Alexander McQueen x A Team Arts Education
by Stephen Garner
Alexander McQueen x A Team Arts Education

Alexander McQueen has teamed up with A Team Arts Education, a community youth arts education organization located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. A Team Arts Education works to support the aspirations of young people to enter arts and design careers and acts as a catalyst for progress and attainment in an inner-London district with one of the fastest-growing, youngest, and most diverse populations in the UK.

“It feels especially important for us to be able to take part in supporting young people from the East End of London, where Lee Alexander McQueen grew up,” said Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen. “At this house, we all know that talent comes from everywhere, irrespective of background. At a time when UK arts education is narrowing and being cut and young people are under pressure, we’re inspired and humbled to be able to join with A Team Arts Education in their exceptional grass-roots work in providing fashion, textiles, and art and design programmes.”

The Alexander McQueen relationship with A Team Arts Education, has been cemented through one of the educational outreach programs of workshops that Burton has been running with in-house design team members throughout the pandemic. While other Alexander McQueen educational schemes connect with colleges and university students nationally, the association with A Team Arts Education forges a practical link with younger people locally through its dynamic and free art-led school holiday and Saturday programs.

Alexander McQueen x A Team Arts Education

“At a time when schools and local authorities are reducing their arts budgets and provision, we still need the arts to help bring about a positive recovery and come together after the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Sarbjit Natt, director of A Team Arts Education. “Working with Alexander McQueen will provide inspiration, hope, and opportunities to an area that has established links to the fashion and textiles industries that are now hidden through layers of history and a changing urban landscape. The collaboration will help the arts to flourish in a positive way for young people and the wider community of East London.”

Over the coming year, Alexander McQueen will support A Team Arts Education financially and further extend the workshops and classes with the young people and teachers it began as a pilot during 2020. Live experiences with McQueen’s design, textile, and embroidery professionals will be structured as part of ‘The Explore Programme’, the A Teams Arts Education’s introduction to fashion, textiles, and art and design pathways. In collaboration with the inspirational work in opening doors to higher education provided by the Central Saint Martins Insights Programme led by Berni Yates to generations of young people who may not have access to arts subjects in school, the initiative backs up vital social enterprise opportunities and the dynamic progression of diverse talent throughout the fashion industry.