For Fall/Winter 2022/23 Pinko has unveiled yet another sustainable collection. This time Caterina Negra, the Italian house’s creative director, and Patrick McDowell, the sustainability design director at Pinko since February 2021, created looks using past season and archive fabrics as well as prints. The sustainability design director role was newly created within the company and in fact is a fairly new role in the industry. The emerging British designer, who has always promoted a sustainable approach to fashion, was the ideal candidate for the position.
The new REIMAGINE by Patrick McDowell collection combines early noughties pop culture and the artistry of Royal Courts. We are told, all the pieces from the new capsule collection were made in Italy close to the brand’s headquarters to reduce their carbon footprint. The new drop also coincided with PINKO’s new partnership with London art school Central Saint Martins.
Fashionnetwork.com caught up with McDowell to talk about the new sustainable collection, Central Saint Martins project and misconceptions about sustainable living.
Fashionnetwork.com: This is Pinko’s fifth sustainable collection, tell us when and how it all started and how much of a priority environmental issues are for the brand?
Patrick McDowell: Sustainability is deeply important to me and that is reflected in everything I do. I believe my relationship with Pinko to be a testament to their commitments to sustainable practices and the future.
FNW: Let’s talk about the collection itself, what inspired you to create it?
P.M: From a young age I understood fashion as a language and as I became increasingly fluent I found I could better communicate my life through my clothes than anything else. This collection harkens to my teen obsession with pop-stars of the 90’s. It also furthers my fascination with 1700s French royal courtiers, who’s lavish lifestyles cannot help but remind me of the extravagant glam of the women in my working class Liverpudlian upbringing. Most of all, this collection is a tribute to my grandma who was and continues to be a beacon of light in my life.
FNW: How often does Pinko release sustainable collections?
P.M: Pinko Reimagine is released biannually for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
FNW: What are your plans for developing this line and the Pinko brand in general?
P.M: I think there’s a misconception that to live by sustainable ethos is to make immense sacrifices. I don’t feel that way at all. People feel they want fashion to be exciting, daring and new. My continued commitment through all of my work with Pinko is to show people that it still can be. To push the boundaries of what is possible by upcycling and making use of innovative new technologies and materials. To prove that you don’t have to wear hessian sacks to save the world.
FNW: Where will the Reimagine collection be presented? Only in selected boutiques or more widely?
P.M: For now, Reimagine will only be available in select boutiques.
FNW: Sustainability is a growing concern for global industry players. In December, for example, the fashion house Valentino launched an upcycling project called Sleeping Stocks, the proceeds of which will be used for an education initiative. Pinko is also working with Central Saint Martins, can you tell us more about this project? For you, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, it is a kind of return to your alma mater.
P.M: Education is a value held at the heart of the Pinko brand just as it is at my eponymous label. I am from a working class family and I am very familiar with just how inaccessible education can be. Studying at Central Saint Martins was a huge opportunity for me, it gave me time to focus on and refine my practice. To play and to explore alongside talented peers under the guidance of respected tutors. The Pinko Scholarship is creating an opportunity for select students to develop their craft under the tutelage of Patrick McDowell as well as receiving financial assistance and 100m of fabric from the Pinko archives.
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