Exploding contemporary ideologies surrounding street-knitwear AGR Knit is flourishing colourful youth at the seams. London based and streetwear interested AGR Knit ties together tremendously crafted garments suiting all unique facades of fashion. Trending high and working with designers NIKE and A-Cold-Wall AGR Knit provides a fun-loving, eccentric and “granny stigma” breaking personality. Fashion-forward thinking AGR recently showcased their latest capsule collection using 3D avatar technology by Sensergy across Playstation Playable, we speak with AGR founder Alicia on her brand-new cultural creative collection.
What’s the main inspiration for AGR’s signature colourful flamboyant garments?
The main inspiration for AGR colours is a mix of your everyday things from the stripes on someone’s uniform to colourful objects piled on top of each other in a shop or even graffiti down an alleyway. It’s then teamed up with inspiration from artists and photographers and collaged together. The age that we’re living in means you don’t even have to be on that research trip in Indonesia to pick up amazing research, you can do this through Instagram and people’s stories – it’s just the way it is now. I like to look at research from all around the world. I’ve always been drawn to colour and pattern and don’t think too much is ever too much. My passion really comes through colour!
To what extent do you consider sustainability in your fashion brand?
I do consider sustainability in my brand however as a super new brand it also feels important to get my foot in the door and developing my style most sustainably. I am lucky that craft knitting is relatively sustainable especially the way I have been working for the past 5 years. With my own machinery needing no electricity and always creating to measurements with no wastage. However, once you move into factories it’s a different story. It makes me feel really sad when we knit a panel and there’s an issue with it and it goes to waste however all those panels I collect and then make them into one-off patchwork pieces.
How does AGR Knit break the stereotypical mould of usual knitwear brands?
I like to think of some of my pieces as knitted art rather than just knitting and I enjoy breaking the rules I guess. The technicians at my factory hate me because I’m also trying to use more colours than possible and change the way things are done. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I like to also have a sense of humour about my work which I think really helps.
With the popular projects with NIKE and A-Cold-Wall, how are you going to keep breaking ‘normalised’ barriers with knitwear?
I absolutely love doing one-off projects with Nike and other brands too, they allow me to really go for it and sometimes even try things I’ve never done. I will always continue to push my knitwear because I hate things looking boring. I always feel that even some of my pieces could have been crazier or could have more added. Just knitwear on its own for me is usually a little boring I love to add another element on top of the colour – whether it’s dye or patchwork or embroidery… But the thing I want to really work on is making some of those one-off pieces like the Brexit or the Nike pieces into small ‘affordable’ runs. But pieces like that I feel do need to be handmade! As for my projects with Nike, I hope they just get bigger and better…
Working alongside artists like Greentea Peng and Jorja Smith would you like to continue making garments for musicians, if so who?
I love seeing artist wearing my pieces it really makes things come alive especially on a stage!! GreenteaPeng is one of my close friends and she was the one who really started the carnival knits for me. It’s so nice when me and her talk about how far we’ve both come from working in a nightclub together. I’ve got a few new surprises with musicians in the pipeline so keep your eyes peeled!! Also, a big highlight for me recently was to see Anderson Paak doing his thing in AGR cargos in bucket that was such a nice surprise.
What inspired you across your Playstation Playable new creators programme?
The whole process inspired me. I decided to use the platform I was given to really push myself and do something brand new to me. Creating animations with Sensergy was so much fun but also ALOT of hard work. Due to the fact, the project being about my friends and I there was huge amounts of back and forth over features, tattoos and even hairlines!! It was super interesting to start to understand and learn some of the processes it takes. But my mind is still baffled by a lot of it. The whole project and even the stills I think are incredible and has really opened my eyes to the digital world and mixing craft and technology. I’d love to be able to do even a tiny bit of what Sensergy do – definitely in awe of their talent!
Crafting in a digital creative studio with SENSERGY how do the individual 3D avatars represent AGR Knit?
The 3D avatars represent AGR in several ways. For starters one of them is me!! And the rest of them are some of my nearest and dearest who have played major parts in the growth of AGR. Htown is my sales don / oldest friend and constant guidance, Troy is my casting agent and advice man, Jake and me generate ideas together and he’s my stylist and then Rhiannon as everyone knows is part of the Wavey Garms duo which was one of my best collaborations and she also helped me to get noticed by Nike.
The key thing for me with avatars was that they were funny – which I think we got spot on. Anyone will tell you I love to joke around and have quite a dark sense of humour but straight to the point. Obviously, we had to tame the project to align with PlayStation but I think it really captures what I’m about. We also tuned parts of our bodies to look better than real life!! If you can’t have a digital makeover then when can you.
The main purpose of the project was to showcase my capsule collection with SSENSE in a new way and I think that was achieved tremendously. The textures and details of the clothing look fab. From the fluffy mohair to the tie-dye no then even the complex stripes it’s all in there!
In your opinion is working with 3D animation and avatars the future of fashion?
I wouldn’t say it’s the ‘future’ for fashion as nothing beats seeing clothes actually on the body. But it’s definitely becoming more recognised and is a great way to showcase collections with a digital touch. I think it’s all about adapting with the times. It also allows you to play around with shape and form and visualising things in some type of world without them even being real yet.
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Words: Izabel Rose