DESIGN FOR INNOVATION CONTEST: THE 3 WINNERS

03/05/2020
3 VINCITORI

We came together and partnered with AIW  and TFP Talents in a Charity Campaign named Cucire Insieme for the city of Modena. In this project, immigrant women with tailor skills create sustainable and re-usable masks given in exchange of a donation that will help the AIW developing more projects in order to train and support even more women.

The mask designs were provided by young and talented fashion designers who answered our call with creativity and smart ideas. Like Plato said,  ‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’ and this crisis called for unity. Good design has the power to transform a problem into an innovative solution that will have a positive impact on our lives and our world and we are very touched to see how so many young designers from around all the world came together to design inclusive, innovative and sustainable masks for the community. The designs we received were extraordinary,  eventually, we had to take a decision; three of them were chosen as winners in different categories which are inclusivity, design, and feasibility.

Get to know the three winners’ stories!

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IBRAHIM OUSMAN

Ibrahim, can you tell us something about yourself?

I am 29 years old born and raised in Cameroon. I came to Italy in 2017 on my own seeking Asylum which thankfully was granted.  I arrived by boat, then spent some time in Bologna before coming to Modena.  I started sewing with my father when I was a boy.  He ran a clothing shop out of our home.  Sewing with him was like a game for me, one we could play together and I have always loved it since then.  I opened up my own Atelier there, and had a team of 3 people working for me.  I miss that very much.
 
 Why did you decide to participate in the competition?
 
Since arriving in Italy I haven’t been able to find a job in a clothing Atelier.  I saw this competition as an opportunity to have my design seen and my voice heard.  I love being in Italy, there is so much opportunity but first you have to integrate into the culture before having access to those opportunities and I saw this competition as a way to do that.
 
How has the pandemic affected your life? 
 
It was hard at the beginning, staying at home and feeling isolated.  I have also been hard to find materials. With the small amounts of fabric I have been able to find, I have been creating masks from home and giving them out to people in my community for free.
 
In your opinion, how will Covid19 affect the world of design?
 
It’s hard to know now.  I am a strong believer in teamwork.  When we work with other people, we are more inspired and motivated.  We evolve more quickly learning from others and being able to share.  I fear that we will not be able to work in Ateliers together for a while because of social distancing, so we will have to find alternative ways to share our ideas.
 

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1. Tell our readers something about you? 

I grew up in a small town in the province of Bergamo. I had a passion for fashion design since I was a kid and as soon as I could I went to Marangoni fashion school which gave me the foundation  I needed to work in the fashion industry. After this first experience, I enrolled in a Master Degree in womenswear patternmaking at Istituto Secoli di Milano. After several interships and work experiences I have finally decided to launch my brand “Valentina Poltronieri”.

2. Why did you decide to participate to this competition?

The quarantine due to the Corona Virus shut down all the shops and textile companies I was collaborating with, leaving me with more free time in my hands to rethink about projects and my journey. Then, I came across the “#cucireinsieme” campaign and why not participating in a new campaign that involves all my creativity and supports a good cause? It’s in my DNA and it makes me happy.

3. What is the impact of this pandemic on your life?

The first days, I was very scared to fail after all the sacrifices I have made in the last three years,  and anxious at the idea to pause all the projects initiated. After ten days, the anxiety left; I have started focusing my energy on a new project and my website. I have created a T-shirt in organic cotton called “my doll” featuring a 3D graphic doll. I have also started producing protective masks after seeing how many people were sad around the now widely desertic city. The masks are very simple, fresh and colored, fully customizable and made to stimulate the creativity of the children, these masks convey a message of positivity. I have entered the competition Cucire Insieme with these creation and being one of the winners made me understand how caring for each other and stay united is important.

4. How do you envision the future of fashion after Covid-19? 

I believe that fashion will revolve around these keywords: Virtual – Ethical – Positive.

Virtual: many brands have already started presenting their collections virtually, fashion has to move forward in a way or the other. Technology will lead this change.

Ethical: We have to focus on quality, respecting our environment and human rights.  Re-think how to use natural and recycled fabric will be the key.

Positivity: Fashion will have to transmit energy, positivity, and joy. It won’t be easy, especially for small brands like mine so I hope all companies in the field will choose to restart with unity and cohesion in order to not destroy the dreams of many young designers.

 

JOHN-HERRERA
1. Tell our readers something about you
 
I’m a fashion designer from Manila, I moved recently to London. I’ve been designing for over a decade. And  recently I have realized that I want to change the way I create things. I want to recycle. I think there’s still a huge gap between recycling fibers. And whilst that technology is being developed I like my frivolous fashion moments to come from fashion waste.
 
2. Why did you decide to participate to this competition?
 
Because I do care about humans and their safety. I like wearing masks because I feel safer and at the same time thoughtful that I don’t infect anyone around me. Even the common cold can be passed simply by sneezing near another person.

3. What is the impact of this pandemic on your life?
 
In spite of being sad of all the lives lost and heart-broken families. This lockdown has been really good for me. It strengthened my thoughts on how the industry impacts the environment. It has put all the wasteful aspects of my business on hold, given me time to reflect. And mostly given me the inspiration to go back to why I fell in love with this industry in the first place- creativity. I have been busy sewing recycled clothes for myself.

4. How do you envision the future of fashion after Covid-19?
 
Fashion will be more conscious, for the environment, for people, for consumers. More democratized and inclusive. More rational.