Fashioning future talent: Stella Kids enroll at The Fashion School
Cultivating and celebrating the talent of tomorrow is close to Stella’s heart. From our Stella McCartney × Lenovo Eco Design Competition with Central Saint Martins to capturing fashion students in our Spring Summer 2022 adidas by Stella McCartney campaign, fostering the next generation is rooted in our DNA. Stella Kids bring this to life at The Fashion School, with future creatives upcycling past-season pieces.
The Fashion School is a community interest-based programme in London, promoting a healthy attitude towards fashion and individuality with a focus on sustainability. Founded in 2013, it is led by Caroline Gration – a fashion industry expert who has worked across design, illustration, forecasting and design production.
I was always passionate that I wanted to provide a creative fashion environment where children could experiment creatively. Sewing classes for children were not necessarily suitable for arty kids back when we started, as the focus was on neatness only.
Promoting circularity by using past-season garments, archived Stella Kids press samples and damaged stock, we set a brief to the Little Fashion Creatives – aged 5-9, they’re the youngest class at the school. The Little Fashion Creatives were asked to create a brand-new garment using two old pieces.
All of the pieces we sent to The Fashion School featured a Stella Kids print – iconic to our brand – so we briefed them to choose their favourite two patterns and make an entirely new design for themselves. Older students could gain ‘extra credit’ by using an appliqué on their garment.
Q&A with The Fashion School’s Stella Kids
What did you enjoy most about the project?
Sophia, 7: “Making it our own and about us.”
Gabriella, 9: “We got to see how we could reuse things by being really imaginative!”
Arianna, 8: “Working with one of my favourite brands.”
Which two pieces did you choose and why did you like them?
Sophia, 7: “A blue jumper and a pair of shorts – I really liked the design of them and they were the biggest things there.”
Charlie, 7: “I chose a jacket with yellow wiggly stripes, added sleeves and a pair of shorts with a jumper I made into trousers. I loved putting the woolly faces onto the trousers.”
Gabriella, 9: “Some dungarees and a jumper. I liked them because it was fun, as I could really experiment with what I made.”
Mila, 7: “I chose a jumper, some shorts and a dress. I liked them because of the bright colours and changing the clothes into something new.”
Sophia B, 8: “I made a skirt – I chose a dress, and I cut the bottom then added more pockets. It was really fun and an interesting way of designing.”
Arianna, 8: “I chose a skirt and two dresses: one with mermaids on and the other had stars on. I like the brightness and making something new from older things.”
And what new item did you make?
Sophia, 7: “I made a new skirt and jumper.”
Charlie, 7: “I made trousers and a jacket.”
Gabriella, 9: “A jumpsuit, and a really nice woolly top.”
Mila, 7: “I made two new skirts with pockets from shorts, and a cardigan from a jumper by cutting it down the middle, then cutting the sleeves, adding pockets and putting a zip in.”
Sophia B, 8: “I made a top with three pockets, it has things I could take off and stick back on.”
Arianna, 8: “A skirt with little designs at the bottom.”
Will you be wearing your new piece of clothing?
All: “Yes! Yes! Yes! In the spring!”
Finally, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Arianna, Mila, Sophia: “A fashion designer!”
Charlie: “An artist.”
Sophia B, Gabriella: “I’m not sure yet.”
“I wanted to give the children a confidence through knowledge so they could discuss their aesthetic and intention with anyone. These children can repair and customise their clothes as another option to buying new all the time,” says Caroline, who wanted to create a space where the next generation can learn sewing skills in an exciting, holistic way without fear of assessment by a grown-up.
Between sewing classes and more specialised workshops, The Fashion School empowers children and teens of all levels with essential skills.
Explore Stella Kids Spring Summer 2023 collection online now.