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Earlier this year, photographs began circulating suggesting that His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne, wears just two coats—and has done so since approximately 1988. The idea was almost too much to bear. One of the global faces of privilege and power, a man with access to the best tailors in the world and a great amount of money to throw at them, has apparently survived for nearly three decades with only two pieces of outerwear: a camel-hair coat and a tweed coat from Anderson & Sheppard. Both are double-breasted, with peak lapels. They go with everything—even high-visibility vests.

While it’s the women of the royal family who tend to grab fashion headlines, this outerwear rotation told us something about Prince Charles’s values and lifelong passions, which include gardening, organic farming, and environmentally conscious urban planning. Sustainable fashion isn’t simply about materials; it is also about quality and personal style.

YOOX Net-a-Porter’s Federico Marchetti demonstrates Digital ID to Prince Charles, September, 2020.Mike Wilkinson / Courtesy of MR PORTER

Now Prince Charles is turning his philosophy with something bigger: a fashion collection. His charity, the Prince’s Foundation, worked with Yoox Net-a-Porter (which also owns menswear outpost Mr Porter) to put together a group of students from Italy and the United Kingdom to create an 18-piece capsule of sustainable garments. The group comprises students from Italy’s Politecnico di Milano, one of the country’s leading design schools, and artisans working out of the Prince’s Foundation’s headquarters in Scotland, who have spent the past several months in an exchange about how best to apply newly learned knowledge of sustainable materials and traditional techniques. The project is called the Modern Artisan, and the pieces go on sale across Yoox’s suite of e-commerce sites today.

Jacqueline Farrell, the education director of the Prince’s Foundation, said in a recent Zoom that the goal was to help the 10 participants become “aware that sewing is an art form and a craft in itself, and also to see that the amount of time spent making a garment isn’t two hours.” She added, “There’s a lot of commitment required to produce and teach that—and the time that goes into making something that is beautiful and heritage.” This is a long-standing goal of the Prince’s: At Dumfries House, the headquarters of the Foundation, Farrell oversees a textile training center that teaches bygone methods of making clothes.

Prince Charles speaks with Federico Marchetti at Dumfries House, September 2020.Mike Wilkinson / Courtesy of MR PORTER

Article written by Rachel Tashjian #GQ

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