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Meet the emerging artist using bubblewrap, sleeping bags and upholstery to create an experimental wardrobe

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAIDA OCIC AND JOSH CHAGAR

VIDEOGRAPHY BY JAIDA OCIC

CREATIVE DIRECTION BY ZALI GUECIA-GHLARDINI

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ADIDAS

“Through doing what I love, I started meeting more like-minded people and that really brought me out of my shell. It’s been such a transformation in my confidence and abilities – 16-year-old me would proud.”

We know that Melbourne has a wildly talented community of next-gen creatives (we’ve met a few on FJ before). For its latest project, the adidas Forum Newsroom, adidas wanted to tap into this talent. The brand recently brought together dozens of these local creators and set them a task, asking each to work on a creative project exploring one of five themes – identity, technology, culture, future world or life control.

Each participant was given creative autonomy over their project and a budget to enable their vision to come to life. They could work with whoever they wanted, however they wanted, creating whatever they wanted – some made baseball cards, others zines, others music videos. The project is inspired by the re-release of the iconic ’80s basketball sneaker and marks a new chapter for the brand, one that stays open to what’s next.


For more fashion news, shoots and features, head to our Fashion section.


Over the last week, Fashion Journal has played host to the creative outputs of eight of these makers, like fashion designer, videographer and producer, Jaida the Creator. Using unconventional mediums and experimental production methods, Jaida uses fashion design to breathe new life into old textiles. For her adidas Forum Newsroom project, she collaborated with friend and fellow creative Zali to create their fashion film and accompanying zine, Stay Open Minded.

Like any wee tyke with budding talent, you can spot a creative kid from a mile away. They’re usually the ones with ballpoint pen scrawl on their knuckles, sticky magazine cutouts on their binders and a variety of colourful accessories in their hair. As a former art kid myself, I know cautious adolescent self-expression when I see it.

For multidisciplinary Melbourne artist Jadia the Creator, those experimental years served as the inspiration for a successful creative career. At only 19, Jaida has used her talents to forge a path that’s completely her own – dipping in and out of videography, photography, production and fashion design. Crafting pieces using materials like old duvet covers, comforters and sleeping bags, her emerging label Inner Sanctum is redefining sustainable innovation.

Most recently, Jaida’s designs were showcased in her adidas Forum Newsroom project, Stay Open Minded. In collaboration with a handful of Melbourne’s coolest creative talent, the film (and accompanying zine) give a glimpse into the future of fashion.

Hi Jaida! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got your start in the creative industries?

Hey! I’m Jaida the Creator and I’m 19 years old. It’s so crazy, when I started this project I was 18.

That’s insane. You’ve accomplished so much already.

Thank you! I think I’ve always been a creative person and I started really experimenting when I was 16. I thought I initially wanted to go into videography, so I completed a certification in creative industries. Obviously, there’s a lot of crossovers in the creative industries and I ended up falling into clothing design.

I left school early, started studying fashion full time and began balancing photography, videography and design, which I would say are my real passions. Through doing what I love, I started meeting more like-minded people and that really brought me out of my shell. It’s been such a transformation in my confidence and abilities – 16-year-old me would proud.

Your short film project for the adidas Forum Newsroom, Stay Open Minded, aims to educate viewers on the urgency of fashion sustainability. How did you use your designs to translate this?

While sustainability was something I wanted to translate into our final work, our concept was really centred around self-expression and our local creative community. By incorporating my designs I wanted it to be subtle, for people to do a second take and think ‘Woah, what is that made out of?’

It came together really cohesively. My designs breathe new life into old textiles and we wanted this film to breathe new life into our creative expression. Lockdown has been tough and shooting these crazy outfits in mundane locations – the grocery store, the park, the backyard – shows there are still ways to express ourselves, even when we feel limited.

 

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A post shared by ZALI 🥀 (@cinamon_doll)


This project features some of Melbourne’s coolest creative talent. How did you select and create so many different looks?

We really wanted to capture the diverse aesthetics of the different creatives we worked with. Josh, for example, he’s got this kind of anonymity in his work. He wants his photography to speak for itself. So by putting him in a mask, we were communicating that image he’s created.

Kaira is a really bold, expressive personality, so we wanted the colours in her outfit to reflect that. We also had the DJ decks in her photos, because that’s her creative persona. It was really important that we highlighted the amazing talent we were working with.

What was it like collaborating with Zali on this project?

We’ve worked together before, but this felt different because it was such a big project. I’m actually really used to working by myself, so having a co-director to bounce off was really helpful. Having that creative input and two different skillsets made the final project so much better.

I think I’ve got a bit of an ADHD brain and I often find myself getting distracted and pushing projects to this side. She really pushed me to keep persisting and we’ve got a similar vision, so we worked really well together.

Your clothing label Inner Sanctum is a relatively new creative venture for you. What was the catalyst behind the launch?

It was a really organic process. Once my interest in fashion design had sparked, I started frequently thrifting and flipping secondhand clothing. I haven’t even officially launched a collection, I’ve just been doing custom jobs as they pop up.

The unpredictability works for me right now, especially because I source all of my materials from thrift stores or donations – a process that’s difficult to regulate. I’m working towards a launching small drop of sustainably upcycled pieces right now.

 

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A post shared by JAIDA 🌟 (@jaidathecreator)


Your design process is so interesting. I know you use some really unconventional materials and innovative production methods to make your pieces – where do you find your inspiration?

I know everyone says this but honestly everywhere! Social media, film, fellow young designers and my friends really inspire me. A lot of my custom pieces are built around the material they’re made from. Like a jacket I designed recently was made from the packaging – bubble wrap, cardboard and plastic bags – taken out of some parcels my parents received.

The materials were so interesting and dynamic to me, the design came really naturally. I love using upholstery and household fabrics as well; one of my most popular sets is made from an old comforter.

In your opinion, what is the future of fashion?

It’s so exciting right now because we’re moving towards a more sustainable fashion industry. My generation is really aware of the impact we have on the world and that translates in the way we create. We’re also becoming more open-minded towards the way that people dress.

When I was younger, I wanted to blend in. The next generation of artists is taking pride in being different and using style as a creative tool for self-expression.

Shop the reimagined Forum shoes here.

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