Our second featured Design Forward semi-finalist this week is Toronto based Stevie Crowne.
1. What is your design inspiration?
Life. Everyday life if you open your eyes can be inspirational from all angles. I am a fan of pop culture, couture, and streetwear. My design inspiration is a reflection of the experience I have lived and continue to live. I love a pop of colour just as much as I love all black visually, and I love to be as forward as I can be.
2. What is your favourite piece from your collection? Why?
Aesthetically, I adore my olive bomber signature Ride Or Die jacket which I wear all the time. It features a lightening bolt patch, and alien patch, my birth year, and a 👑 over the 😃 emoji. “Life Is Over-Rated” is a full back patch which promotes an outlook of life which is not so serious. I love to have fun with my craft and my personal relations, and this jacket describes myself with each detail. It will be even more perfected for FTA on May 27th!
3. What is your morning routine?
I never wake up before 10am, and that is a fact. Also my life is continuously over scheduled. I tend to immediately make a french press and smoke a cigarette while I update my social feeds and website. I typically use the first hours of my day to relax and confirm my schedule. By the time I am finished it is typically noon.
4. What makes your collection sustainable?
My process has always been to revamp, reimagine, and rework vintage streetwear. There is an overload of surplus clothing waiting to be upcycled. The amount of discarded clothing is astounding, and there are multiple warehouses in the GTA that have loads and loads of excess. In this consumerized culture of fast fashion, I take the excess of what everyone throws away and use a multitude of methods to change the visual traits of each garment. I do tailoring, alterations, custom patchwork, dyeing, embellishing, fringing, and the list goes on.
I recently began designing & painting patches out of reclaimed denim which I consider a healthy extension of what I do. I have acess to a graphic printer and heat press this month which will be taking it to the next level. The dyes I use to change the colors of denim are also sustainable and non toxic. I am quite innovative with how I deal with my own excess as a designer. I will take the sleeves off a vintage leather jacket for example, and will sell the vest. From there I use the excess and incorporate the scrap fabrics to liven up other garments.
My first collection as a teenager was created using junk from my dads garage and a few jackets from Value Village. I had no fancy fabric stores in my hometown nor any advantages to produce anything from scratch. If I can produce what I have to date with such a discounted cost of production and sourcing, imagine what I could do with funding and sponsorship?
Get your tickets to Design Forward 2017 and see Ride or Die 2.0 on our runway!