Pioneering a New Kind of Fashion: Innovative Materials Collection
If you’ve been a follower of MADISONS for a while then you know that Founder and President Kristine Upesleja is also established the Innovative Materials Collection hosted at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. This library was born 11 years ago, in 2008, after Kristine came across a raincoat made by the brand C.P. Company. In collaboration with designer Moreno Ferrari, the company created the ‘Inflatables Air-Mattress Parka.’ This piece, as part of a 2001 collection called ‘Urban Protection,’ could transform from a raincoat to a blow-up mattress. After this initial discovery, Kristine was electrified and became obsessed with conceptual design and material processes. Soon she was collecting even more innovative creations like a shirt made from coffee grounds, one produced with milk fiber, and so many more. Today it stands inside the Fashion Institute, helping students to expand the definition of fashion and encourage them to think about how sustainability, science, and technology can intersect with what we wear. The materials library has grown into the biggest innovative materials collection at a US college.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How are the collection’s pieces sourced?
The library’s pieces are sourced by Kristine Upesleja and her team. They are constantly on the lookout for the latest innovations in textile and fashion design. Kristine often guides her searches by asking: What pieces will be of interest to all FIDM majors? What will be eye-opening or inspiring for the students? She and her team believe the Innovative Materials Collection plays a vital role in keeping students thinking outside of the box.
What are the most exciting garments that have been a part of the collection?
Volleback’s Black Squid Jacket, nat-2™’s boots made of recycled corn and sneakers made from mushrooms, Danit Peleg’s 3D-printed jacket, Solidwool’s "plastic” chair made from wool, and Dirk Vander Kooij’s “Endless Flow Rocking Chair” made from recycled refrigerator plastic.
Can non-students visit the collection?
Yes! Please send us an email and we’d be happy to set up a time for you to visit the materials library.