Fifteen young refugees and migrants living in Italy will be given the chance to launch a career in fashion.
The project, called “Fashion Deserves the World,” is an initiative by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera della Moda).
It will give the young refugees and migrants an opportunity to study fashion and find work in Italian companies, giving them new lives from the places they fled.
Camera della Moda has been given the patronage of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a UN project on ethical fashion.
“Fashion Deserves the World” was introduced at the end of Milan Men’s Fashion Week as a part of the initiatives organized in Italy for World Refugee Day, in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mygrants, a startup that provides micro-learning programs in three languages to help migrants consolidate their knowledge and find a job.
“Giving an opportunity is an extraordinary opportunity,” said President of Camera della Moda Carlo Capasa in a press conference attended by Arab News.
“‘Fashion Deserves the World’ is not just an opportunity for refugees but also for Italian companies. With retirements scheduled to cover the next three to four years, we estimate that there will be nearly 40,000 vacant jobs in the Italian fashion sector,” Capasa added.
“A minimum of two years is necessary to train new professional figures in this field, and it would be a disaster if we lost the outstanding quality of our fashion craftsmen who will leave their jobs without heirs if we do not train somebody else so that their unique skills will not be lost.”
Talented migrants and refugees could continue the tradition of Italian fashion craftsmen. “In this sense migrants and refugees can be our assets, and fashion could be theirs,” Capasa said.
“We are starting with this small project, which we hope will soon become a big one. For the moment it is a stone in the pond, but we expect something bigger to come at some point,” he said, calling for “specific training paths set by the government with a preference for talented migrants and refugees.”
Laura Iucci, the head of private sector partnerships for UNHCR Italia, said: “In this operation, everybody wins. Companies need a turnover of well-trained and motivated people and, according to the latest macroeconomic studies, the diversity brought by migrants is an added value. The National Chamber of Italian Fashion is now forging a new path.”
Applications are open to migrants, refugees and stateless people with a good knowledge of the Italian language and a strong desire to work in the fashion sector.
The applications must be sent through the Mygrants website, where they will be examined by experts from the National Chamber of Italian Fashion in Milan.
The 15 finalists will attend training sessions and then start working at companies associated with the Camera della Moda across Italy.