Introduced last year, ’47 Redesign is a platform for designers to reinterpret ’47’s licensed sportswear. For the second consecutive year we invaded Pratt Institute’s “Deconstruct/Reconstruct” course, offering design students an opportunity to resuscitate ’47 deadstock apparel through self-expression and personal flare.
While the initial creations of over 50 students were impressive in variation and style, Pratt faculty and the ’47 team honed in on four distinct looks to be featured at the April 25th ’47 Redesign Runway Show in New York City. The looks belong to sophomores KT Mitts, Stefan Maier, Hannah Thomas, and Xiaowu Zheng.
Each finalist worked tediously over the spring semester to perfect outfits for the show, which took place at The Mezzanine in Manhattan’s Financial District. Design duo Rochambeau, Indie singer/songwriter VÉRITE, and renowned Pratt faculty members served as judges, tasked with selecting the top micro-collection. When deliberation concluded, Hannah Thomas was announced the winner for her brightly-colored, oversized knitwear, a style inspired by her upbringing in Fairfax, Virginia.
Hannah’s efforts earned her an academic scholarship and a display of her full micro-collection at ’47’s flagship store on Newbury Street in Boston. The other three finalists will each have one look from their micro-collections on display at the flagship store to showcase their tremendous work.
“These students will be the ones defining the future of fashion and imagining what alternative modes of creation look like. ’47 Redesign is only the beginning.
-Laurence Chandler, Designer, Rochambeau
’47 sat down with Hannah Thomas to learn more about her experience throughout the program, what motivates her, and the inspiration behind her winning design.
How did it feel to be selected as a top five finalist?
It felt amazing, I put a lot of work into this. I decided to do something I’m really passionate about, which is knitting, so that took a lot of time to do all the different panels.
Were you surprised?
I was very surprised. Our grade here at Pratt is phenomenally talented, we have a lot of really talented designers. I put my all in and so I felt confident but I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I’m just very excited.
What motivates you?
My family is a really large motivator for me, so having them as one of my base inspirations for this definitely helped push me that much more. Also I have a really great support system here at Pratt not only in professors but in other students. I get a lot of motivation from a lot of different sources in my life. I’m very lucky.
When you received your materials, what was your initial reaction in terms of how you would use them?
I was really excited because I got a lot of reds and oranges and those are very powerful colors. I also really liked the hats that I got because I had never really seen a denim hat before. One thing that’s cool is that everyone at Pratt works together really well, and so I was able to trade some of my darker colors for the brighter ones that helped bring my collection to life.
What was the inspiration behind your collection?
For ’47 Redesign, I wanted to look into my past with sports. I thought about my family – how my mom would dress my sister and I in my dad’s giant Penn State gear – and so I wanted to explore this oversized element. I thought the idea of oversize is interesting when you look at how it can erase gender, and so I wanted to do a uni-sex collection. This hit home for me because I grew up wearing pink and purple like many girls, but when I would play in sports games with my boy cousins, all gender-specific notions were erased since we all looked the same.
I also did a lot of handicrafts with my grandmother while watching sports. Knitting and football have always gone together for me which is sort of a weird dichotomy but it’s something I definitely pulled from for this.
How do you define “let your you out”?
I like bringing a lot of different aspects and perspectives into my work. I identify as a queer woman, I like a lot very feminine things, I also really like a lot of uni-sex things. But no matter what I make, it needs to be able to move. You can’t let yourself out if you can’t move! Being able to dance around is something that’s really important for me.