SHANGHAI – Johns Creek’s Hope Kemp-Hanson, who is in her junior year of fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design, has been named one of 10 finalists in the Adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge.
An international competition organized by Adidas and The Woolmark Company, the contest included 1,060 students from 115 universities in 21 countries. Their assignment was to develop a product from a combination of high-tech and merino wool for the activewear market, in which wool as a fiber currently has a relatively small market share.
Competing for, among other prizes, $10,000 and a three-month Adidas internship, the 10 tertiary students short-listed by Adidas hail from Italy, the United Kingdom, France and – in two cases – the U.S. At 21, Kemp-Hanson is the youngest finalist and the only undergraduate student chosen.
Joining the other finalists in Shanghai for a three-day training workshop Sept. 27-20, Kemp-Hanson said her apparel design entry “aims to blend urban streetwear with skateboarding equipment by creating a line of hidden impact protection that portrays a satirical look at the story of South Korean skateboarders.”
Though her initial interest was haute couture, for which she had her first fashion internship at 14 and then debuted a formal dress line as a senior at Chattahoochee High School, Johns Creek, her focus soon took a sportier turn when she signed to play soccer at SCAD. That shift – to designing sportswear using smart textiles with a concentration on sustainability – resulted in being chosen for the 12-week Pensole Fall 2018 Design Intensive in Portland, Oregon, a highly competitive program founded by D’wayne Edwards, the former Jordan Design Director at Nike. And, this past winter, Kemp-Hanson was named to a design cooperative sponsored by Pensole at Boston’s New Balance headquarters, where she placed first in apparel design.
The winner of this year’s Adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge will be announced in Munich Nov. 14. For more information, go to woolmarkchallenge.com.