(September 14, 2009 – London, England) London based fashion group holds charity event to combat violent crime in London. This follows on from the huge success of the charity’s Celebrity Art Exhibition and fund-raising auction earlier this year, which was supported by the likes of Tracey Emin, Giles, Vivienne Westwood, Antony Gormley, Marios Schwab, Rankin, Christopher Kane, Tim Walker, Richard Nicoll and Wolfgang Tillmans amongst others.
This high-profile event provides the perfect setting for Art Against Knives’ official launch as a charity; an opportunity for the art and fashion world to yet again unite in solidarity over a deep concern for the ever-increasing issue of knife crime in our local community, and beyond to the rest of the UK.
FASH OFF! also marks the involvement of CoutureLab with Art Against Knives; a unique luxury lifestyle destination frequented by an exclusive and international clientele. CoutureLab will host a series of bespoke art and garment auctions online on behalf of the charity. This creative laboratory of ideas is the perfect setting for the exquisteley designed, one-off couture pieces that will go up for auction. The kind support of CoutureLab will help us to raise global awareness.
Our charity was born from the tragic and unprovoked stabbing of our friend Oliver Hemsley, a 21-year-old student from Central St Martins College of Art. The vicious attack, which has left Oliver in a wheelchair, took place in East London’s Arnold Circus just over a year ago, but the impact remains with us all. It is this impact which drives us to create something positive from Oliver’s life-shattering experience.
Art Against Knives is our way of ensuring that this ambition is realised; the charity channels not only the enduring positivity of the deeply affected people at its helm, but that of an entire community.
With the importance of community in mind, Art Against Knives will work together with ‘Open Shoreditch’; a coalition of East London-based residents’ associations and businesses, to develop the Art Against Knives project. This is a social initiative which is working towards reducing knife crime, by engaging young people in troubled areas with art and fashion-based workshops. By nurturing the raw, creative talent of those often overlooked, these projects pave the way for a future beyond violent gang culture.
A key focus of our charity is to ensure that the projects we run and sponsor bring long awaited and deep-rooted change to the community. To achieve this, we have enlisted the help of Panopticon, a new public policy consultancy. The Panopticon team is creating a framework which allows AAK to scientifically evaluate the impact of its programmes, in turn helping other charities, programmes and the Government to better understand knife crime, its causes and potential solutions.
Art Against Knives continues to work in partnership with one of the country’s leading advertising agencies, Leagas Delaney, following the successful press and poster campaign earlier this year. Art Against Knives continues to go from strength to strength under their creative and inspirational roof, benefiting from the support of their web design team, Holst Digital, who have also created a vibrant website, showcasing the donated works of art by the likes of Banksy, Gormley and Emin, as well as students from Central St Martins.