Interview: Lucy Jones
July 31, 2017

fashion after Fashion co-curator Ilari Laamanen interviews one of the featured designers in the exhibition, Lucy Jones. The exhibition is on view through August 6. 

How would you describe your design philosophy?

I am systematic in my approach to product creation and user experience, remaining authentic throughout the process, dissecting lifestyles and habits of specific demographics, theorizing and drawing conclusions as to why such mannerisms occur, and observing moments of intervention. In short, I love solving thorny design challenges. I do believe that designers have a duty to think critically at all stages of design about the positive and negative impacts of their creations, socially and environmentally.

You focus on designing for seated individuals. Can you walk me through that decision?

It really began with my younger cousin back in 2012. He has hemiplegia, which means he is weaker along one side of his body, and that was perhaps the first time I had ever asked him how he dressed himself each day. It turned out that clothing in particular happened to be one of his biggest daily challenges.

I wanted to delve deeper, to find out how many other people had difficulties with clothing. It was after interviewing numerous individuals with disabilities that I realized how often fashion design was not accessible, and that there was no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mind-set. I decided to focus first on the seated body, or those who use wheelchairs and those who are seated for prolonged hours of the day. 

fashion after Fashion is your first museum exhibition. What has the experience been like for you?

When I was young I told myself that I would know I’d “made it” when my work was exhibited in a museum. All the designers I have looked up to, I have at some point enjoyed their work in a museum. There’s something so captivating about viewing work in this setting. To have an institution such as MAD invite a young designer to work on a piece was for me a pure joy and honor, and I have been incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have my work exhibited alongside idols of mine.

Can you talk a little bit about your other ongoing and upcoming projects?

As the founder of FFORA, I am currently participating in XRC Labs, an accelerator program for retail and consumer goods. FFORA, which is due to launch later this year, is a new lifestyle brand that serves the disability community. I’m excited to share more soon!