O’Neill and London College of Fashion challenge the new generation of designers to give a second life to pre-owned garments
The Northern Californian surf brand O’Neill has teamed up with students from the BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear program at London College of Fashion (LCF) for a project focused on giving second life to pre-owned garments and pre-used surf products.
O'Neill invited LCF students to experiment with fabrics and materials reflecting O'Neill's heritage while looking into the future. "We are always keen on discovering young designers' innovative approaches," said Ricardo Campoa, O'Neill's Head of Design & Development. "London College of Fashion is known for their industry-leading, forward- projected vision. The decision to collaborate with their students was key to understand in which direction our industry is moving." The challenge aimed to nurture talents and inspire the upcoming generation of designers to explore the multitude of recycling options and culminated in an award for the overall winner of the competition as well as runners-up in three categories: Design and Experimentation, Research and Concept and Realisation and Promotion.
The BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear students participating presented their looks in person to the O'Neill Design Team at London College of Fashion's Mare Street campus. Recipients of the awards were:
- Winner of the Competition: Emilie Kristiansen, whose work aimed to help reduce pollution in the sea and protect life under the water. She created pieces that could be worn before or after surfing, in many sizes and for all genders. Kristiansen said: “I wanted to use alternative materials that already existed as a part of O'Neill's assortment. I designed a take-back system where I upcycled the received kite material and trims into new styles, almost without adding any new material or trim.” The leitmotif behind her concept was The Youth Who Surf In The Nordic Region, young people who defy all kinds of weather to surf and catch the next big wave. Ricardo Campoa commented on the choice: "She understood O'Neill as a customer and brought a strong, sustainable angle with an unexpected look and feel. Her outfits were complete and well aligned with our brand's sports performance heritage."
- Design and Experimentation: Jianing Lu, who stood out thanks to her unique way of experimenting with colours and materials and the reversibility of the garments she created.
- Research and Concept: Junlue Chen, for his inspiration from nature and ancient Chinese history.
- Realisation and Promotion: went to Raul Jegatheesann for considering the whole distribution process that follows the collection's production.
With this project, O’Neill and London College of Fashion wanted to support and inspire students to create towards a more responsible circular industry.