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VCUarts Qatar Announces Second Eco Lux Lab workshop

November 8, 2020
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Next masterclass features high-end sustainable denim fashion

Following the successful launch of the first of the five-part Eco Luxury Laboratory (Eco Lux Lab) workshops, VCUarts Qatar is pleased to announce the second in the virtual series that focuses on sustainable fashion.

The online session – titled Denim, Designers and Divas – will be held from 5pm to 6.30 pm, on the 10th of November, and will be presented by Bill Curtin, the owner of Blueprint Denim Washhouse (BPD Washhouse), based in New York. The workshop is open to industry practitioners and members of the public keen to hone their know-how of sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

During the workshop, Curtin will take the audience through the different phases of producing sustainable denim clothing including the processes – such as tinting and washing – typically used to give denim its characteristic look and feel. He will also be sharing his experiences of collaborating with high-end brands and celebrities. Immediately following the session, participants will be given the opportunity to pose questions to, and share their insights with, Curtin.

BPD, which calls itself a denim studio, is one of the few facilities to offer both wet and dry processes in the USA. Over the years, the company’s clientele has expanded to include brands such as Ralph Lauren, Converse, Calvin Klein, OshKosh B’gosh, J C Penny, and Tommy Hilfiger. The company has also been holding workshops and exhibitions for individuals and retailers keen to expand their knowledge and skills in the denim industry.

“With sustainability being the new focus and responsibility of the luxury sector, both locally and globally, the fashion faculty at VCUarts Qatar created a new initiative called Eco Luxury Laboratory,” said Christopher Fink, Chair of Fashion Design at VCUarts Qatar. “The initiative offers exciting opportunities for the local Qatar community and our students to join forces and engage world class luxury leaders and pioneers who educate and address the new codes and benchmarks of sustainability in the global market today.

“In our next series called Denim, Designers and Divas, we will visit the New York-based washhouse of Bill Curtin who is a master in sustainable denim developments and counts international designers and celebrities as dedicated clients.”

Eco Lux Lab is a pioneering initiative launched by the Fashion Design department at VCUarts Qatar – a Qatar Foundation partner university – in response to the growing realization that current and future generations of designers need to be taught the importance of sustainable fashion. The workshops aim to make participants aware that luxury can be sustainable and beautiful, without having to sacrifice the former for the latter.

With its emphasis on responsible design and community engagement, VCUarts Qatar offers Eco Lux Lab to both its own students as well as the general public. Public response to the first workshop that took place on the 31st of October was enthusiastic – places for the online session, where Italian master craftsman Rino Magnani took attendees through the process of making luxury handbags using upcycled leather, filled up as soon as registration opened.

Upcoming Eco Lux Lab online masterclasses will feature the famous Brooklyn-based fashion illustrator Richard Haines, and artist Helen Kirkum from London. Haines’ work has helped the art of fashion illustration re-emerge and slowly nudge aside energy-guzzling processes such as photoshoots, while Kirkum’s range of bespoke sneakers made from waste materials have created a stir in London’s art and fashion circles.

To register for the second Eco Lux Lab workshop – and a ringside view of sustainable processes in denim production live from New York  – please visit

The Eco Lux Lab workshops are supported by the Community and Continuing Education program at VCUarts Qatar.