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We love… FENDI and the Royal College of Art

To coincide with London Design Festival this week, Italian powerhouse FENDI has commissioned a series of installations and window displays by design students from the Royal College of Art, for their new Sloane Street store.

Up-cycling salvaged leather strips from the brand’s artisan handbag collection, Selleria, post-graduates have created objects, machines and kinetic artwork that infuse elements of traditional craftsmanship with progressive design and technology.

“As a student, you have much more freedom to dream and explore in a natural way as opposed to worrying about the outcome all the time. They had this irreverence, this sense of not having to treat the leather as a precious luxury material,” explains British designer Simon Hasan, a former RCA student and mentor for the FENDI initiative.

Notable students include Lola Lely with her Kinetic Frenetic-Craft and the Futurist Machine, and a series of objects created by un-stitching bags, entitled The Anatomy of Fendi by Nicholas Wallenberg, Helena Karelson, Petter Thorne, Samuel Weller and Immer van der Haak.

We recently featured Helmut Lang, the iconic fashion designer turned artist, who re-purposed 20 year’s worth of garments into a sculptural installation earlier this summer: Make It Hard.  It is interesting to note designers and powerful brands, who utilize so many natural resources and fibers such as cotton and animal hide to complete their collections each season, making use of otherwise discarded materials – while also celebrating the art of craft.

Be sure to check out the installation, on show until September 25th at FENDI, 181 – 182 Sloane Street, London. – Samantha Fox

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