The Community Repair Exhibit followed a semester-long graduate research project titled ‘Community Repair: Strategic Social Skill Mobilization for Sustainable Fashion.’ regarding utilizing clothing to bring people and communities together. The MA Fashion and the Environment students worked with Otto von Busch on the project.
The project centered around the impact garment repair can have on a community. Each of the 14 students sought out unique participants from their own neighborhoods to partner with in repairing a garment that had a history with one of the two individuals. From lawyers, hat makers, and shoe makers to passengers on a Eurostar train, every participant had their own story and own reason for taking part in this project. In the end students were asked what impact this repair has had on their emotional attachment to the garment, but also the emotional attachment to our communities and themselves.
At the time of the project, Danielle worked at Foundation Showroom. The owner of the showroom, Jules Hau, was generous and offered her space for the exhibit. Danielle set up a pop-up gallery reflecting the project that was open to public viewing in the heard of London.
Danielle had the assistance of course-mates in display management, product procurement, and catering.
Gene Regen was a sustainable business plan developed in 2008 to meet the gap in sustainable fashion for the apparel mass market. After being reviewed by a series of top industry professionals in New York in January of 2009 it won the Geoffrey Beene $25,000 scholarship of 2009 which was awarded by Tim Gunn.
Gene Regen was developed as a line of clothing for a new generation of consumers. The generation we have aptly named Generation Regeneration, our clothing line is named after them, Gene Regen. Gene Regen is for consumers who genuinely care about our earth and the impact they have on it. Gene Regen has been developed to reduce waste and help the environment by working through people, products, and processes to better the world in which we live.
Gene Regen looks to reduce waste emitted by American consumers through the use of recycled fabrics. Two of the main fibers that will be used in Gene Regen clothing will be recycled polyester, a fiber that can be recreated from fabric, pop bottles, and other resources, and recycled nylon, which can be (re)produced from industrial waste fibers and waste fibers at spinning factories. Using recycled fibers not only reduces waste, it eliminates the release of toxins and water waste that occurs in the production of new fibers (even in the creation of organic and chemical-free fibers).
During two successive summers at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, MN, Danielle worked within the buying and merchandising departments in Ready-to-wear and Means to identify existing issues in the buying and merchandising of products in order to improve sales and in-stock percentages. On a team of business analyst Danielle utilized proprietary software to analyze company sales data and unproductive inventory based on qualitative information and proposed various supply chain and store options that were then implemented. Contrasting to other business experiences, this shows Danielle’s ability to focus on small-scale improvements that can greatly benefit the bottom line and the triple bottom line.
Danielle’s M.A. work surrounded incorporating sustainable practices into mass market consumption. As a part of her outreach, she led a workshop at the London Green Fair working with kids to make flowers and objects out of up-cycled and scrap fabrics. The goal of the workshop was to entice kid’s creativity and remind them that anything can be made into art with enough imagination!
Since Danielle was also working wholesale with sustainable fashion brands at the time, she also partook in the Sustainable Fashion Show at the fair; styling and modeling sustainable designs as pictured here.
Danielle worked in Merchandising for the Formal Tailoring department at Topshop; this included formal jackets and outerwear (think blazers and career coats) and professional trousers. Danielle’s main responsibilities included assortment planning and allocation.
Danielle expressed interest in strategy and international expansion, so when Sir Philip Green announced the partnership with the U.S. retailer Nordstrom and the new shop-within-a-shops that Topshop would be launching in 17 Nordstroms’ stores in the U.S., Danielle was offered the opportunity to join the team. Danielle was one of the 5 Topshop team members to launch the shops within Nordstroms’ stores in the U.S. The shops saw immediate success, and continued overperformance while Danielle continued her tenure at Topshop.
Prior to joining the Topshop and Nordstrom team, while Danielle worked in Formal Tailoring, they grew a partnership with a Made in Britain vendor that saw rapid success in the UK market. While the prices were higher, customers appreciated the quality and the opportunity to support their local economy. The photo is from the Topshop Tumblr, showing Danielle in one of the all-around favorites; the Military Great coat, made in the UK.
Over London Fashion Week Topshop launched a collaboration with Mary Katrantzou. The styles were reminiscient of the runway collection but in more affordable fabrications and accessible styling, ranging between 100 – 400 GBP. Along with the Mary K collection, Topshop also launched a series of t-shirts designed by London New Gen designers to celebrate 10 years of sponsoring New Gen.
Background on what New Gen is for those of you not from London…
“In 1993 the British Fashion Council created New Generation (NEWGEN), one of the world’s most internationally recognised talent identification schemes. NEWGEN continues to showcase and promote new designer businesses today.
The scheme is sponsored by Topshop who have been supporters since 2001. AW12 saw the 10th anniversary celebrations of Topshop’s continuous backing of the scheme at London Fashion Week. Major celebrations of the ten years which have taken a myriad of London NEWGEN designers to the top are planned for 2012.” (londonfashionweek.co.uk).
Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll, Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Ashish,Meadham Kirchhoff, Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Mary Katrantzou, House of Jazz, Roksanda Ilincic, Marios Schwab, Louise Gray, Nasir Mazhar, JW Anderson, Emma Cook, Peter Jensen, Holly Fulton, Craig Lawrence and Michael van der Ham have all created T-shirts for the initiative.