Ellesse X Gbadebo
Myself and two other designers were chosen worldwide and given the opportunity to rework ellesse dead stock and upcycle vintage fabric, adding our own cultural aesthetic and stylistic touch to a capsule collection inspired by the Ellesse’s deep tailoring roots.
After creating our collections, "the three talents faced a judging panel of contemporary fashion insiders - creative director, Olive Duran, stylist Lawrence Adu, and Highsnobiety’s very own market editor, Rhianna Matthews. Besides dissecting the collections, the judges reviewed the talents’ sketchbooks and notes, making sure not to miss any detail or conceptual framework, and finally deciding on their favorite collection."
"Describing her aesthetic as ‘90s, street, and androgynous, Gbadebo’s dual Nigeran-Spanish heritage plays a huge part in everything she does, from work ethic to styling and design. “I’m very passionate about giving back to my community and helping those in need. Since I started my business, I’ve been donating a percentage of my monthly profits to a charity in Nigeria that provides food and care packages to families in need during the lockdown,” she explains."
"Growing up as a POC designer, Gbadebo comments on how there wasn’t much representation for her growing up but that she sees a shift coming. “Things have changed over the years, and I’m being offered more opportunities. The BLM movement really sparked a need for reflection and reform in all industries. A lot of businesses (especially in fashion) saw their lack of representation and thankfully took ownership of it. I know that as a young mixed-race girl if I’d seen that kind of representation growing up, I would feel as though the sky was the limit.”
Oftentimes a lot of people allow the clothes to “wear” them, but ellesse encourages you to truly be yourself without judgment. Its bright, bold, and energetic style reflects the playfulness of clothing that I believe has slowly got lost over time.
"Ellesse’s ideology is what Gbadebo finds most inspiring." “ellesse believes that ‘when you look and feel your best, you always win.’ Oftentimes a lot of people allow the clothes to “wear” them, but ellesse encourages you to truly be yourself without judgment. Its bright, bold, and energetic style reflects the playfulness of clothing that I believe has slowly got lost over time. Clothing should be about your identity rather than conforming, and it's inspiring to see ellesse encourage that.” she explains. “My favorite piece has to be the ellesse x Tag Heuer x European Ski Federation - ‘the winner of the world’ ski jacket. It’s so beautifully crafted, and each detail from the decorative zigzag stitching to the double zip makes it a spectacular garment even just to research.”
"When it came to the actual process of designing her collection, Gbadebo's focus on sustainability was ever-present. "I think using pre-loved fabric is beautiful in itself, it adds a story to each upcycled garment. A majority of the garments I make are created from upcycled or unwanted fabrics that have been donated to me by a variety of people. I find excitement in repurposing and the fact that you can create a new fabric from something that already exists. I wanted to create a collection that was sustainable, street and resonated not only with me but other individuals in their consumer demographic."