Sustainability Award


Ever speculating about the future, science-fiction and fashion are not from galaxies so far, far away. While couture has long adopted sci-fi concepts, this thesis seeks to go beyond mere aesthetics to hypothesize how positive, future-focused narratives can challenge the second most-polluting industry in the world to go from a driver of dystopia to that of a utopia. This begs the question: How can fashion practitioners leverage science fiction narratives in order to drive real-life social and environmental change?

Take the Nike MAG for example. First fictionally prototyped for Michael J. Fox’s character in 1984’s Back to the Future II, the self-lacing sneaker became science reality in 2015 – the same year the futuristic movie was set. The first pair was given to Fox by legendary Nike engineer Tinker Hatfield. Not only was it a prized patent for Nike, but a serious solution for the actor, whose Parkinson’s limited him from being able to tie his own shoes at all.

Beginning with a visually-rich, analytical examination of sci-fi’s historical influence on fashion, this project ventures to identify more opportunities at this intersection across three distinct categories: trends, innovation & design. Each is anchored by contemporary creative voices from the film, fashion, art, and academic communities. With humanity’s newfound reliance on the face mask – preceded by Marine Serre’s speculative use of them in her FW19 collection – this topic is worth being explored now, more urgently, than ever.

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