“As a new generation of designers, we need to set the example “
For our July edition, we interviewed the Upcycling Fashion Designer J/ANT, a portuguese designer with a passion for textile manipulations and contrasting elements that claims how “fashion is like ‘vegetarianism’, you only realise it does you good when your finally try it and slowly step by step people will start having healthier lifestyles”.
The story behind the designer
Since I was a child I was always very creative and expressive. As a baby I would paint and draw with both hands and at the age of 6 my grandmother started teaching me how to use a real sewing machine. At the age of 12 I moved to the Netherlands where I took art classes during my high school education and painting textures became a passion, which I nowadays translate onto textiles.
As a fashion designer, nowadays I focus on fabric manipulation as well as interesting tactile and conceptual contrasts. Through certain techniques such as smock, patchwork, embroidery and so forth. I am able to reuse a lot of leftover fabrics allowing me to contribute and strive for a conscious fashion industry.
“I design for creative people with an open mind”
Before my collections take shape, I always start off with a mood-board, which I change along the way until it defines exactly what I wish it to. Often I research techniques and experiment a lot with textiles, commonly leftovers from previous collections, which keep a certain balance in my work. This is something I do before I develop a silhouette, because it all depends on the fabrics I choose to use. Experimenting with textiles means that I look for appropriate metaphors and interesting contrasts through qualitative textile manipulations.
I design for creative people with an open mind. However, this does not mean that an accountant, for example, cannot wear my collections. I attempt to find a balance between each outfit to create an opportunity for a wide audience to wear my pieces.
About the future of upcycling
Honestly, I do not think it can totally replace the actual way of producing nowadays, but it can surely make a positive influence upon it. If more designers would do this, surely it would have an impact on the environment, as well as on today’s society.
As a new generation of designers, we need to set the example. We must show society how it can be done and how it affects our environment positively rather than negatively. Sustainable fashion is like ‘vegetarianism’, you only realise it does you good when your finally try it and slowly step by step people will start having healthier lifestyles.
Could RAW be beneficial for the Fashion industry?
Yes, definitely. However, nowadays there are very few designers who focus on only up-cycling, so I would perhaps broaden the category a bit. I believe, as long as designers strive for better ways to produce, manufacture, design and so forth it’s worth giving them a podium.
Follow her work on: facebook.com/JANTDESIGN
RAW Re.Fashion: facebook.com/rawrefashion/