Redress Design Award


Meet Jesse Lee, Redress Design Award 2018 Second Prize Winner

For Hong Kong resident and Kingston University graduate Jesse Lee, inspiration for his Redress Design Award submission came from a very personal place - his parents. “My mom has an odd habit,” he smiles. “She loves to wear my dad’s jackets. That’s the way she shows her love.”

The designer was so inspired by his parents’ relationship that it became the emotional - and aesthetic - core of his collection. In ‘Show Me Your Love’, styles from the 1980s and 1990s, when his parents met, are reconstructed into easy, versatile silhouettes. Oversized jackets feature heavily…

Old curtains, sofa fabrics, bed sheets, socks, even broken umbrellas from his family home provided the textiles for the collection, which he up-cycles. “By deconstructing and transforming objects with sentimental values and memories, I created garments that allow you to take a sense of home with you anywhere.”

Materials were limited but “the process of carefully using precious materials challenged me to explore different techniques and that was very enjoyable!”

Sustainability has always been part of Jesse’s life. “My family encouraged us to appreciate every object we used and to keep them for the future. Designing fashion for sustainability, I can find new possibilities for collected objects creating unexpected journeys for both the object and the wearer!”

The biggest challenge to the acceptance of recycled fashion, he says, is the way people perceive waste fabrics. “When I go vintage shopping with friends who do not study art or design, they tend to step back when it comes to wearing used clothing.” Changing people’s attitudes, he says, is key: “Educating people on fashion’s many possibilities is an integral part of sustainable fashion…”

Meanwhile, taking part in the Redress Design Award has been rich and invaluable. “I’ve met so many people from different backgrounds with the common goal of protecting the environment,” says Jesse, enthusiastically. “It’s made me think about how to improve my designs and to use different methods. I look forward to meeting more, so that we can shape a new fashion future together!”

This article originally appeared in the Redress Design Award 2018 Magazine.

Hannah LaneJesse Lee