I had a great afternoon yesterday; I went back to university.
Ok, so that’s not strictly true. I didn’t go back to my university, nor did I attend any classes, but I did visit Central St Martin’s new, impressive building in King’s Cross and it transported me back to those happy, creative days. There was something about the smell of the classrooms, the way the students dressed, their enthusiasm and spirit. I longed to be back there.
I was invited to join Business Secretary Vince Cable on his private tour of the college, followed by a visit to Jaeger’s head office in central London. He told me that the reason for his visit is that the creative industries are “central to building the economy” and he wanted to find out more about the needs of one of fashion’s most celebrated academic institutions. He admitted to me that fashion’s influence on the economy is not taken seriously enough.
During the tour, I was reminded of Drapers’ Next Generation Academy last week, when our speakers were united in urging fashion’s young talent to innovate, to be brave and different from their peers. It made me wonder how much of that raw creativity and boldness we have as students get buried under commercial obligations when we grow up. Of course, without selling their products, fashion businesses have, well, no business. But perhaps we should all – even if it’s once a week or once a month – go back to those carefree days when there were no barriers to develop new ideas and concepts. So they might not all work commercially, but we won’t know until we try.
Ana Santi, Deputy Editor, Drapers