Global Brands joins IFA Paris to educate fashion designers

Global Brands, a leading branded apparel, footwear and accessories, and brand management company, has announced that it has partnered with the International Fashion Academy Paris (IFA Paris) to support the first edition of the school’s Unthreading Project. IFA Paris is a fashion school that offers students a vast range of unique and tailored courses.

The four-month postgraduate programme will focus on sustainable and inclusive fashion design, with students creating apparel specifically for disabled people. The programme will culminate in a juried show in April 2021, when two of the students’ adaptive fashion designs will be chosen to be manufactured by Global Brands and then sold beginning later this year on JUNIPERunltd, the first destination site and online marketplace dedicated to designing the future of inclusivity through content, community, and commerce, Global Brands said.

As part of the 2021 Unthreaded programme, students will learn from disability advocates and develop design solutions to inaccessibility, creating wearable, fashionable capsule collections with commercial market potential using recycled materials and sustainable design processes. A jury of industry experts, including two Global Brands executives, will choose the two adaptive clothing designs that best balance creativity, wearability, sustainability, and commercial appeal to manufacture and subsequently offer to customers on the JUNIPERunltd marketplace, according to Global Brands.

The students will use upcycled materials created from excess stock donated by Global Brands portfolio companies to create their sustainable designs. Global Brands is also supplying innovative design technologies, such as the MagnaReady and MagnaZip magnetic closures that are used in products from its own MagnaReady adaptive apparel brand. In addition, students will be able to use digital avatars created by Li & Fung during the design process, reducing materials waste and saving resources, Global Brands said in a media statement.

Global Brands will also host a lecture series as part of the programme, helping identify and secure guest lecturers who will share their insights on sustainability and circular fashion, a lived experience of disability, inclusive design, and other relevant topics. A weekly workshop focusing on what the fashion industry can do to address inaccessibility will also be part of the curriculum. In addition, IFA Paris and Global Brands will produce a short-form documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the students’ process and tells the story of the Unthreaded Project in order to drive conversations of change around inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry.

JUNIPERunltd, where the juried designs will eventually be offered for sale, is a content and community hub and online marketplace that launched last year. Created by and for the disabled, caregiver and aging communities, the site aims to build community and empathy for people with a connection to disability, injury, illness, and the challenges of aging.

“Supporting IFA Paris through this programme aligns with Global Brands’ commitment to refocusing our attention on diversity, equity, and inclusion within our own company and doing our part within the broader industry. Through this partnership, we’ll be able to share our research on fashion and disability as well as our global supply chain, sustainability, technology, marketing and content expertise and resources with students and then bring their designs to market to better meet the fashion needs of a diverse consumer base, in particular, disabled people,” Rick Darling, CEO of Global Brands said in a statement.


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