Meet the GFF 2020 Sportswear & Leisurewear Award Nominees

  • Katie Gedling
  • Shannon McGowan
  • Martha Havard
  • Emily Dunnett
  • Ella Chick
  • Mia Thompson
  • Yalei Elena Feng
  • Najah Farah

Performance, and non-performance sportswear or ‘athleisure’ have grown extensively in recent years. Combined, ‘athletics’ and ‘leisure’ is clothing that was developed for sport activities but is worn in everyday life, or free time, or sportswear for non-athletic activities that have become increasingly seen in streetwear and on the catwalks. This award is open to all sportswear and leisurewear categories i.e. performance and non-performance sportswear, athleisure and leisurewear. Meet the nominees below!

Elena Feng, Kingston University London

All started from the book “Rich and Poor” by Jm Godlberg, where he documented the lives and stories between the wealthy and the destitute of San Francisco from 1977 to 1980s. These stories are not just about poverty, they’re about feelings of powerlessness, prejudice, shame, depression and countless other complex structures of pain. What will happen when we shed layers of camouflage? When our armour becomes transparent, when we shou you our true and fragile selves? Could it be ridiculed? Will it be continued neglect? Or finally acceptance? Can you see me now? This collection method the relationship between the garments and the body us found through the way of layering and stretch fabrics, use the visual asymmetry to balance connection between garments, and fitting to find the perfect proportion to create a new look for men.
Ella Chick, Arts University Bournemouth

This collection explores both historical and modern Antarctic expeditions, looking at the exploration of Captain Scott, amongst other explorers and their photography of the past. As well as researching architectural floor plans and blue prints of modern ice station, to inspire heavy collection. The juxtaposition of these two elements has carried throughout my collection from the initial research to the design. From peak to pavement, our garments are inspired by outdoor elements to create versatile products. Urban eccentric, whilst sophisticated, this collection embodies both innovation and authenticity. Taking aspects of traditional menswear and historical references, yet twisting this with modern technical fabrics and innovative, striking silhouettes.
Emily Dunnett, Sheffield Hallam University

This collection is an exploration into the idea of a man and his garage. It combines silhouettes found in biker wear reimagined into contemporary sportswear. The garage, like the man cave and sometimes the basement, as spaces in the cultural imaginary, serve as architectural sites for the recuperation of blue collar masculinities that have been replaces in the post industrial economy ( and where they remain, they have become forever altered)
Indie Kelly, Liverpool John Moores

Immediate attention is required in order to prevent further environmental damages caused by the fashion industry. “Redesginer” offers a creative, fashionable and sustainable solution to a society caught in a continuous cycle of consuming, by utilising unwanted clothing and items of any kind and creating one of a kind pieces. Creating something original and innovative and most of all, show you how to have fun while doing it! As a “redesigner” my main goal is to inspire and stimulate creativity within others, challenging their perception of fashion and encouraging them to turn to their own wardrobe or other second hand methods of shopping, such as charity shops or Ebay.
Kate Gedling, Northumbria University

Purposeful, responsible design is at the core of my personal practise and underpins the research and development of this ready to wear menswear collection. As we currently face the threat of a global climate crisis, this collection embodies fashion for the future by preparing us humans for the inevitable planet emergency. Full Circle is an A/W collection that stems from my grandad’s career in the high-risk industry of coal mining, drawing inspiration from the continuous organic cycle between extraction and exploration of the earth’s resources.
Martha Havard, Norwich University of the Arts

My initial inspiration for this project stemmed from my passion of implementing sustainability within my work. I wanted to design a collection for the North Face due to their current work on making a more positive impact within the industry through the development of recycling plastics within their fabrics as well as a range of programmes they have introduced in the hope of educating about and reducing the impact of climate change. Looking at the brand’s history of their first small mountaineering store opening in 1966, my inspiration has derived from hiking and specifically, my own experience of this when I completed the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Focusing on camping rucksacks specifically this project aims to continue aiding the North face in minimising the negative environmental impacts by repurposing old camping materials within the garments I have design for the utmost functionality.
Mia Thompson, Manchester Metropolitan University

Specialising in sportswear means that technology plays a key part in my design process. As a designer, I see function as a priority and every element of a design must serve a purpose. In order to create aesthetic garments that consider the end purpose requires extensive sampling and experimenting with appropriate machinery. For my graduate major project, I looked into future technologies outside of the fasjopm universe and how apparel plays an important role in every aspect of life. The ASIMOV collection was conceptualised as a thought provoking collection aimed at potential future lifestyle of the human race. As earth has become more polluted and over populated, mankind is setting out to inhabit Mars in a bid for a more ethical new beginning. Those leaving for the red planet and leaving behind all familiarity in order to start a new life.

Najah Farah, University for the Creative Arts Epsom

As a conceptual designer that bases her ideas around real life issues using the idea of police brutality for my final collection was a perfect representation of inner-city life combined with the two-tone movement which fused sportswear and tailoring aesthetics together to create new silhouettes and shape details. Witnessing the inner-city life was new for me and my parents who migrated from Somalia to escape the civil war as refugees and moved into a community that represented racial unity as shown with the two-tone movement. I used reflective tapes and fabrics to get across the message of ‘WE MUST BE SEEN’ within the collection and shiny PVC’s to highlight the need for us to stand out and not be left behind in ghettos.
Shannon McGowan, Birmingham City University

“Albatross” evolved from my family's interest in the sport of golf. Influenced by the icon of the sport Tiger Woods, my aim was to merge golf wear and today’s sportswear trends with my passion for technology. My initial design development came from recycling and repurposing unwanted golf bags to create my silhouettes and develop the detail and form of my collection. Through a conceptual, sustainable 3D product development process using 3D software system Clo3D, the goal was to produce and manufacture a fun, unforgettable golf wear collection. Our ethos is to design to the needs of golfers and to adapt to today’s technology to produce clothing that makes a difference. The mission is to change the perceptions of golf wear and allow golfers to become more expressive and creative with the clothing they wear. As well as showing how technology has the potential to revolutionise the fashion industry.
Stephanie Gomes, De Montfort University

Due to the ongoing trend of Athleisure, it has become more and more saturated that it is difficult to find a gap in the market. However, after researching, I found a gap for pregnant and postpartum women who are interested in sportswear due to its comfort and versatility. Maternity sportswear has been well established in the current market however, none have targeted issues that pregnant and postpartum women face for instance, urinary incontinence, skin changes, etc.

Thus, I aspired to create a Leak-proof Maternity Athleisure collection that caters to women throughout the three stages of pregnancy as well as postpartum. I wanted to create knickers with removable leak-proof pads as well as removable leak-proof sports bra pad. The goal was to create a collection for the season of A/W21 and so choose colours which are suited to that specific season. I decided to create a Leak-proof Maternity Athleisure collection that caters to women throughout the three stages of pregnancy as well as postpartum.