Kering award finalists – Elena Tarabakina

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In the second of our blog posts on the Kering Award finalists 2015, we are introducing MA Fashion Artefact student Elena Tarabakina.

‘I want to create a rich and unusual aesthetic beauty. I want to embody the heritage of craftsmanship through the prism of modern technology.’

Elena is a footwear designer by trade with an eye for sublime aesthetics and texture. She was inspired by the sheer quantity of waste materials in the studio and manufacturing process and through experimentation with leather offcuts has developed a new material, ‘leather like wood’, which can be used in a series of luxury applications from accessories and footwear to interiors. Combined with other non-traditional materials of rubber, plastic and wood, Elena is demonstrating a feeling of desire and splendor that is possible to achieve through processes that are mindful of their environmental impacts.

‘Along with architecture my inspiration was traditional handcraft – woodworking and leather craft, the fascinating process of transformation of raw material into fine object. Relations between material and material and between human and material became the main interest for me.’

Six finalists were selected for their standout work in response to briefs from Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Over the next week we will introduce you to each of these changemakers, leading up to the announcements of the winners on 3 November at the annual Kering Talk at London College of Fashion.

The winners will each receive €10,000  and a paid internship at the brand.

Through the Award, Elena worked with experts from the CSF and with Sarah Needham, Sustainability Manager at Alexander McQueen, to offer unrivalled insight to the ways in which they are telling the stories of sustainability to empower their customers.

Applications are now open for the Kering Award 2016. If you are an LCF student and would like to find more click here.