1 Granary began five years ago as a newspaper led by Central Saint Martins students. Named after the building the school now calls home, after it re-located from its Charing Cross Road site in 2011, the magazine is now one of the leading platforms for championing emerging talent graduating in fashion from creative institutions around the world. Providing alumni from Saint Martins, Parsons, Antwerp and the Royal College of Art with a springboard from which to launch their career – either via written profiles on its website, graduate collections held in its London showroom, or by featuring a young designer’s work in the pages of the magazine itself – there are few initiatives highlighting the potential of those who will go on to shape the future of the fashion industry in such an all-encompassing manner.
This week, 1 Granary launched VOID, a new enterprise which seeks to further support designers who are in the fledgling moments of their careers. Its first project takes the form of a London-based exhibition showcasing the fruits of collaborations between said designers and established photographers and stylists. As editor Olya Kuryshchuk explains: “I think in the beginning people thought the name came from all the ‘voids’ in the industry. But we didn’t think of it that way – it’s the opposite. We want to create a space that people can step into; a space where they can feel safe, where they can get lots of support and help.”
Seven up-and-coming names were paired with well-known creatives who, it was felt, could further unlock some of their promise. Among them are Charlotte Knowles, recently snapped up by Fashion East, who worked with Dazed’s senior fashion editor Emma Wyman and photographer Danielle Neu; Richard Quinn, who teamed up with the inimitable Camille Bidault-Waddington and Marie Déhé; and Chopova Lowena, a collaborative duo in their own right, who worked with photographer Chris Rhodes and Lyson Marchessault to produce a series of images.
Another designer taking part in the show is Central Saint Martins MA graduate Eftychia Karamolegkou, whose androgynous suiting echoes the oversized proportions of Maison Margiela – Karamolegkou’s work was shot by Pascal Gambarte and styled by Anna Pesonan in what could be an ode to Mark Borthwick. She agrees that 1 Granary represents the changing face of an industry often renowned for its navel-gazing. “I think we are now living in an era where being bitchy and cold isn’t ‘the thing’ any more. Now it’s feels much more like appreciating each other’s work, helping each other to grow creatively and trying to achieve a good result, because everybody’s going to get something from this in the future,” she says.
“I think we are now living in an era where being bitchy and cold isn’t ‘the thing’ any more” – Eftychia Karamolegkou
Further to the show, each project will be shown in the bumper fifth issue of 1 Granary, which sees contributions from the likes of Dazed Media founder Jefferson Hack, writer Cathy Horyn and designer Olivier Theyskens. Jil Sander and Givenchy were also two of the brands which offered sponsorship for the magazine’s production. “The whole of fashion is built on your relationship with other people,” notes Kuryshchuk. “We have so many ‘mums and dads’ helping us out. It’s been amazing that these amazing people will start picking up the phone to their network just because they believe in what you do.”
“We have so many ‘mums and dads’ helping us out. It’s been amazing that these amazing people will start picking up the phone to their network just because they believe in what you do” – Olya Kuryshchuk
Despite its nurturing attitude, VOID’s parenting method is based on tough love. “So many young designers expect success to come easy to them,” says Kuryshchuk. “The amount of students who are jump-starting their own brands straight away every year after graduating keeps growing – and it is foolish. They need to have a clear understanding of what is in front of them; a business plan, maybe spend a year or so making plans and making mistakes – this is what we hope to acheive with VOID, a space where this can happen.” With plans for various iterations of the exhibition to travel to Red Hook Labs in New York, Shanghai and Milan next year, the future can only be bright for VOID, and for those it champions.
VOID is open until Monday 27 November, 2017 at The Store Studios, 180 Strand.