Rosella May is the fresh and pioneering voice bridging the space between creativity and social issues, through a denim focused lens. The young designer created her eponymous brand during her time as a denim designer for Calvin Klein in Amsterdam, and for SS19, has collaborated with Scottish Association for Mental Health, on the 'Stigma' collection. Through her design work, Rosella seeks to highlight the stigma that surrounds mental health and incite conversations, to begin to break down negative perceptions and misunderstandings.
We caught up with the designer ahead of her show at Fashion Scout SSS19 during London Fashion Week, to hear more about her collaborative show with SOE Jakarta at Seoul Fashion Week and Jakarta Fashion Week, the meaning behind her chaotic prints and why sustainable denim has a way to go.
What has inspired your Spring Summer 2019 collection?
Each season I am inspired by different social and cultural topics; my graduation collection was inspired by the demise of the steel industry which initiated my interest in denim.
Our SS19 collection “Stigma”, focuses on the taboo surrounding mental health.
I figured, why not create a collection that is striking and courageous to begin a conversation - once the audience are drawn in, they’ll begin understand the true underlying inspiration, which in will raise awareness of mental health issues.
How do you stay inspired?
I love discussing my work with my friends, all of which have very different jobs, including a Marine Biologist, an Actress, and a Psychologist. Their original and unexpected perspectives on one seemingly random topic will spark a conversation and lead down a totally different path…that's how my SS19 collection ‘stigma’ came about!
What themes and concepts are you exploring this season?
Mental health is the main concept for the collection.
Shown through the colourful and chaotic prints, I want people to be aware, that the way they perceive something might not be a true reflection of what's underneath. Rosella May is working alongside SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, to help raise awareness for this season.
Themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity are permeating the industry. what changes would you like to make through your work?
As a denim designer it can be quite hard to come up with a sustainable way to manufacture and produce a denim product, as the fabric itself if so damaging to the environment.
I have friends in Indonesia who produce denim more sustainably and I would love to get involved with them again. But to do our bit for now, every bit of fabric that is cut off in seam allowance and other practises, we throw in a big bag and save it all up to create vibrant textured pieces, some of which we are working on for SS19.
What shall we look out for at your SS19 show?
The show will be pretty interactive in comparison to a standard show because I want people to see as much of my garments as possible… you'll have to wait and see!
Where do you hope to be next season?
I’d love to be producing our collection pieces for wholesale and retail! Having a stockist is my dream.
I’m also planning on showcasing my work at other fashion weeks so fingers crossed they all go well!
For tickets to Rosella May's show for SS19, contact firstname.lastname@example.org