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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

ROKIT Recycled

ROKIT, everybody's favourite vintage store, launches ROKIT Recycled - a new initiative to re-work old vintage fabrics into new, covetable pieces…

Written by Matt Bramford

First, medications case what interested you about Womenswear and subsequently the Womenswear MA at Central Saint Martins?

A desire to design clothing for myself I guess is what first drew me to Womenswear. I also love the drama and the show of Womenswear that you don’t necessarily get with Menswear. I studied the BA Womenswear at CSM and subsequently went on to do this at MA.

What Projects are currently in the pipeline?

I have just finished working on and promoting my Weekday collection and am now planning a move to New York, where I have an exciting new project to work on.

you’re currently working with Weekday… the collection looks fantastic, how’s that collaboration going?

The collaboration has actually finished now and the designs (mostly t-shirts) are available to buy in the Weekday stores which are located in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. The collaboration was a wonderful project for me to work on and I am so pleased that my designs are now available to a wider audience.

What is your aesthetic and how did it develop?

I guess that you could say its minimalist/purist with a fun twist. An element of fun has always been essential in my design work, I don’t think that fashion should take itself too seriously! The minimalist/purist element is something that I worked on throughout the MA, as I already said I wanted my collection to be fun but I also wanted it to be taken seriously and be wearable and the minimal aesthetic seemed to offer up the perfect balance.

what is the Colin Barnes Illustration Award (congratulations!) and how do you become eligible?

The Colin Barnes Illustration Award is something that I was awarded whilst studying on the BA. It is an award that is given to St Martin’s students studying on the BA Fashion design course for their illustration. I was so surprised to receive it as I had always struggled with illustration until Howard Tangye made me realise that the way I draw doesn’t have to be the same way that everyone else draws! I owe him a lot for that!

What role does illustration play in your design process?

It played a huge role in my MA collection as we worked tirelessly to make sure that the actual clothes were as close to my original drawings as possible, the weird proportions, placement of the print and particularly the width and angle of the shoulder. I am happy to say that what went down the catwalk was exactly the same as my drawings!

You’ve mentioned in other interviews an interest in basic shapes – do these motifs often appear in your illustrations?

It does subconsciously I think, my drawings are often quite angular and square like! And going back to what I said about my aesthetic I am a big fan of pure, minimalist and clean things and what is more pure that a basic circle, square or triangle.

Do you draw outside of fashion design?

Not really as all my ladies (and they are always ladies) of course have to have great outfits on so I end up designing without even realising it. I don’t really have much time to do it anymore either which is a shame.


Who would you say informs your work, do you have a customer in mind during the design process?

I never have a specific customer. I collect images and build up a mood in that way. I am influenced by all sorts of things from all different sources. I see it as a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

Could you describe your design process?

Backwards and Forwards, up and down, moments of genius and moments of disaster. Each collection is different and so forms its own process. I don’t have any hard and fast rules.

How did your MA collection develop – from where did you inspiration come from?

I am a bit of a collector, especially when it comes to images and so the collection draws inspiration from many different reference points. The face, eyelashes etc. came from the work of François and Jean Robert, the hands were from some drawings that I found by Saul Steinberg and the shapes were from some of Jean Paul Goude’s work with Grace Jones particularly her ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ video. As I already mentioned, once I had the designs they weren’t changed at all and the development was all in making sure the clothes were just like the drawings.


Do you ever use re-cycled or up-cycled fabric in your designs?

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t in my MA, however I did explore using existing items of clothing etc a lot in my BA and it is definitely something that I would like to re visit in the future.


What fabrics do you enjoy working with?

I love wool jersey; in fact my whole collection was made out of it. I really like jersey as a whole, mainly because it allows you to do things without darts and seams, which allows the design to appear even more minimalist and clean.

Who are Francois and Jean Robert and what is the book Reggi – Secolo’?

Francois and Jean Robert are Graphic designers/photographers who did the most fantastic book called Face to Face in which they photographed inanimate objects that appear to have or make different faces. It really is worth a look, for the concept but also for the clean beautiful look of the book itself.

As for Reggi-Secolo, this is a little crazy book of totally insane and genius bra’s, it really is quite amazing.

