Last September, at the UN general assembly, Swarovski, Slow Factory Foundation (recognized for their Study Hall Conferences) and the UN Office of Partnerships announced its One X One fellowship program. This year’s participants include Lim in collaboration with Charlotte McCurdy, Hoffman in partnership with Custom Collaborative and Queens, N.Y.-born-and-raised designer Clemens, working in collaboration with FIT science and sustainability professor Dr. Theanne Schiros.
The program will come full circle in September — with the UN general assembly again serving as the gathering place for revealing innovations which will be reviewed by a One X One advisory panel comprising of Amber Valletta; Abrima Erwiah, who cofounded Studio One Eighty-Nine; and Julie Gilhart, a sustainably minded industry creative consultant, among others.
“Part fellowship, part accelerator, One X One is designed to empower designers, scientists, companies and researchers with a focus on sustainable practices, by pairing them to elevate their innovations,” as the press statement said.
Participants’ respected “focus areas” include scientific innovation and scaling alternative materials, human rights and circularity. They will be celebrated at this February’s upcoming New York Fashion Week prior to September’s final innovation reveal.
“We are thrilled to partner with the UN Office for Partnerships and Slow Factory Foundation on the One X One Conscious Design Initiative, to empower our brilliant young participants, through the guidance and mentorship of our esteemed advisors, to create and realize products and services catering to the SDGs, contributing to a better world,” said Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board.
Little known to the fashion world, McCurdy is a designer and researcher who developed a “carbon-negative plastic made from marine algae,” which she then turned into a raincoat — and it could technically be made a meal as it’s made from food-grade materials. She will focus on scaling alternative materials alongside Lim.
Clemens, who established his namesake label Telfar 14 years ago, is gaining attention from media and industry organizations like the CFDA for his gender-neutral, inclusivity-as-an-outsider design viewpoint (as he described working outside the system for 15-plus years). Consumers have found the label “in a natural way,” leveraged by the direct-to-consumer route and other projects, as the designer told WWD last September.
He will explore circularity through the use of recycled or newly created material in collaboration with Schiros, likely leaning into biodesign innovations like that from biomaterials company AlgiKnit Inc., which was partially cofounded by the professor.
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