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Innovative clothes with a social mission – meet Mead Final Project Awardee Emi Tanimura

Female model in black sweater and red jacket
Female model in black sweater and red jacket
Image curtesy of UAL
Written by
Careers & Employability
Published date
21 July 2020

Emi Tanimura will graduate from London College of Fashion’s BA Fashion Design & Development course this summer, and her work is already creating quite a buzz.

Called ‘Survivalist’, Emi’s final degree collection comprises of 4 different outdoor-wear looks (4 jackets, 4 tops and 4 trousers), which all adapt to challenging environments.

The garments are predominantly transformable - including a jacket that changes into a backpack when the wearer gets too hot and a coat that becomes a portable tent. The collection’s pieces are made from a combination of upcycled deadstock fabrics and technical materials (such as Gore-Tex) to provide waterproof, breathable, anti-tear & UV protective finishes.

Although the target markets for Emi’s Survivalist collection are campers, explorers, festivalgoers, backpackers and everyday commuters, her designs were originally inspired by her own experience of homelessness. Because of this, Emi wants to support homeless and displaced communities and plans to launch a social enterprise after graduation, which will train and employ homeless people into the production process of her clothing brand.

Emi was awarded a Mead Final Project Award to support her final degree collection. Speaking about her win she said:

“Being awarded the Mead Final Project Award has provided me with the resources to develop these garments, which will later become the foundation of my start-up. The award has been the initial support in my long-term goal; to change the perception of functional stylish fashion, which can be a vehicle to positively impact lives.”

She has also been featured in Grazia magazine’s Graduate Fashion Showcase and just discovered that she’s been accepted onto the Centre for Fashion Enterprise’s 6-month coaching programme to help her to launch her business.

See more of Emi’s work on her Instagram