Prada-supported Experimental Design Lab winners attend Brand Show – WWD

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PRADA PROGRAM: In April, the Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab with artist Theaster Gates and Prada Group revealed the first winners of the three-year collaborative program designed to support creators of color – in fashion, footwear, jewelry, cooking, visual and fine arts, as well as architecture and product design — and to amplify their work.

Gates and the winners attended the Prada show on Sunday, clearly excited about the opportunity, posing together for photos to capture the moment.

“You know, the designers are between 25 and 53 years old, so they’re actually a large cohort of professional designers and up-and-coming designers, and it’s amazing to see them in the middle of one of fashion’s most important moments. of the year,” Gates said. . “The first thing that seems really important is that Miuccia [Prada] believes in artists and she believes in great design.

He said his friendship with the designer “made it very easy” to develop the project, which is close to his heart because it allows “other people to have the opportunity for a great artistic and design opportunity to the same way I did. Seeing Prada make a name for itself on the diversity plate has been one of the most fulfilling things of the past few years. He called the project “life-changing”, for the designers, ” closer to realizing their dreams.

The 14 designers from around the world were handpicked “for their extraordinary creative potential” by Miuccia Prada and late designer Virgil Abloh, before his untimely death last November.

Designers will receive financial support to further develop existing efforts or for new and innovative projects, as well as access to a sort of creative think tank designed to foster further creative development. The Lab – a partnership between the design and manufacturing arm of Theaster Gates Studio, Dorchester Industries, as well as art and neighborhood transformation platform Rebuild Foundation (also founded by Gates) and Prada – is in the neighborhood south of Chicago and annual activations in New York City and Los Angeles will allow the cohort of designers to showcase their work to leading organizations.

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