Willy Chavarria has come up with a novel idea for his submission for the International Woolmark Prize. As expected, Chavarria, one of six finalists for the honor, will present a wool-based collection, “Futurismo,” on Saturday during London Fashion Week. It will offer what the designer described as a “Band-Aid skin,” a double-layer knitwear fabric that combines a 45 percent nylon exterior with a merino wool interior for moisture wicking, breathability and climate control.
But what he’s hoping will set apart the collection of overcoats, pullovers, cardigans and oversized trousers is his message of sustainability.
The designer is asking customers to return the pieces when they’re finished wearing them and the wool will be repurposed into roses that will be sold and the proceeds donated to Life After Hate, an organization that fights racism and violence.
Chavarria said, “The idea of Australian merino wool being an incredibly sustainable fiber made me approach human sustainability as part environmental and part humanitarian. I took a human-centric approach to share the idea that kindness is the all-encompassing objective when it comes to sustainability and shifting fashion to more bio-centric fibers.”
He said every collection he designs includes “some form of an angle in which I hope to share the power of human dignity, whether it be a sponsorship for a soccer team of refugees and asylum seekers, or a fund-raiser project to prevent teen suicide — I like to use the fashion platform as a way to communicate kindness and a spirit of humanitarianism. It’s a part of my brand motivation.”
In addition to “Futurismo,” Chavarria will show two collaborations during his London presentation: one with the Danish soccer brand Hummel, and the other with the Danish workwear label Kansas.
Chavarria worked with Eric Lobb, cofounder and executive creative director of Standard Black, to edit and shoot the creative assets for the collection.
“Since this collection was for the International Woolmark Prize, he wanted to convey that our future lies in our ability to live in unity with ourselves and with our planet,” Lobb said. “He wanted to show an elegant sensitivity to futurism. The inspiration came from fine tailoring, layering, texture and a touch of outer space.”