Collaboration brings comfort in the fashion industry

Collaboration brings comfort in the fashion industry

Thu 28 May 2020 8:19 AM

The global fashion industry continues to endure a difficult season. In this time of great transition, industry professionals are adapting to these challenges, while still physically apart. Isolated, they are forced to continue business “as per usual”, however unusual these circumstances may be. Video calls are becoming the new norm and replacing their passing small talk in the break room, something now cherished and even missed. Kitchen tables, or even sometimes their beds, shamelessly admitted, are doubling as desks and workspaces.



Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera



Though, notably, in their time apart, the fashion industry has expanded its global reach and formed an international community to support one another in these trying times. Some of the most respected fashion houses and publications including Vogue’s recent Global Conversations Virtual Summit are reaching out and inviting conversations to express their visions and solutions for the future. Perhaps in the face of adversity, togetherness is the answer. By seizing opportunities for collaboration, we are able to form creative connections across the miles. And in this story, it’s a group of young creatives that is changing the narrative for the future of fashion.


Oceans apart and settled in two different global fashion capitals, a group of students who will develop as the future industry leaders unite for a monumental collaboration.


Enter the Graduate Class of Accademia di Belle Arti Milano. Under the direction of the renowned designer Francesca Liberatore, ten graduate designers of various upbringings, perspectives and talents completed their final collections earlier this year. With the long-standing traditional fashion shows suddenly out of the picture and out of the question, an alternative to showcase the work of these students was in demand.



Marist College: Steel Plant Studio



In New York, another group consisting of 35 students from Marist College, specializing in Fashion Business and Promotion, offers a nearly seamless solution. A virtual runway show presenting the designers’ hard work and dedication to the art of fashion. The fitting title of this collaboration is Insieme, meaning Together.


This student-led initiative sheds light on the belief that isolation from others should not hinder our creative spirits or our determination to collaborate. The shared passions and struggles of these two schools drive their artistic expression, exemplifying their perseverance in times of challenge. Which is precisely how the industry should and will proceed for the foreseeable future.


The two schools connected through their mutual relationship with Francesca Liberatore, who has remained an active mentor in the Marist College community. Many of these New York-based fashion students study abroad at Florence’s Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute. Several volunteer backstage for Liberatore’s show during Milan Fashion Week, in an effort to gain global exposure to the industry. However, Insieme is these students’ most ambitious venture yet. Ideating and executing a story that will resonate with two countries who have suffered immensely is no easy feat.




“My passion for fashion has been striking since I was 8, when I handmade my first clothes with scraps of fabric.”

-Linda Grasso, on IG @insieme_creiamo




In this time apart, there is so much uncertainty regarding the future of fashion. These students hope that even in better times our desire to create together does not fade. It is through a community that we will challenge one another with a fresh outlook to create something greater.


Despite the differences among these students including language barriers, cultural differences, and even simultaneously living through a pandemic on different sides of the world, fashion will always remain universal. As long as there is a story to be told, a community is sure to follow.



By Erica Capobianco and Julia Mazzella



Insieme will premiere Friday, May 29th, at 2 PM EST/8 PM CET on the Marist Fashion YouTube Channel. For more details, explore Instagram and Facebook.

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