The Modern Artisan

Our Flagship Sustainability Talent Programme

Programme overview

The Modern Artisan launches the careers of the next generation of designers. Created in partnership between YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The King’s Foundation in 2019, it offers fashion and textiles graduates a unique opportunity to design, manufacture and launch a more responsible luxury capsule collection on NET-A-PORTER.

The paid training programme begins with immersive design training at YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s London headquarters, later relocating the artisans to Dumfries House, The King’s Foundation’s headquarters in Scotland, where they handcraft their designs. As well as preserving the legacy of traditional craftsmanship, collaboration is integral to the learning experience – with expert mentorship provided by YOOX NET-A-PORTER, The King’s Foundation and esteemed industry partners.

Programme alumni have gone on to launch their own brands, secure positions at renowned luxury fashion houses, and been hired by YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s private label teams. Equally focused on advancing sustainability in luxury fashion, each collection has progressively been YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s most responsible to-date and served as a playground for several sustainability pilots, including Digital ID, carbon footprinting and 3D digital design. The Modern Artisan’s second edition resulted in YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s first ever collection to be 100% aligned to its sustainability design guidelines.

The third edition continues to advance YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The King’s Foundation’s shared ambition to support emerging designers in shaping a more responsible industry.

Highlights

30

CAREERS LAUNCHED

8

BUSINESSES INITIATED

8

CAREERS IN LUXURY SECTOR

3

HIRES AT 8 BY YOOX, YOOX’S PRIVATE LABEL

+ 50

HOURS OF MENTORSHIP FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS INCLUDING GABRIELA HEARST, NANUSHKA AND MOTHER OF PEARL’S AMY POWNEY

+ 2,300

HOURS OF LUXURY MANUFACTURING TRAINING

+ 100

LOCAL STUDENTS EDUCATED ON SUSTAINABILITY



Third Edition 2023-2024: Now Underway

Six UK graduates have been selected to design and handcraft a luxury capsule collection that will be sold exclusively on NET-A-PORTER in late 2024. 50% of the RRP from products sold will be donated to The King’s Foundation, supporting its development of training programmes focused on sustaining traditional textile skills.

Meet The Artisans

Arielle Uno Ekwang

Arielle Uno Ekwang

Arielle is from South London. After taking fashion textiles at A Level, she attended the University of Brighton, where she studied Fashion with Business Studies and graduated as a British Fashion Council Scholar. With a keen interest in business and sustainability, she launched her own accessories brand, praised by Refinery29 for “redefining the ‘it’ bag”. Arielle’s designs, which utilise deadstock fabric and pre-loved treasures, explore her Nigerian-British identity and themes such as Afrofuturism and cultural sustainability. In addition to spending the past three years as a stylist, Arielle produced a fashion film that debuted at the V&A’s 2022-2023 exhibition, Africa Fashion. Her passion and unique viewpoint of sustainability in Nigeria were key motivators in applying for The Modern Artisan.

Daisy Gray

Daisy Gray

Daisy grew up in Hertfordshire. From a young age, she was interested in craft and learnt to sew and knit from her family members. Daisy studied Fashion Design at Kingston University, where she further refined her knitwear skills during a placement abroad at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She then specialised in creative technical knitwear production in her internship at Hugo Boss in Switzerland. Daisy applied for The Modern Artisan to learn how sustainable practices are being integrated into luxury and fashion. She is also interested in creating emotional connections between clothing and people, which she plans to continue incorporating into her designs through handcrafted manufacturing techniques such as knit, crochet and embellishment.

Georgia Wintle

Georgia Wintle

Georgia is from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. She studied Fashion Design at the University of South Wales, where she focused on designing a conscious collection, tracing fabric sources and producing her own textiles from excess fabrics. Featured in Cardiff Life and Spacecraft magazine for being a sustainable creative in South Wales, Georgia spent a year designing for Next before returning to her values and focusing on creating quality responsible garments. With a strong interest in heritage crafts and nature, Georgia is excited to play an active role in creating a collection with sustainability at its core and hopes The Modern Artisan will guide her in her next steps as a luxury atelier or working with smaller brands.

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

Jessica grew up in Hampshire. After exploring multiple art practices throughout her education, she studied Fashion Design at Arts University Bournemouth. She reached the semi-finals of the Redress Design Awards 2023 with an upcycled capsule collection that utilised fabric off-cuts and ex-industry and vintage yarn cones. Jessica is interested in how technology can be used to reduce waste and believes that building a strong emotional connection between clothing and people through storytelling could help address overconsumption. After The Modern Artisan, she hopes to gain further experience in woven and knitwear design, launch her own slow fashion line and organise workshops to inspire the next generation to explore textiles and enhance the longevity of clothing.

Sarah Jane Sleeba

Sarah Jane Sleeba

Sarah was born and raised in India. After studying Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Bangalore and working as an associate fashion merchandiser for a luxury retailer in Mumbai, she moved to the UK to complete her Master’s at Kingston University’s School of Art. Falling in love with fashion at a young age, Sarah was inspired to become a designer after watching Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1999 show, No. 13. She joined The Modern Artisan to design collaboratively with others and spend time with likeminded people who share a passion for sustainability. Sarah hopes to launch her own brand and create a platform that brings India’s heritage craftsmanship to a global stage.

Flavia Maria Nistor

Flavia Maria Nistor

Flavia was born and raised in Romania. Having loved fashion from a young age, she studied Fashion Design at Staffordshire University. During her initial years in fashion, she created bespoke outfits for clients in the music industry and worked to launch her own label. In her designs, Flavia draws inspiration from her Romanian heritage. Previously working as an assistant designer for a luxury tailoring brand, she is determined to make a positive impact on the luxury and fashion industry and believes that collaboration is key to resolving challenges throughout the supply chain. Flavia is passionate about working with artisans and their communities to preserve traditional craftsmanship and reinterpret them with a modern approach for fashion design.

Second Edition 2021-2022


The Modern Artisan’s second edition achieved several landmark milestones. It was the first time that Highgrove Gardens, adjacent to Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort’s private residence, inspired a fashion collection. The resulting responsible womenswear capsule collection was also the first to 100% align with YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s Infinity Product Guide and achieve carbon neutrality through a partnership with Carbonsink to minimise, calculate and offset each garment’s carbon footprint.

First Edition 2019-2020


The Modern Artisan’s debut trained 10 graduates across the UK and Italy, who created a womenswear and menswear collection sold across all YOOX NET-A-PORTER platforms for the first time. Learning how to use internal data insights and gaining advanced technical production skills, the artisans collaborated across borders to share knowledge, cultures and experiences. This was reflected in the collection’s Digital IDs – a first for YOOX NET-A-PORTER. The project was showcased at the 2021 Michelangelo Foundation’s Homo Faber exhibition of craftsmanship.

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