Central Saint Martins x Fred Perry launch collection for the Amy Winehouse Foundation

Tuesday, 19 May 2015
British label Fred Perry joined forces with Central Saint Martins Foundation Fashion and Textile Course and the Amy Winehouse Foundation last year to offer 150 students the opportunity to participate in a subculture-themed design project, which ran over the course  of two weeks.

Students who were studying fashion and textiles were given the chance to design their own ideal version of the classic Fred Perry Polo and the Amy Winehouse Foundation Collection Bowling Shirt, with three final designs being ultimately selected to become part of a capsule collection of pieces designed in-house.

However, in the end such powerful designs were produced that four winning shirts were selected. The winning students were hand picked by John Flynn, Director of Product, Charlie Middleton and Charlie Mellor, Chief Designer from the Amy Winehouse Foundation, who based their selections on design values and personalities reflective of Amy Winehouse and the foundation itself.

One of the winners, Esme Famewo, took her inspiration from the 'Rude Boy' subculture introduced into London by the Jamaican diaspora in 1960. Her designs referenced to the rich forms of dressing immigrants from Eastern India introduced into the UK. She experimented with recycled materials and woven yarns with new proportions, reprocessed and printed to create unique designs, with the Bowling Shirt and Fred Perry Polo featuring red and green color motifs. Ella Marsh, from Leeds found inspiration for her designs from her hometown, focusing on a small subculture known as 'Dressers,' influenced by the city's football club.

Jung Ha Na, from South Korea, explored the famous 'Punk' scene for his design influence which he first encountered whilst researching the late Amy Winehouse. Mixing denim and tartan, both favorites of the punk scene, he reworked these fabrics into rough stripes for the polo and shirt. Hinako Nakazawa, from Japan drew his inspiration from the 'Soul Boys,' drawing and painting small northern soul dance motifs before translating them onto a stamp which was inserted on a panel of the polo and shirt.

The winning shirt designs were put into production and became part of the eight-piece limited edition capsule collection currently on sale in 60 Fred Perry stores around the global. Seven stores in London feature full window displays showcasing the designs as well as a new short film promoting the shirts. All proceeds from the two shirt designs will go to The Amy Winehouse Foundation which supports a number of charities in the UK.

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