Design Ignites Change Team 1: Nimble 78


The designers: Camilla Olsen (Fashion/ Textiles), Tim Choi (Textiles/ Merch), Jungah Lee (Fashion), Raquel Godinez (Fashion), Holly Smith (Fashion)

All photos by Rob Curry

The inspiration: Biomimicry, Oxidized metals, and Demi-couture

The business model: Nimble78 in a Non-Profit organization and our mission is to change the paradigm of the fashion industry towards sustainable fashion. We are accomplishing our goal through our demi-couture label and through our sustainability educational model.

Sponsorship/Donation: ISDA (fabrics), Iris Glass Design (recycled glass buttons)

The look: Eco-chic with whimsical soul.

The philosophy: In some ways we had to shift the paradigm, and through the hours of brainstorming at the beginning of the project we came to accept that good fashion is an expression of its time. Just as the 20’s Flapper designs and the 80’s broad shoulders expressed the social changes of those eras, our time is one of change as well and our design aesthetic is to capture this spirit of change. Instead of thinking “Design Ignites Change,” in our case “Change Ignites Design,” rather than thinking “sustainable design in the context of fashion” we viewed the challenge as “fashion in the context of sustainable design.”

This paradigm shift mobilized our individual commitment to the creative endeavors which led us to the Academy of Art program, and gave us an opportunity to align our social selves with our creative selves stirring the urgency of artistic inspiration. One result of our reflection is a line of timeless archival clothing—cyclical not seasonal—transcending trends and employing in-house eco-efficient production and eco-friendly textile facilities. Another result is our desire to create an Alliance for Sustainable Fashion which will foster local skilled labor and artisans and educate the public and industry to be mindful of the fashionable, artistic, and sustainable benefits of demi-couture. Ultimately this has been the most holistic assignment any of us have ever received. Not only were we challenged to make clothing that we and our clients would love, we were given the chance to make a better world for everyone to love. What better legacy could we ever hope to design for?