What do you think of twitter and the ever developing blogging network as a method of self promotion? Do you use either medium?

I think that Twitter and blogging are great if you know how to make the most of them and do them well, unfortunately I don’t and so I will leave it to the experts.

Could you describe your interest in ‘bad taste’ in our current cycle of fast fashion, and endless borrowing from the past or more accurately returning to what were considered ‘fashion mistakes’ and re-inventing them do you think what was consider bad taste is now considered ‘good’ taste. Where is the line for you?

Good and bad taste for me is just a fascinating thing to play with. It is so easy to get it wrong and so hard to get it right and it can be the minutest detail that makes all the difference. I really couldn’t say where my line is, I think it varies depending on the object/image/garment etc that you are considering.

Will you be showing at London Fashion Week this Autumn?

I am afraid not, as much as I would love to I feel that I still need to get a bit more experience before I have my own label and so I am going to work in New York for a while starting in June.

Who are your favourite designers and why?

I have long been a Martin Margiela fan; he was one of the first designers that really sparked my interest in fashion. I also love Yves Saint Laurent when Yves Saint Laurent was at the helm and Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel and of course Moschino when Franco Moschino was there. I also love Hermes for the fantastic quality and unwavering levels of good taste!

What was your experience of work experience, what do you recommend about the experience and what did you take away from it?

Work experience for me was essential and it was also the time that I really developed into a designer. It makes it all more real, you realise that these things that you are designing do actually end up being worn! I would fully recommend it to anyone thinking about doing it.

First, seek what interested you about Womenswear and subsequently the Womenswear MA at Central Saint Martins?

A desire to design clothing for myself I guess is what first drew me to Womenswear. I also love the drama and the show of Womenswear that you don’t necessarily get with Menswear. I studied the BA Womenswear at CSM and subsequently went on to do this at MA.

What Projects are currently in the pipeline?

I have just finished working on and promoting my Weekday collection and am now planning a move to New York, where I have an exciting new project to work on.

you’re currently working with Weekday… the collection looks fantastic, how’s that collaboration going?

The collaboration has actually finished now and the designs (mostly t-shirts) are available to buy in the Weekday stores which are located in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. The collaboration was a wonderful project for me to work on and I am so pleased that my designs are now available to a wider audience.

What is your aesthetic and how did it develop?

I guess that you could say its minimalist/purist with a fun twist. An element of fun has always been essential in my design work, I don’t think that fashion should take itself too seriously! The minimalist/purist element is something that I worked on throughout the MA, as I already said I wanted my collection to be fun but I also wanted it to be taken seriously and be wearable and the minimal aesthetic seemed to offer up the perfect balance.

what is the Colin Barnes Illustration Award (congratulations!) and how do you become eligible?

The Colin Barnes Illustration Award is something that I was awarded whilst studying on the BA. It is an award that is given to St Martin’s students studying on the BA Fashion design course for their illustration. I was so surprised to receive it as I had always struggled with illustration until Howard Tangye made me realise that the way I draw doesn’t have to be the same way that everyone else draws! I owe him a lot for that!

What role does illustration play in your design process?

It played a huge role in my MA collection as we worked tirelessly to make sure that the actual clothes were as close to my original drawings as possible, the weird proportions, placement of the print and particularly the width and angle of the shoulder. I am happy to say that what went down the catwalk was exactly the same as my drawings!

You’ve mentioned in other interviews an interest in basic shapes – do these motifs often appear in your illustrations?

It does subconsciously I think, my drawings are often quite angular and square like! And going back to what I said about my aesthetic I am a big fan of pure, minimalist and clean things and what is more pure that a basic circle, square or triangle.

Do you draw outside of fashion design?

Not really as all my ladies (and they are always ladies) of course have to have great outfits on so I end up designing without even realising it. I don’t really have much time to do it anymore either which is a shame.


Who would you say informs your work, do you have a customer in mind during the design process?

I never have a specific customer. I collect images and build up a mood in that way. I am influenced by all sorts of things from all different sources. I see it as a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

Could you describe your design process?

Backwards and Forwards, up and down, moments of genius and moments of disaster. Each collection is different and so forms its own process. I don’t have any hard and fast rules.
How did your MA collection develop – from where did you inspiration come from?

