Tod's Looks to the Designers of Tomorrow

Murray Clark
·2-min read
Photo credit: Tod's
Photo credit: Tod's

From Esquire

The endless 'industry' reality shows get something right: fashion is tough. For young designers without the safety net of a family Staffordshire Hoard, breaking into such a competitive field can be nigh on impossible. And, even when the lucky few stars begin to rise, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to shine; countless brands of promise have buckled under the hardships of a notoriously fraught career path, leaving fewer independent names peppered among the greats. But now, the greats are reaching out, with Italian heavyweight Tod's announcing a project to nurture and mentor fashion's next generation.

In partnership with leading London arts and design college, Central Saint Martins, the Tod's Legacy project has seen the brand select 35 global young designers to hit a brief that reimagines some of the brand's long and winding history. What's more, it sits within the wider Tod's Academy offshoot: a 'laboratory of ideas' based in the Marche HQ where artisans mentor students in the mediums of design and product development.

Photo credit: Tod's
Photo credit: Tod's

Largely focused upon accessories and footwear, Tod's has also funded scholarships for each selected designer with expert support throughout. The project's roster of mentors includes American Vogue's European editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti, Vanity Fair Italia's editor-in-chief Simone Marchetti, leading critics in Alexander Fury and Sarah Mower, and ascendant designers Simone Rocha and Charles Jeffrey, among others.

All of the students' work can be found online at Tod's, and a select few will head onto Italy (when we're allowed to actually fly, of course) for a further internship at the Marche academy. Of the partnership, the president of the Tod's Group, Diego Della Valle, reaffirmed his commitment to nurturing talent: "This is a beautiful project that supports students and at the same time brings unusual and innovative points of view to Tod's."

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