The first edition of the Fashion Starter Summer Academy by LPP has ended. The objectives of this project, organised in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, involved introducing fashion enthusiasts to the process of collection design, presenting real-life work of a fashion designer, and discovering the best aspiring artists who would like to pursue the career of a designer. The event included a series of lectures and workshops held by LPP employees and the faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts. A total of 6 out of the 19 participants from all over Poland were offered internships in the company.
LPP has been cooperating with art schools for years to show students the practice of how contemporary fashion is created. This year, the Polish clothing manufacturer and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk decided to establish a new format of this partnership in the shape of the Fashion Starter summer workshops that took place from 12 to 23 July. The courses, held by designers, clothing technologists, LPP fashion buyers, and lecturers from the Academy of Fine Arts, were attended by 19 students. The sessions were held in the Fashion Lab headquarters and in the Patio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, where the participants could see what designing really looks like from the academic and business perspectives.
“The project is meant for fashion and design enthusiasts at various stages of their education or career, which is why the Academy was attended by both secondary school and university students, as well as graduates who are already working as designers. The only precondition to participate was to send an application with a portfolio, on the basis of which the jury selected 19 candidates from all over Poland”, Karolina Czajewska, LPP employer branding specialist explained. The participants were introduced to all design stages, i.e. they searched for inspiration, created mood boards, designed colour palettes, chose material quality, made drawings, made technical drawings, and presented their works. The young fashion enthusiasts also visited the Reserved product preparation department and the so-called Fabric Showroom, where the currently available collections of fabrics and knitwear are gathered. Moreover, they could learn about the principles of composing fabric on mannequins, and met with the HR department to learn about development opportunities in the fashion industry.
For many participants, this combination of efforts of recognised lecturers from the Academy of Fine Arts in the field of design and practitioners from the clothing industry was the first opportunity to compare artistic visions presented at universities with a practical approach. Fashion Starter is also an opportunity to promote Gdańsk as the Polish fashion design hub. “There are many talented people all over Poland who show great potential in design. They often gain knowledge at universities, but have no prospects of using their skills in practice. Cooperation of the university and the employer gives young, creative people an opportunity to spread their wings and start a new career here in Pomerania”, Karolina Czajewska said. “Participants of this edition were very pleasantly surprised that they could gain this kind of knowledge completely free of charge and get to know the design process from a perspective that had been unknown to them before. Meanwhile, we can already see that this event allowed us to identify many amazing talents. Each participant received a diploma from the academy and six of them were offered internships” – she added.
During the final workshop session, which took place on 23 July in the Patio of the Academy, the participants presented their finished works on easels. The meeting was attended by all the people involved in the project and the Vice Rector for Cooperation and Promotion of the Academy, Adam Świerżewski, PhD. “The participants have made great progress in just two weeks of the Fashion Starter. The Summer Academy has shown how many talented and committed people there are, who combine artistry and creativity and at the same time are able to adapt their designs to commercial solutions. Therefore, together with LPP, we would like to continue this project in the future”, – added the Vice-Rector of the university.
LPP is a Polish family company, and one of the fastest growing in the clothing industry in Central and Eastern Europe. For 30 years, it has been successfully operating in Poland and abroad, selling its collections in 25 markets, including such prestigious capitals as London, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Moscow. LPP manages 5 clothing brands: Reserved, Cropp, House, Mohito and Sinsay. At the end of 2020, the company had a network of over 1,800 showrooms with a total area of 1.4 million m2. The brands’ online collection is available in 30 markets. Based on a global supply network, the Polish clothing manufacturer distributes more than 259 million garments annually across 3 continents. LPP also plays an important role by creating jobs for nearly 22,000 people in offices and sales structures in Poland, Europe, Asia and Africa. It is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange as part of the WIG20 index and belongs to the prestigious MSCI Poland index.