No. 21 founder and creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua and fashion advisory group Tomorrow London are launching a mentorship program for emerging designers this fashion month. Supporting upcoming design talent seems to be a big theme this year, with the LVMH Prize sharing the award between all of eight finalists, and A-COLD-WALL* announcing grants for Black designers in June.
Under the partnership, each season, two brands — one Italian and one international — will be selected by designer Dell’Acqua who will offer them a design and collection development consultancy service. Tomorrow will then add mentorship on production development, marketing and distribution. In addition, Dell’Acqua and Tomorrow will also host the emerging brands’ sales campaigns at the Garage Ventuno showroom in Milan.
'I’m convinced that our initiative designed to help young talents constitutes a true occasion for them to get in touch with a wide international audience of journalists, buyers and fashion industry professionals,' Dell’Acqua said.
As WWD reports, the first brands to be selected for this mentorship are Italian brand AC9 and Albanian designer Nensi Dojaka. WWD described the brands thus:
'Founded in 2019 by former publicist Alfredo Cortese, who also worked in the No. 21 communication office, AC9 focuses on dresses cut in a wide range of silhouettes but defined by a clean, minimal aesthetic featuring asymmetric cuts, sensual cutouts and solid colours.'
'An art graduate from the London College of Fashion, Dojaka cut her teeth at Peter Pilotto and Fyodor Golan before establishing her own brand, conveying a feminine and delicate look enriched by quirky touches.'