Based between the UK and Canada, Olivia Rubens is a positive knitwear designer who favours collaboration and invests in bio design innovation and fabric research. Her work is a playfully, thought-provoking study on human nature, nurturing impactful conversations about human behaviour with the goal of creating positive impacts for the planet and womxn across the globe. After obtaining a BA in Fashion Design from X University in 2015, Rubens decamped to London in 2018. It was here she would receive an MA in Fashion Design Technology Womenswear from London College of Fashion in 2020. Rubens currently undertakes a fellowship at The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute. Rubens showed her AW20 at Camden Roundhouse during London Fashion Week, and later would show her designs digitally as part of Helsinki Fashion Week in 2020. Rubens has also received mentorship from Fashion Open Studio after winning the Responsible Fashion Award powered by Allianz and the CNMI Award in the International Talent Support 2020 competition. In 2021, the designer staged a workshop with Fashion Open Studio during Fashion Revolution Week. In the same year, at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards, Rubens would take home the Most Sustainable Designer Award and was a grant recipient in the UAL Creative Business Accelerator. Her main goal is to merge scientific innovations in sustainability with fashion, an endeavour showcased in her most recent collaboration with Post Carbon Lab, launching a photosynthetic collection with Machine-A. Her work has been praised by Vogue, WWD, Dazed, SHOWstudio, and more.
- aw20 duplicitous livesWe, as humans, are conscious beings who have the ability to decide on how we perform who we are to others. Especially women, who for so many years have been constrained by social ‘boundaries’, are thus given even more incentive to have learned and developed performance as second nature. We are forced to ask ourselves then: is it ever possible to know whether or not a woman is truly performing herself? We are shapeshifters, changing ourselves from one situation to the next, whether for belonging
- a mature growthThe project uses morality and communal and borderless bonding through our values, especially during the pandemic, as a focal point. It highlights and humorously points out the ever-retracting boundary of morals and what is considered “politically correct”, using the Rococo art period and 18th century references as an example of everything “excess” and “taboo”, including using chocolate as a reference, being “irresponsible” and “taboo” for women to eat unsupervised during that period. The idea of
- ss22 photosynthesize x post carbon lab x machine-aIn order to grow, plants absorb water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar. But who’s to say the process of photosynthesis should be bound to what grows in the soil beneath our feet? MACHINE-A collaborates with positive knitwear designer Olivia Rubens on Photosynthesize, a collection that transforms garments into living organisms. Made with and to be sold exclusively at MACHINE-A, central to the Photosynthesize collection is a focus on morality and commun
Creative Director/FounderOlivia Rubens
Ottawa, CanadaFull Time
I have been running my self-titled positive knitwear brand since graduation from my MA in 2020. I mostly run this on my own, so I touch all areas of running a fashion brand: design, technical design, production management, networking, PR and communication, social media and branding strategy, website design and e-commerce, sourcing, and creative direction and organization of all campaigns or editorials, graphic design materials, or installations. I work through both a B2B business model, as well as B2C, and manage the financial aspects of the brand.
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- Fashion Design
- Technical Design
- Technical Illustration
- Production Management
- Pattern Making
- Pattern Cutting
- Knitwear Design