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Accessories Company Rae Feather Named a Walpole Brand of Tomorrow

LUXURY accessories brand, Rae Feather, has been named as a Walpole 2018 Brand of Tomorrow, the organisation’s flagship development programme. Through this programme Walpole, the body for the British luxury industry, selects 12 innovative British luxury brands to be part of a year-long programme of workshops and mentoring, helping to develop their business skills and foster their growth. This is achieved through a pairing system, wherein each brand is partnered with an experienced UK luxury executive from whom they receive a year of personal mentoring and one-to-one coaching.

The transference of skills and the growth of mutually beneficial relationships within the luxury industry are the core aims of the Brands of Tomorrow scheme. Its objectives are not limited to Britain and the luxury sector either, but instead are aimed at helping the wider business economy to prosper.

Rae Feather, Walpole, Brands of Tomorrow, fashion, award, business, luxury, British, 2018Rae Feather

Rae Feather’s brand ethos is grounded in the idea of bringing joy to the simply things in life. They are well-known around the world for their woven baskets and clutches, for which they offer the addition of hand painted, monogrammed initials.

The Brands of Tomorrow programme is now in its 11th year, with some of its graduates including Orlebar Brown, Charlotte Olympia, Nyetimber, Bremont and Emilia Wickstead, while past mentors include senior executives from Selfridges, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Harrods and Oliver Sweeney.

by Daisy Sewell

West Dean College Supports Red List For Endangered Crafts in UK

HERITAGE crafts such as making clogs, pianos and blocks for millinery are still produced in Britain – but only just. Recent research by The Heritage Craft Association (HCA) reveals that many of Britain’s traditional craft skills are in decline and in some cases, no longer practised.  The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts is the title of the new project launched by HCA, supported by the Radcliffe Trust, which endeavours to oversee the viability of heritage craft skills on a regular basis. Their research reveals that the emergence of new technologies and an ageing workforce affect the viability of some craft practices but a lack of affordable workshops, training courses and business skills compromise others.

Heritage Craft Association, West Dean College, heritage crafts, Red ListWest Dean College student, Stacey Hibberd. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Ison

At present, Britain is one of the few countries that have chosen not to back UNESCO’s convention regarding the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage which supports craft skills. Greta Bertram, who led the research, has highlighted the need this month for increased government funding said, “For too long we have been bounced between heritage – which means historic buildings and museums – and arts – things that you can put on a shelf and admire.”

Heritage Craft Association, West Dean College, heritage crafts, Red ListWest Dean College student, Francesca Levey. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Ison

West Dean College in Chichester, who support the new Red List proposals have launched a brand new foundation degree in Historic Craft Practice which teaches metalwork, furniture, musical instrument-making and horology. The horology course includes a project for making an 18th century clock.

Heritage Craft Association, West Dean College, heritage crafts, Red ListWest Dean College student, Fons Vogel. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Ison

Apart from teaching crafts practice and tool-making, the course also endeavours to equip students with valuable business skills. Francine Norris, the Director for Education at West Dean College which specialises in conservation and creative arts education and is validated by the University of Sussex, said, “We hope the List will raise awareness of our rich craft heritage and encourage people to consider learning traditional skills many of which are still relevant today.”

by Miranda Charalambous

Front page image: West Dean College horology student. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Ison