Age - 29
New York, United States
I’d create a fashion film for my upcoming collection, championing my home Jamaica through my design stories

“We run tings, tings don’t run we,” Edvin Thompson said back in April, on being shortlisted for the CFDA fashion fund award, four years after he debuted his label Theophilio in an abandoned Brooklyn garage.

While 2020 saw his creations worn by the likes of Solange, Tinashe and Gabrielle Union, Thompson was making ends meet shilling bottomless shrimp at a chain restaurant in the Bronx. Despite having zero formal qualifications, the designer has consistently topped fashion’s “ones to watch” lists for his frisky, colourful aesthetic.

One-size stretch slips, jackets with corseted backs, flared tights, and dancehall-indebted string dresses are Thompson staples. Beyond reggae, jerk chicken, and marijuana motifs, the designer imbues his collections with the quiet nostalgia of his Jamaican upbringing – his father’s pride is made manifest in the wide lapels of a suit jacket, while his mother’s penchant for pocket books was the basis of Theophilio’s first bag. 

As much as Thompson mines his past for inspiration, it’s really the future he’s concerned with. The designer is hoping to produce a film to sit alongside his next collection, Air Jamaica, which recounts his childhood journeys on the now defunct airline of the same name. With the shoot taking place on the Island, Thompson will be able to recruit a local team, “providing much needed support for young creatives, clothing manufacturers, and arts organizations,” he says, something he hopes will “highlight a progressive perspective on community in fashion”. 

Text Daniel Rodgers

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