PH5 appoints virtual executive alongside FW21 collection debut
As this fall's New York Fashion Week continues on a digital schedule, New York-based high tech knitwear brand PH5 unveiled its fall/winter 2021 collection on Monday—and revealed that it has added a digital being to its leadership team.
The brand, established in 2014, founded by Wei Lin and designed by Parsons-trained designer Zoe Champion, announced in a press release that it has named 'AMA,' a CGI being that uses she/her pronouns, as its new chief decision scientist.
In the role, AMA will monitor the brand's sustainability progress, including PH5's continued efforts to find new techniques and explore conscious materials. Known for creating knitwear pieces using a zero-waste production process, PH5 has previously employed materials like environmentally-friendly viscose yarn, Fair Trade-certified organic cotton and recycled polyester to make its knitwear.
"Rather than communicating exclusively to press on a bi-annual basis, AMA will constantly engage and track progress in real time with PH5 customers and followers — reporting strides and downfalls in their efforts to make better decisions for the environment; sharing BTS content of exciting new experiments from the knitwear laboratory; and pushing to implement new ideas and create new opportunities on behalf of the brand," PH5 said.
"She will also share in the responsibility of targeting key companies and fellow innovators for potential product collaboration. AMA is particularly keen to explore such opportunities, especially after learning many of the most intriguing innovations are exclusive to big fashion houses and therefore unobtainable to most. How can fashion begin to correct their issues if we don’t work together? Though her role seems daunting, who better than an other-worldly avatar who doesn’t sleep to accept the challenge."
AMA, who first "came to exist" in the summer of 2020, PH5 said, also stars in the brand's FW 2021 lookbook—with large brown eyes and a short brown bob, AMA can be seen sporting four FW21 looks.
Featuring brand signatures like organic shapes and bright colors, the collection features matching top-and-bottom sets, sweaters, skirts, vests, dresses, tank tops, turtlenecks and more in a color palette of navy, forest green, brown, pastel yellow, lavender and blue, bright turquoise, orange and pink.
Lin and Champion both focused on expanding their sourcing efforts for the collection, implementing materials like organic cotton, recycled viscose, eco-vero viscose and recycled spandex. With this collection, the brand successfully increased the percentage of consciously sourced material used to 91%, up from 30 to 35% in previous collections.
"This collection has been a deeply personal journey," Champion said. "After being in Sydney [Australia] and away from my home in New York for six months I struggled to find the energy to create...struggling with mental health issues I became one with my bed. Slowly I embraced the comfort of my surroundings and began using my pillows to make shapes on my body which became a starting point for me and encouraged more design.
"Fall utilizes quilting techniques and pillow-shaped padded pockets as a way to take our interiors with us — a sort of tactile crutch, or cozy armor...For this particular season I wanted to take all of the comforts of my interiors outside, but in a way that encouraged me to dress up and begin engaging with the outside world again."
Outside of receiving praise for its independent collections, PH5 has also made headlines for partnering with the likes of Kith as well as Fitbit and Council of Fashion Designers of America.
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