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Rovers Fan’s Role in Darwen Exhibition

Saturday, 9 October 2021
By  
Michael Taylor

There's just a day remaining to see a very special exhibition in the centre of Darwen.

Rovers fan and fashion consultant Gary Aspden convinced iconic Italian menswear brand CP Company to celebrate their 50th birthday with a display of their archive in his home town of Darwen, as part of the British Textiles Biennial 2021 and to raise money for local charity Nightsafe.

  

As well as seriously gorgeous jackets, including one that folds out to make a tent, the exhibition features a deeply personal film that Riversider Gary has made about his relationship with the brand, the goggle jacket in particular, and his friendships in Darwen and through following the Rovers.

Gary is proud to have pulled off the coup of getting the Bologna based brand to appreciate that English towns have their place in culture and especially when it grows from working class roots.

He says: "I strongly believe that culture is crucial to the regeneration of post-industrial areas. A focus on creativity can enhance the quality of people’s lives and make these more desirable places to live in

"If you don’t believe in youth then you have got nothing so it’s great to show the young people of Darwen and Blackburn new possibilities by bringing what is a milestone event from an iconic Italian designer brand here.

"It was a courageous move for C.P. Company to invest in a project outside of the major cities and I commend them for that.

"I believe that’s what captured the imagination of some of our high profile guests who showed up to support the launch.

"The president and the senior team from C.P. Company were overwhelmed by the welcome and gratitude shown to them by local people and were behind the idea of using the exhibition as a vehicle to raise the profile and funds of Nightsafe. They have been super happy with the attendance and response to the exhibition so far.’’

Cinquanta is on at Darwen Market car park until Sunday 10 October 2021, but the digital exhibition will be a permanent legacy.


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