Los Angeles-based denim brand Agolde is betting on young designers. The Citizens of Humanity Group-owned label recently announced the winner of a student design competition in partnership with Miami fashion school Istituto Marangoni.
Students were challenged to create original graphic artwork designs for a T-shirt that reflects Agolde’s commitment to the future of fashion. A group of judges from the Agolde design collective and Istituto Marangoni selected undergraduate Fabiana Polito as the winner of the design contest for her concept channeling a popular toy ’90s and ’00s kids may remember fondly: Magic Grow Capsules.
“I looked for something that people would relate to,” said Polito, adding that the capsules, which grow and transform into different shapes, were a metaphor for the way people should treat the world.
“We have one planet, one home, one earth—the same that our future generations will be living in, so it is our duty to take care of our home,” she said.
T-shirts with the design will be made entirely of recycled cotton and include an eco-friendly hangtag. In exchange for her design, Polito will receive recognition, along with a cash prize in an undisclosed amount.
Nostalgia is a key driver of fashion trends, with a spotlight currently on ’90s and ’00s styles like flared jeans and low-rise denim. It’s the force behind recent collections like Levi’s collaboration with the ’90s animated series “The Simpsons,” Mother’s Snacks collection featuring details like candy color-coated rivets and True Religion’s collection with rapper 2 Chainz.
The denim industry often looks to students and young artists to offer their fresh perspectives on design. Tommy Hilfiger’s New Legacy Challenge was developed with Harlem’s Fashion Row in September to elevate young Black fashion designers. It recently selected a winner, Clarence Ruth, who was awarded $20,000 and the opportunity to co-design a capsule collection alongside the Tommy Hilfiger design team.
Urban Outfitters also recently featured student designs in its Summer Class of 2021 HBCU capsule collection. The 24-piece collegiate apparel and accessories collection was designed by five students in the brand’s 10-week internship and mentorship program in partnership with three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Howard University, Clark Atlanta University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
The Agolde T-shirt was available online beginning April 4 in anticipation of Earth Day on April 22, with 100 percent of proceeds going towards the Miami Fashion Foundation Student Scholarship Fund. The fund supports undergraduate and graduate students of art and fashion in Miami.