Launching 2020: The Modern Artisan Collection

November 2019Words by Mr Adam Welch

HRH The Prince of Wales, Mr Federico Marchetti and Modern Artisan students at Dumfries House, October 2019. Photograph by Mr Mike Wilkinson

We at MR PORTER have always considered craft and artisanship something of a Holy Grail. If a brand or designer can combine this sort of skill, care and attention to detail with an ethos that brings the tradition forward into the contemporary sphere, then it’s very likely that it’s a brand or designer that we have wanted to stock or write about, or both.

It’s with great excitement, therefore, that we can today announce Modern Artisan, a partnership between our parent company YOOX-NET-A-PORTER (which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020) and The Prince’s Foundation, a charitable body established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2018. True to the foundation’s goals of promoting community via training in specialist and traditional skills, the project will bring together students from Italy and the UK to create a sustainably produced, high-quality collection of men’s and womenswear using luxury Italian and British fabrics, set to launch across YOOX, NET-A-PORTER, The Outnet and MR PORTER in 2020.

Taking inspiration from both the 500th anniversary of the death of Mr Leonardo da Vinci – and, in particular, his ideas about colour and geometry – as well as YNAP’s historic data on customer preferences, the collection is being designed by six Italian students from Milan’s Politecnico di Milano before being manufactured by British production students at the dedicated textile and manufacturing facilities at Dumfries House in Scotland. As such, it will add to the wide range of existing educational programmes currently running at the House to benefit the local community, which includes courses in traditional building methods, horticulture, science and heritage crafts.