All aboard the train to the future: LVMH & CSM get serious about Fashion Tech and Sustainability

Back in November 2011, the LVMH Group (home to Louis Vuitton, Celine, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, to name just a few) and renowned college of art and design Central Saint Martins, started  a historic, long-term collaboration which revealed numerous new talents. Six years later, WWD reports the two allies took a new decisive step in their global strategic agreement, with the funding of a groundbreaking sustainability and innovation program, deepening the already solid relationship between the Group and the college.

During six years, LVMH and CSM were dedicated to refining the creative talents who are to become the future of art, design and performance. If you need a short reminder, remember that CSM, which is part of University of the Arts London, is the alma mater of designers like Celine designer Phoebe Philo, former Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan… Just to name a few!

In the early years of the collaboration, Professor Jane Rapley OBE, former head of Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design once declared:

« For more than 150 years Central Saint Martins has pioneered radical innovations in art and design teaching and learning. Its influence feeds into the arts educational system, culture, industry and mainstream society and contributes to the high international value placed on British culture and creativity. […] Our new building allows us to create the highest quality learning environment – a place connected to the most advanced developments in contemporary culture and industry – a place where students and staff will continue to provoke, challenge, inspire and take risks. ».

This statement, which at the time has set the vision and mission of this strategic partnership, remains true and still resonates nowadays, serving as a solid basis to seize the ambitions of today’s new alliance, which is set to build on these shared values and cement the long-standing relationship between the two institutions.

With this “major” investment in Central Saint Martins from LVMH, the two partners are to co-design a program destined to the talents of tomorrow, intensifying a bet on British fashion talents that focuses on both sustainability and innovation. The aim is to combine imaginative ideas and creativity with the discovery of new, holistic solutions that balance the needs of people, planet and business.

This program embodies the two institutions’ wish to further associate disruptive thinking and sustainable practices to question the future of creativity in relation to challenges that face the fashion industry and wider society. Such a move might intensify knowledge exchange between LVMH teams, CSM students and representatives, allowing one of a kind ideas and sustainable production process to thrive, with the aim to embed sustainable innovation across disciplines at Central Saint Martins and facilitating the emergence of ambitious creation projects in collaboration with LVMH brands.

Over the years, the luxury group created three original Grand Prix LVMH Scholarships, sponsored the LVMH Lecture Theatre and enabled CSM-LVMH collaborative projects that have also resulted in design proposals for a number of the brands, including sustainability and innovation projects across all CSM disciplines.

As a new CSM-LVMH director of sustainability and innovation will be appointed to steer the relationship and enhance ongoing curriculum development, we are now expecting ambitious projects combining fashion and technologies to be created in collaboration with LVMH Maisons, echoing the long-term commitment of the Group to find better solutions to the many challenges the luxury industry faces.

Careful folks! This might be the wake up call we’ve all been waiting for, announcing that the Fashion Tech scene is poised for growth in years to come.

To keep up-to-date with our activities and content, register for our FashTech Bytes Newsletter, follow us on SnapchatTwitter, FacebookInstagram & Pinterest for our latest FashTech updates.

Post written by Allan Joseph, Co-founder, Branding Strategist & Menswear Editor

After graduating from Toulouse Business School in 2012 and having multiple experiences as a Freelancer during 3 years, Allan works currently as a Strategist for Be Angels Agency. Specialized in Luxury marketing & advertising, he collaborated to the notorious book « La Génération Y et le Luxe » and joined Clausette Magazine in December 2015.

There's always more to discover. Subscribe to our newsletter to explore the unfound.