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After meeting as students at Kingston School of Art, Freya Grötecke and Julia Forslund founded Ecke Faei during 2020’s lockdowns. Drawing from their shared backgrounds, the duo design fragile knitwear pieces for all sizes and gender identities.
Freya and Julia are winners of the Oxo x Arts Thread Graduate Residency Programme. This new initiative offers two complimentary studios at Oxo Tower Wharf for a four month period to graduate designer-makers. The aim of the residency is to support emerging designers in launching their studios, with a space to work, showcase their creativity and sell in the heart of London.
As two working-class students, working collaboratively was not only a sharing of skill sets and resources, it also allowed Freya and Julia to research into their differing heritages to create the brand ethos and project concepts. They aim to create slow fashion that subverts the ideas of working-class aesthetics and get to celebrate where they come from in a high fashion world.
For their current project ’Hanging on by a Thread’ they took heavy inspiration from their working class backgrounds and fused their cultural and material investigations with the Tale of Damocles and Shelley's 'Masque of Anarchy' to create designs that could subvert these traditional ideas of power to say that power should always be in the hands of the many, not the few. The designs are purposefully made to look fragile but with the use of their elastic yarn, each garment is powerful and can move with the body of the wearer, signifying the strength in human resilience.