This project gave Central Saint Martins an opportunity to really show how our research can be applied in a range of commercial contexts in ways that are both inspiring and informative.
VF Corporation (Vanity Fair Corporation [VF]) is an American apparel company with brands such as Wrangler, Lee Jeans, Eastpak, JanSport, Nautica and Timberland.
They commissioned Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) to help them understand and demonstrate how to use sustainability as a driver for innovation.
VF had the visionary idea of developing and hosting an innovation showcase, bringing to life consumer-based trends and key technologies that could influence the development of next-generation apparel. A key aim of this event was to create an interactive environment, which allowed VF staff to see and experience new and emerging concepts that would help them to identify innovation opportunities, build new networks, and come away feeling inspired and more knowledgeable.
TFRC contributed to VF’s innovation showcase in a number of ways, including creative direction of the overall event and curation of a section within the show dedicated to sustainable design – this role involved us innovating new product concepts.
We also helped VF tap into fresh thinking from next generation designers by delivering a student design competition that ran across the University Of The Arts London. The winning results were paraded at a live fashion show. TFRC also led practical workshops that put our sustainable methods into action. Overall, we assembled a formidable team of design-led researchers, designers, students and alumni, covering all aspects of our philosophy – sustainable design, scientific collaboration, technical and social innovation and well-being.
The exhibition curation process involved researching existing prototypes to exhibit, as well as conceiving and producing new prototypes in order to realise the vision and potential of the event. The curators and co-curators also mentored many of the designers through the production phase.
"The Textile Futures Research Centre really impressed us with their vision, the professionalism of their approach and the range and quality of their expertise and delivery. TFRC are excellent researchers in their field. They have a unique approach to using technology breakthroughs fused with sustainable design thinking, which many of our brands found really relevant and inspiring." - Stephen Dull, Senior Vice President Marty Lawrence, General Manager Of Innovation VF Corporation.
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