Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Luna.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Angela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I always knew that I wanted to a fashion designer, so I went to Parsons for design and had every intention of moving to Paris and working in couture That was until I learned about the refugee crisis. At first, I thought there wasn’t much I could do to help, which bothered me. So I threw myself into learning everything about this crisis and discovered that clothing was actually playing a key role in the difference between life and death for refugees and homeless.
My senior thesis at Parsons was spent evaluating the level of support clothing could provide for refugees. It really bothered me how fashion was so unattached from this issue – the idea that fashion can save lives sounds admittedly… ridiculous, but when we go back to the original purpose of clothing, it makes total sense. The world sees fashion as frivolous when really it’s creating a product that is a necessity. Yet there aren’t many brands intentionally trying to help these people, and while donations of normal clothes are given with good intentions, they’re not meeting the unique needs.
I created my company, ADIFF because I saw the potential for fashion to be a vehicle for change, capable of providing life-saving relief, while also discussing a major issue of our time. I wanted to integrate fashion with what’s actually going on in the world, and design products that realize clothing’s full capability. Clothing can meet the humanitarian need and further assist us in our daily lives if it’s designed right.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There’s always struggles when you’re trying to change a system or revolutionize an industry! Being different is hard, and the world is filled with people who are resistant to change. We actually put out an entire Failure Report for 2017 (instead of a Success-Report), because we believe in owning our mistakes [link: https://medium.com/@adiffbrand/2017-failure-report-7dfe22406160].
There are large, conceptual struggles we encounter, as well as daily, concrete issues that need solutions. We’re always grappling with how we can create the best possible impact, and how to get people on board with our plans. With day-to-day issues, getting our actual product made has proven to be difficult, mostly because we’re trying to create clothing that no one has ever seen before.
ADIFF – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
ADIFF is humanitarian fashion brand that creates innovative clothing for purchase and donation. We realize that clothing is creating issues within our world and are looking to challenge how it is designed, made, sold, and used. In addition to challenging consumer clothing life cycles, we are leveraging the fashion industry to provide assistance to the people who need the most out of what they wear. Built on a social-impact business model, for every product we sell, we donate high-performance garments to a displaced person, while also creating longer-term solutions with employment and empowerment.
We’re best known for our jacket that turns into a tent, that went viral on social media last year. And we actually just released this jacket for purchase and donation on Kickstarter! We’re now at the end of our campaign, so check it out and share it! Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1944534490/the-tent-jacket-revolutionizing-the-fashion-indust?ref=6snvgv.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The whole reason why I even started this project (back when it was a project at Parsons) was because I wanted to create products that could save lives and give them to the people who needed them most. When we delivered almost 500 jackets to refugees last fall, it was a grand sense of everything coming together and falling into place.
Physically getting the product to refugee camps was a long struggle in itself, so to actually get the jackets delivered, see photos and hear stories was incredibly rewarding and made it all worthwhile.
- Tent Jacket: $329 on Kickstarter
- Website: www.adiff.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adiffbrand
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adiffstartup
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/adiffbrand
- Yelp: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2VxKp_NKyGu05-0gQJCLWA
- Other: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1944534490/the-tent-jacket-revolutionizing-the-fashion-indust?ref=6snvgv
Jessica Richmond, Emanuel Hahn, Martin Kim