BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear alumna, Ada Zanditon, presented her spring/summer 2016 collection for Ada + Nik during New York Fashion Week, with business partner Nik Thakkar.
London born and based, Ada also studied short courses in Draping and Experimental Pattern Cutting after leaving LCF as a first class graduate and setting up Ada + Nik. The menswear brand, who produce their collections in East London, are known for their intricate technical detail and use of innovative performance materials. Sustainability is key to material selection and to date bi-product leather, natural fabrics and waste reducing, energy conscious solutions have been integrated into the design process. We caught up with Ada after the show to discuss the collection, LCF experiences and the future direction in which fashion is heading towards.
Can you tell us a little bit about the NYFW show, and the inspirations?
The Ada + Nik brand was selected by a prestigious jury including Betsey Johnson, fashion TV personality Robert Verdi, actress and supermodel Lydia Hearst to show our SS16 collection SYN at New York Fashion Week, at Fresh Faces in Fashion as part of the 20th anniversary of the award – previous winners include Philip Lim and Rodarte. The collection featured a signature classic luxury leather biker jacket, along with a significantly broader spectrum of luxury summer separates, lightweight tech enhanced outerwear including reversible bombers and showerproof tech jackets, and the development of a dark print featuring their SYN motif (the Ada + Nik plus sign). Innovative tech and sustainable fabrics included rubber coated jersey, lamb Nappa leather, hand woven organic denim, smooth modal and organic cotton.
How did it feel presenting your show in New York, and what are your/the labels plans for the future?
Nik and I are absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to show our collection in New York – we are honoured to have been chosen by Gen Art for this incredible opportunity and the reception to the show has been amazing.
Your collection is innovative and focuses on sustainability, in what direction do you think fashion will be moving towards in the next decade?
I think the interweaving narratives of sustainability and wearable tech are the key forces driving innovation in fashion forwards. Nik and I share a passion for creatively engaging with both and working them into our collections – combining innovation with our dark matter aesthetic. We’re inspired by ancient ideals of masculinity, punk and iconic rebels and its bringing together this rich history with futuristic concepts that drives Ada + Nik collections forwards whilst making them relevant now.
Can you explain some of the difficulties that graduate designers face when trying to break into the industry, what advice would you give students – and should more emphasis be put on recent graduates?
Though fashion can be a challenging industry to break into, I would encourage students and graduates to be aware that there is also so much opportunity. Overnight success only happens to very few and actually it is persistence, hard work, developing your unique strength/style and focus over time that pays off for most. Whatever your passion, whether its becoming a designer, a brand, a buyer, etc, seek out every valuable and relevant opportunity, build your network and be open to where an opportunity you have today can lead to in the future. The industry is actually a lot more interconnected than you may think.
Ada + Nik has been described by press as “the most refreshing new menswear brand to emerge in recent years.” The duo has also been called “a start up sensation” and “the future of menswear” due to its unique, darker take on British fashion.
- Find out more about BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear
- Find out more about Short Courses
- Find out more about other courses available at LCF
- Find out more about Ada Zanditon
- Find out more about Ada + Nik
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