The major players in the global denim industry are pooling their resources to help the next generation of designers.
Isko recently announced that it has donated premium denim fabrics to the three students at Savannah College of Art and Design to support the development of their senior year collection.
Each student shared a personal story through their denim design. E’Naiyah Fraizer has adopted the Kintsugi and wabi-sabi philosophies, which encourage one to find beauty in imperfection, in his collection. She combined traditional denim with bleached and tie-dye effects. Maryuam Muhammad focused on creating modest fashion for all women, and Ifeade Adedokun experimented with denim textures.
The students presented their designs to a panel of industry experts this month, including Sonny Puryear, head of marketing and business development at Isko, who offered advice and commentary.
“Encouraging and nurturing young talent is extremely important at Isko,” said Puryear. “Their visions will shape the future of the fashion industry, so it is our responsibility to support their growth by sharing their knowledge, expertise and even providing denim for their projects.
Giving fabrics to students is second nature to the denim factory, which supports the Isko I-Skool, the annual student design competition that encompasses design, sustainability and marketing strategies.
The global competition brings together suppliers to the denim industry, experts and students from top design schools, including the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has participated in several previous editions of the competition.
At the last Isko I-Skool a year ago, trim maker Cadica launched a special award for four students called “Pericolo Creativo”. Students were granted internships, but the pandemic prevented them from traveling to Cadica’s headquarters in Carpi, Italy.
However, the company has adapted to virtual internships to allow students to develop their own collections of sustainable toppings and to gain experience in creating technical packs.
“It was exciting to see that Cadica accessories have no limitations on design options, materials and technique of execution,” said Seohee Ruby Shin, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, adding that most of the fashion clothing students do not experience the entire design process, including the trims.
The fashion industry, in general, is increasingly embracing the next generation of designers. In April, the British Fashion Council (BFC) launched the Student Fabric Initiative, a ‘collective community action’ developed to provide dead ends or unwanted fabrics to fashion students across the UK while reducing waste in the industry.
Denim factories also came together earlier this year for the sixth annual Ravensbourne University Denim Innovation Project in London. Organized in partnership with Kingpins and Transformers Foundation, the competition showcased the work of 75 second-year scholarship undergraduates tasked with designing a denim collection, from concept to finished garments and branding.
Groups of students were given 10 weeks to create their collections using fabrics, trims and technologies provided by Candiani, Cone, Bossa, Orta, Naveena, Tencel, YKK and more. The students then showcased their work in a virtual trade fair mockup and were judged by a panel of 38 industry experts representing factories and other parts of the denim supply chain, trade show organizations. and the media.