Over 20 years ago the idea for a charitable foundation was born out of the creativity and experience of the designer Lee Alexander McQueen CBE. Named after his 2007 Spring/Summer collection, Sarabande was established to support those who embody Lee’s fearless approach to creativity. Lee believed that creative minds with the potential to push boundaries and overturn prevailing orthodoxies should be given the same opportunities he’d enjoyed.
Courtesy of Nick Knight
Lee Alexander McQueen set up a charitable foundation named after his 2007 Spring/Summer collection which was inspired by Handel’s Sarabande – The Sarabande: Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation. He passionately believed that young creative minds with the power to break through boundaries and overturn prevailing orthodoxies should have the chance to experience the benefits that he had enjoyed, regardless of financial constraints. Sarabande HQ occupies a converted Victorian stables on Regents Canal in East London. The studios are a space for creative talent to flourish without boundaries, a space where it’s safe to experiment, to succeed, to fail but always to move forward. It is a hub of creativity, collaboration and support. Recipients are chosen for their fearlessness, passion and approach for the work they make.
Now Swarovski is supporting the foundation with a new Swarovski Application Room at the Sarabande Studios. This philosophy of nurturing the brightest design talent has permeated every aspect of Swarovski since it began 122 years ago, and it now offers support via Application Rooms on a global scale. These facilities are available to all Sarabande studios artists in residence and all Sarabande scholars to study Swarovski crystals’ many and varied application processes and techniques, and bring their creative visions in jewelry, fashion and interiors to life. Sarabande scholars are selected from the UK’s most prestigious Art, design and Fashion courses and awarded generous funding to support their studies.
The Swarovski Application Room launched in the Sarabande Studios is Swarovski’s tenth. The other design institutes that benefit from a dedicated Application Room, complete with supplies of crystals and technical training are: Donghua University in Shanghai; Shenkar College of Engineering & Designer in Tel Aviv; the Royal College of Art in London; Bunka Fashion Graduate University in Tokyo; IMA in Istanbul; the School of Design in Kolding/Denmark’ Parsons – The New School for Design, New York; Design Academy Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and IED – Istituto Europeo de Design S.p.a., Milan.
It’s all about nurturing talent and inspiring accomplishment.