Remaining true to their name, Universal Works strives to appeal to a universal audience; not defined by age, gender or cultural origin. Disregarding what everyone else is doing, they defy the norm and do things their own way. Universal Works don’t mind what fashion ‘should’ be or how it ‘should’ be presented, they do things their way.
Combining art installation, stop motion video and explorative design, Universal Works is a young brand aiming to create beauty in the world and empower the people within it. Speaking to the director of design, he shared his inspiration for the collection, after seeing Burt Glinn’s photography book on the the Cuban revolution, he was enthralled. Glinn, living in Miami at the time, heard that Fidel Castro was leading a revolution in Cuba. Booking a boat ride immediately, he made his way to Cuba to capture it.
The Cuban influences have been incorporated through not only the relaxed silhouettes and the choice of fabrics, (tropical wool – woven to be worn in tropical climates and cotton) but also the block colour pattern in the stop motion video accompanying the presentation.
Universal Works chose not to use models to showcase their collection, instead considered the question…”Who better to showcase a collection than the people who developed it?”
Instead of employing models to carry the collection, the people invested in the brand. This varied from a design assistant and his 84 year old grandad to the company photographer, to the head of retail operations.
Blending in the crowd and conversing with the audience, ‘models’ would then leave and enter the art installation. Taking everyone by surprise this presentation was a refreshing shock to the system. It felt natural, casual and real
Images by Rob Parfitt
Words by April Edgar