Estonian Academy of Arts collaboration

Last year we received a letter from the Estonian Academy of Arts or EAA (EKA as it is known in Estonia) inviting us to collaborate with them as part of their course. At that time we were in the middle of planning for the new 2020 season and the idea to collaborate was exactly what we were looking for. To work with young graphic design students offered a fresh perspective on kit design and we could not wait to see what ideas and designs would be produced. Without waiting to finish our coffee, we accepted the offer and set the gears in motion.

First step was to decide what the collaboration would entail. What would be the objectives, method and the result? Were we going to simply give some talks sharing ideas and experience we have gained in clothing designs or will we take it a few steps further and work with the students to create cycling apparel that is available to the general public to buy? In short what was the result we were all hoping to get out of it.

One key element that excited us was working with young students who in many cases had no connection with cycling, bringing us a fresh and unique perspective on our two wheeled sport that is not influenced by other designs and styles from cycling’s past. We wanted to harness and promote this energy, so one of the early criterias we had was not to impose any limits or restrictions as well as no expectations on what would be produced. The students were free to follow any design or concept they wanted with an emphasis being on the knowledge gained through the process rather than what benefits we could get from it.

Together with the EAA course supervisor, Mathias (an avid cyclist himself who has designed kits for his own club in the past), we formulated an assignment that the students would be tasked with. To design a cycling jersey and bib-shorts with the theme being “The emotions of cycling”. This theme was a starting point with students free to interpret it in whatever way they felt. 

The students set to work, and over the course of the next few weeks and months work was done to educate the students and be hands-on throughout the design process, including training and input from our designers here at moomoo. In total thirteen students, all majoring in Graphic Design were involved in the assignment, each bringing out their own personal connection with cycling. Tools were provided and the students were introduced to the design templates, fabrics and manufacturing techniques to help give them a better understanding of the medium they were designing on. The only requirement that the students had, was that the end product would be presented on a digital printable file, including 3D visualisations which we assisted them with, that could be then turned into real clothes.

The task was a great opportunity and challenge to the young designers and over the weeks that followed we enjoyed seeing how each student’s designs progressed. We loved how they experimented and developed their ideas further and we were impressed with the uniqueness of each design. We were thrilled to see how the task was enthusiastically accepted by the students, perhaps motivated by the chance to see their designs end up as part of a future moomoo’s collection. 

At the end of the course, the works were presented to a jury consisting of representatives of EAA and moomoo and our special guest judge Alari Orava from AKU design studio. After much deliberation, the jury selected Marje Kase’s “Oil Slick” for the top prize with Aaro Veiderpass’s work “Under Pressure” and Sonia Ruusi’s “Rada” being awarded runner-up prizes. We are pleased to now make the top three designs available to you in our shop. If your favourite design was not in the top three, then keep an eye on this spot as we will be making some of the other designs available in the near future!