I am a bit of a collector, especially when it comes to images and so the collection draws inspiration from many different reference points. The face, eyelashes etc. came from the work of François and Jean Robert, the hands were from some drawings that I found by Saul Steinberg and the shapes were from some of Jean Paul Goude’s work with Grace Jones particularly her ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ video. As I already mentioned, once I had the designs they weren’t changed at all and the development was all in making sure the clothes were just like the drawings.


Do you ever use re-cycled or up-cycled fabric in your designs?

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t in my MA, however I did explore using existing items of clothing etc a lot in my BA and it is definitely something that I would like to re visit in the future.

What fabrics do you enjoy working with?

I love wool jersey; in fact my whole collection was made out of it. I really like jersey as a whole, mainly because it allows you to do things without darts and seams, which allows the design to appear even more minimalist and clean.

Who are Francois and Jean Robert and what is the book Reggi – Secolo’?

Francois and Jean Robert are Graphic designers/photographers who did the most fantastic book called Face to Face in which they photographed inanimate objects that appear to have or make different faces. It really is worth a look, for the concept but also for the clean beautiful look of the book itself.

As for Reggi-Secolo, this is a little crazy book of totally insane and genius bra’s, it really is quite amazing.

What do you think of twitter and the ever developing blogging network as a method of self promotion? Do you use either medium?

I think that Twitter and blogging are great if you know how to make the most of them and do them well, unfortunately I don’t and so I will leave it to the experts.

Could you describe your interest in ‘bad taste’ in our current cycle of fast fashion, and endless borrowing from the past or more accurately returning to what were considered ‘fashion mistakes’ and re-inventing them do you think what was consider bad taste is now considered ‘good’ taste. Where is the line for you?

Good and bad taste for me is just a fascinating thing to play with. It is so easy to get it wrong and so hard to get it right and it can be the minutest detail that makes all the difference. I really couldn’t say where my line is, I think it varies depending on the object/image/garment etc that you are considering.

Will you be showing at London Fashion Week this Autumn?

I am afraid not, as much as I would love to I feel that I still need to get a bit more experience before I have my own label and so I am going to work in New York for a while starting in June.

Who are your favourite designers and why?

I have long been a Martin Margiela fan; he was one of the first designers that really sparked my interest in fashion. I also love Yves Saint Laurent when Yves Saint Laurent was at the helm and Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel and of course Moschino when Franco Moschino was there. I also love Hermes for the fantastic quality and unwavering levels of good taste!

What was your experience of work experience, what do you recommend about the experience and what did you take away from it?

Work experience for me was essential and it was also the time that I really developed into a designer. It makes it all more real, you realise that these things that you are designing do actually end up being worn! I would fully recommend it to anyone thinking about doing it.

First, online what interested you about Womenswear and subsequently the Womenswear MA at Central Saint Martins?

A desire to design clothing for myself I guess is what first drew me to Womenswear. I also love the drama and the show of Womenswear that you don’t necessarily get with Menswear. I studied the BA Womenswear at CSM and subsequently went on to do this at MA.

What Projects are currently in the pipeline?

I have just finished working on and promoting my Weekday collection and am now planning a move to New York, viagra approved where I have an exciting new project to work on.

you’re currently working with Weekday… the collection looks fantastic, how’s that collaboration going?

The collaboration has actually finished now and the designs (mostly t-shirts) are available to buy in the Weekday stores which are located in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. The collaboration was a wonderful project for me to work on and I am so pleased that my designs are now available to a wider audience.

What is your aesthetic and how did it develop?

I guess that you could say its minimalist/purist with a fun twist. An element of fun has always been essential in my design work, I don’t think that fashion should take itself too seriously! The minimalist/purist element is something that I worked on throughout the MA, as I already said I wanted my collection to be fun but I also wanted it to be taken seriously and be wearable and the minimal aesthetic seemed to offer up the perfect balance.

what is the Colin Barnes Illustration Award (congratulations!) and how do you become eligible?

The Colin Barnes Illustration Award is something that I was awarded whilst studying on the BA. It is an award that is given to St Martin’s students studying on the BA Fashion design course for their illustration. I was so surprised to receive it as I had always struggled with illustration until Howard Tangye made me realise that the way I draw doesn’t have to be the same way that everyone else draws! I owe him a lot for that!

