Eco Chic Design Award winner Kévin Germanier - a talent to watch
When she was interviewed recently by Imran Amed of the Business of Fashion, Stella McCartney said her no-leather stance on luxury fashion was a point of difference that set her apart from her contemporaries. It was, she said, the reason she was being interviewed for the launch of the Business of Fashion Voices issue in front of an audience of influencers and opinion makers including the designer duo Peter Pilotto and Vivienne Westwood - all listening avidly to what McCartney had to say on trying to build a sustainable, vegetarian fashion brand. Any up and coming designers in the room would have sat up and taken note. A way to shine in this increasingly tough and competitive business to is to have a point of view - a belief system.
One young designer who is well on his way to become a talent to watch is the second year Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design student, Kévin Germanier.
'As a young and passionate designer, it is very important for me to feel useful,' said the young Swiss designer. 'Sustainable fashion challenges me and since I love solving problems, it matches my personality perfectly. I think sustainable fashion is only at the beginning of its real potential and I want to be a sustainable fashion designer in order to experiment, discover and share its unique aspects with others around the world.'
Already, he's got my attention, at least - a designer who is interested in sustainability as a way to innovate! And his creative upcycling has also caught the eye of Shanghai Tang for whom he is about to design a collection using the Hong Kong based fashion brand's waste. The capsule will go on sale in January 2016, his prize for winning the fifth annual EcoChic Design Award. Ten finalists from around the world were chosen to show at Hong Kong Fashion Week and Germanier was the clear winner with a collection that did not look as though it was made from recycled Swiss Army blankets and cleverly woven plastic bags.
The next EcoChic Design competition is now open for entries - the closing date is in August. It's a brilliant competition and the winner will be working with Shanghai Tang again next year for another upcycled collection. You can see some more of Germanier's work as well as how to enter in this video, below.