Art Aginst Knives – DESIGN + MAKE

Last week I went to Ally Capellino to celebrate the achievements of this year’s DESIGN+MAKE project participants.
DESIGN+MAKE is a collaboration between London College of Fashion, Art Against Knives and Sir John Cass’s Foundation, which provides support to young adults who are, or have been, at risk of violent crime to create their own positive futures.
Art Against Knives
The programme is a brilliant opportunity for young people, with the support including a nine month mentoring programme, an intensive two week creative workshop and a programme of trips, industry events and showcase opportunities.
For the creative workshop, we offered the chance to learn how to make a leather bag at London College of Fashion.
Using the City of London as inspiration the participants had to design and make their own bespoke leather bag or briefcase, which they could take away with them. They were taught about things such as pattern cutting, construction and hand sewing by the college’s tutors.
Art Against Knives
The leather bags that the eight participants designed and made over the two weeks at Golden Lane were then displayed at the Ally Capellino store in Shoreditch in an evening of celebration.
I was so impressed with the standard of work on show. The designs were so creative and really reflected the personalities of the participants. To achieve the standard of finishing that I saw in just two weeks, is really amazing. I am really proud to be a part of such a great programme, I found it inspiring listening to what the participants had taken away from the experience.
Art Against Knives 3
We hope the project will have given these young adults an opportunity to shape their pathways into further education, employment or training by developing new skills and improved self confidence.
If you’re interested in taking part in next year’s project, or if you would like to know more, email:
In the meantime, see the brilliant video of this year’s project here!