What role does illustration play in your design process?

It played a huge role in my MA collection as we worked tirelessly to make sure that the actual clothes were as close to my original drawings as possible, the weird proportions, placement of the print and particularly the width and angle of the shoulder. I am happy to say that what went down the catwalk was exactly the same as my drawings!

You’ve mentioned in other interviews an interest in basic shapes – do these motifs often appear in your illustrations?

It does subconsciously I think, my drawings are often quite angular and square like! And going back to what I said about my aesthetic I am a big fan of pure, minimalist and clean things and what is more pure that a basic circle, square or triangle.

Do you draw outside of fashion design?

Not really as all my ladies (and they are always ladies) of course have to have great outfits on so I end up designing without even realising it. I don’t really have much time to do it anymore either which is a shame.


Who would you say informs your work, do you have a customer in mind during the design process?

I never have a specific customer. I collect images and build up a mood in that way. I am influenced by all sorts of things from all different sources. I see it as a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

Could you describe your design process?

Backwards and Forwards, up and down, moments of genius and moments of disaster. Each collection is different and so forms its own process. I don’t have any hard and fast rules.

How did your MA collection develop – from where did you inspiration come from?

I am a bit of a collector, especially when it comes to images and so the collection draws inspiration from many different reference points. The face, eyelashes etc. came from the work of François and Jean Robert, the hands were from some drawings that I found by Saul Steinberg and the shapes were from some of Jean Paul Goude’s work with Grace Jones particularly her ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ video. As I already mentioned, once I had the designs they weren’t changed at all and the development was all in making sure the clothes were just like the drawings.


Do you ever use re-cycled or up-cycled fabric in your designs?

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t in my MA, however I did explore using existing items of clothing etc a lot in my BA and it is definitely something that I would like to re visit in the future.


What fabrics do you enjoy working with?

I love wool jersey; in fact my whole collection was made out of it. I really like jersey as a whole, mainly because it allows you to do things without darts and seams, which allows the design to appear even more minimalist and clean.

Who are Francois and Jean Robert and what is the book Reggi – Secolo’?

Francois and Jean Robert are Graphic designers/photographers who did the most fantastic book called Face to Face in which they photographed inanimate objects that appear to have or make different faces. It really is worth a look, for the concept but also for the clean beautiful look of the book itself.

As for Reggi-Secolo, this is a little crazy book of totally insane and genius bra’s, it really is quite amazing.

What do you think of twitter and the ever developing blogging network as a method of self promotion? Do you use either medium?

I think that Twitter and blogging are great if you know how to make the most of them and do them well, unfortunately I don’t and so I will leave it to the experts.

Could you describe your interest in ‘bad taste’ in our current cycle of fast fashion, and endless borrowing from the past or more accurately returning to what were considered ‘fashion mistakes’ and re-inventing them do you think what was consider bad taste is now considered ‘good’ taste. Where is the line for you?

Good and bad taste for me is just a fascinating thing to play with. It is so easy to get it wrong and so hard to get it right and it can be the minutest detail that makes all the difference. I really couldn’t say where my line is, I think it varies depending on the object/image/garment etc that you are considering.

Will you be showing at London Fashion Week this Autumn?

I am afraid not, as much as I would love to I feel that I still need to get a bit more experience before I have my own label and so I am going to work in New York for a while starting in June.

Who are your favourite designers and why?

I have long been a Martin Margiela fan; he was one of the first designers that really sparked my interest in fashion. I also love Yves Saint Laurent when Yves Saint Laurent was at the helm and Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel and of course Moschino when Franco Moschino was there. I also love Hermes for the fantastic quality and unwavering levels of good taste!

What was your experience of work experience, what do you recommend about the experience and what did you take away from it?

Work experience for me was essential and it was also the time that I really developed into a designer. It makes it all more real, you realise that these things that you are designing do actually end up being worn! I would fully recommend it to anyone thinking about doing it.


Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, information pills with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, side effects ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, hospital previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.


Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.


Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

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One Response to “ROKIT Recycled”

  1. dan says:

    great article! i love the ethos behind ROKIT :)

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