LONDON — Seven years after the initial announcement, the London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts London, on Wednesday night inaugurated its brand new campus at Stratford, East London.
The campus is part of East Bank, the U.K.’s latest cultural quarter at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with neighbors including the V&A East Museum, Sadler’s Wells East, and the new BBC Music studios.
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For the first time in the establishment’s 117-year history, all undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be taught under one roof. Previously, the facilities were scattered across six sites in London.
The fashion institution, which counts Jonathan Anderson, Jimmy Choo, Robert Wun, Harri’s Harikrishnan Keezhathil Surendran Pillai, and many more as its alumni, threw a party that exemplified its ambition to better connect with East London schools, communities, and industry.
It kick-started with a performance by LCF graduate and music artist Kojey Radical alongside a choir comprised of East London-based singers. It was followed by dance performances by a collective of multidisciplinary East London artists, and DJ sets by BBC Music Studios’ Mary Anne Hobbs, Limelight, and CassKid.
At the event, author and artist Daniel Lismore called the new space “a masterpiece of architecture that inspires you as you walk through the door. I can see great artists of the future flourishing there.”
Steven Passaro, a Paris-based menswear designer who graduated from the LFC MA Fashion course in 2019, said he was impressed with how “big and beautiful” the new campus is.
“It feels very modern and open for collaboration between courses as everyone is in the same building now. It’s really saying that we are one of the top universities. I also like the mix of concrete and wood. There is a warm feeling to it. I used to live in the area and it has changed so much. I can see that the students who are going to study here will be blessed with a lot of new opportunities,” he added.
Justine Simons, deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries, hailed the opening of the new LCF campus as “a hugely exciting milestone for East Bank and our capital.”
“This spectacular building will help to grow the next generation of creative disruptors and geniuses, attracting talent from across the world and inspiring students for many years to come. Sitting alongside an illustrious group of partners, it will also cement East Bank’s place as a powerhouse for innovation, creativity, and learning, as we build a better London for all,” added Simons.
James Purnell, president and vice chancellor at the University of the Arts London, said the new LCF campus can help usher “the next generation of artists, designers, and creators into the vibrant heart of East London and celebrating London for the global fashion capital it is, recognized across the world for excellence.”
“We are forging partnerships and creating new opportunities and connections with the schools, communities, and industries of East London and beyond. Creativity, the lifeblood of our institution, has the potential to tackle our most pressing challenges and, in doing so, transform lives,” added Purnell.
Andrew Teverson, pro-vice chancellor and head of the London College of Fashion, noted that “we celebrate the tremendous hard work of everybody who has helped design and realize this remarkable new building, bringing our degree-level staff and students together in a state-of-the-art learning environment that’s as beautiful as it is sustainable. We believe that creativity is never a solitary endeavor, but always a community effort, and this is what we hope to be at East Bank, part of the vibrant and talented community surrounding our new home.”
Following the official opening, the new LFC campus is open to the public for its free exhibition “Designed for Life,” which will run until Jan.19.
Established in 1986, the University of the Arts London is composed of six colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Art and Design, the London College of Communication, the London College of Fashion, and Wimbledon College of Art.
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