection design, carried out during the 500th anniversary year of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, took inspiration from the convergence of art and science in da Vinci’s work.

“The result is a sophisticated collection that marries formal lines and simple construction”, the pair said. Da Vinci’s knots are a feature throughout the collection. His studies of drapery inspired the womenswear, realised through folds, pleats, smocking, ties and bows. The menswear references da Vinci’s technical studies of engineering and anatomy, and his fascination with architectural details.

But it's interesting that this isn't all about inspiration and data also has a big part to play, as is often the case with YNAP launches.

In the womenswear collection, details from the wide legs and midi lengths to the cinched-in waists and pussy bows were design choices "informed by customer preferences”. Similarly, data informed the choice of colours in the menswear, from the camel coat to the navy trousers, and influenced defining features such as the drawstring detail at the waist of the casual trousers.

Six Italian students from design school Politecnico di Milano’s Fashion in Process (FiP) research laboratory led the design of the collection. Meanwhile, British artisans undertook training in small batch productions skills at Dumfries House, the headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation in Ayrshire, Scotland, allowing them to craft the majority of the collection by hand in the estate’s Textile Training Centre.

Marchetti said: “All profits from the sale of the collection will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation to enable the charity to develop and deliver training programmes that will help preserve traditional textile skills. The Modern Artisan project is a long-term partnership between Yoox Net-A-Porter Group and The Prince’s Foundation, which will be showcased at Michelangelo Foundation’s Homo Faber in 2021.

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