Heron Preston and H&M Name Designers for Mentorship Program news photo of Heron Preston

Heron Preston and H&M Name Designers for Mentorship Program

H2 Exchange Partners With Three Upcoming Designers as Part of the Collaboration’s Sustainable Design Focus

H2 Exchange, the collaborative project between designer Heron Preston and H&M, has announced the three rising designers it will as part of its mentorship program.

H2 Exchange is launching a new initiative in downtown Manhattan, starting June 2nd and lasting for 13 days, providing a creative space dedicated to upcycling and sustainable fashion design. Located at 55 Chrystie Street, this program is designed as a hands-on workshop for emerging designers focused on circular fashion, an approach that promotes recycling and reusing materials to reduce waste.

Heron Preston

The initiative will feature three up-and-coming designers working in collaboration with noted designer Heron Preston and global fashion retailer H&M. These designers will create unique collections using clothing donated by the public during a March donation drive. In exchange for their contributions, donors received tokens which they can use to acquire items from these newly upcycled collections.

The residency will include various public events aimed at fostering community engagement, such as design workshops, a weekend hangout, and creative hours. Additionally, token holders and mentees will have opportunities to meet with Heron Preston during a meet and greet session, followed by a storytelling hour and an introductory workshop on upcycling techniques.

As part of their involvement, mentees will gain practical experience and knowledge in upcycling, and by the end of the program, they will have produced professional-quality images for their portfolios. The experience culminates in a final review by industry professionals and H&M representatives, who will evaluate the potential for reproducing the mentees’ collections commercially.

The initiative not only aims to enhance the technical skills of its participants but also to deepen their understanding of sustainable practices in fashion, preparing them to contribute to the industry’s shift towards a more sustainable future.

The three young designers selected for the program are Devante Hicks, Treshara Franklin, and June Chen.

Devante is a self-taught designer based in NYC. His journey began in 2019 with transforming old garments into rejuvenated pieces, leading to the establishment of his brand, Unorth. Hicks describes his creative process as “unorthodox,” favoring spontaneity over predetermined designs, an approach that results in one-of-a-kind garments.

A rising fashion designer hailing from Brooklyn, Treshara’s pre-existing love for sustainable fashion began in Syracuse, where she’d spend much of her time thrifting. During the H2 Exchange, Treshara aims to improve her technical design skills, citing pattern-making as the skill she most looks forward to mastering.

June is a young fashion designer, currently enrolled in the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons School of Design. Having previously gained experience at fashion houses such as Acne Studios, Dion Lee, and Collina Strada, Chen is most fascinated by dystopian and futuristic aesthetics and her designs often feature intricate hardware elements. June’s creative process is anchored in thorough academic research, delving into libraries and online resources to draw inspiration.