As an It’s Nice That collaboration goes, working with Unmade has been something of a dream job. The brand, formerly known as Knyttan, has just undergone a huge rebrand thanks to the very capable hands of Bibliothèque, which introduced a sharp, slick new identity based around a neat X mark. For our work with the brand, we brought in three of our favourite illustrators to work their magic across Unmade’s bespoke knitted garments.
We curated and developed a new collection of Knitwear for Unmade based around the concept “Future Factory.” “We wanted to bring together three creators that have a kind of unfamiliar but mechanical element to illustration” says It’s Nice That art director Jamie McIntyre. As such, we commissioned Ed Carvalho-Monaghan , Peter Judson and Nous Vous .
"Each of them individually have a unique and unfamiliar approach to line work, form and colour that we know looks great in print and online, but we're really excited by how this has been translated onto fabric."Jamie McIntyre
The trio of creatives drew on Unmade’s innovative approach, and used their playful, imaginative style to make illustrated monochrome images that hint at future inventions. Their different approaches are united by unusual ways of drawing forms and objects, with intricate imagery showcasing Unmade’s fabrication process and technical prowess.
“Each of them individually have a unique and unfamiliar approach to line work, form and colour that we know looks great in print and online, but we’re really excited by how this has been translated onto fabric” says Jamie. “And they looked great.”
Sasha Zyryaev: Nous Vous Design
Sasha Zyryaev: Nous Vous Design
Unmade was founded by three RCA graduates – Ben Alun-Jones, Kirsty Emery and Hal Watts – as a reaction to “the fashion industry’s stagnant approach to mass-consumption.” They set about building brand where each piece of knitwear is bespoke for each customer, created with a rented knitwear machine. The fruits of their labours were presented to the world first in a Christmas popup shop this time last year at Somerset House, where shoppers could see garments being made before their eyes.
The collaboration with us at It’s Nice That follows other current partnerships with creatives including Aries Moross, Malika Favre and Amsterdam-based design studio Moniker. “We are unlocking the potential of knitting machines to help not only fashion designers, but designers from a breadth of fields and industries,” says Ben. According to the brand, while each piece is unique, they are unified by recognisable coloured yarns, soft cuts and graphic patterns.” You cannot create a product completely from scratch, but instead work using a curated template, editing a garment within a set of style parameters,” says Unmade. “The result is a curious body of niche collections; subversive prints and abstract shapes bound by a core aesthetic and united creative vision.”
Luke Bennett: Unmade Knitting Machine
Sasha Zyryaev: Unmade Knitting Machine
They’re still based in the same building they debuted their work in last year (they’re now one floor up), but Unmade can also be found in a pop-up shop on nearby Floral Street in Covent Garden. For this year they’ve moved up a staircase, but now they’ve made a secure foothold for themselves in the fashion industry we reckon the sky, rather than the ceiling, will be the limit.
We’ll be showing off the designs by Edward Carvalho-Monaghan, Peter Judson and Nous Vous with behind the scenes interviews for the rest of this week.
If you’d like to see the collection in person come join us at our launch party at the Covent Garden, Unmade shop this Thursday 7pm to 9pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.