Winner: Research Bursary
IED Milano, Italy, Fashion Design
Francesco believes “The only way to project yourself into the future is to listen to your body and your needs.” For his WPC entry he envisions a garment that acts like a second skin to enhance athletic performance, a garment which can adapt to our body in motion and, although initially designed for running, be easily adaptable to all sports and everyday life. His design uses strategically placed zones of high compression using elastane in seamless knitted garments to support and manipulate the wearer’s muscles and limbs during exercise. It has the potential to correct poor posture, which degrades an athlete's performance. Francesco also keeps sustainability in mind, noting that, in using Merino wool – a natural and biodegradable fibre choice – his product “comes from the earth and returns it to nature at the end of its process”.
“Francesco embraced this competition with maturity on many levels,” said The Woolmark Company’s General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension, Julie Davies. “Francesco displayed deep understanding of what is lacking in existing performance garments and what an athlete experiences under duress. He demonstrated extensive research for an innovative garment design and also demonstrated why the wearer would experience greater technical and physical benefits from the garment with it manufactured in wool. I am excited to observe and support Francesco’s journey.”