The marathon vogue has been with us for some time and many runners even don specially designed outfits which add colour to the activity. Recently students of Higher Diploma in Fashion Media Design of the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) joined a marathon with the support of an international sportswear brand. This involved taking part in a half marathon competition and designing the “combat gear” for participating fellow students so that they would gain practical experience in design in addition to taking part in a sports event.
“Combat gear” to cheer on runners with lines and strokes
HKDI was supported by Nike Hong Kong, the global sportswear brand, to arrange a marathon sportswear design competition for students of Higher Diploma in Fashion Media Design. The winning design was turned into sportswear with the Nike logo to be worn by the HKDI half marathon student team in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association. Putting on the combat gear designed by fellow students made the event especially meaningful.
The showpiece was designed by Vicky LIN, featuring a short sleeve sports tee and a zip-up hoodie with the theme of “Keep dreaming!”. Vicky pointed out that chasing one’s dream is like running, and when you persist and keep on running, success will be within reach.
She used the drawing software skills she learned at school to draw an uninterrupted line that vividly portrays the exuberance of marathoners when running. She said, “By depicting the running gait, I hope to express the idea that you should not stop in the pursuit of a dream. I specifically went to the sports ground to feel the vibe there and observe the strides of the runners for designing a more graphical pattern.”
Vicky added, “The uninterrupted line represents time and the twists and turns on the line stand for the difficulties one encounters in life. Through the design, I hope to encourage young people to chase down their dream and not to give up.” Considering that the marathoners will sweat profusely during the competition, she chooses to use fine lines in her pattern to avoid affecting the permeability when the pattern is imprinted on the outfit.”
To prep for half marathon
As well as hosting a design competition and producing the outfit, Nike also organised three months’ group training for the eight HKDI students of the programme, prior to the event. Together the students formed a team named “Free Mad Dreamers” and followed an endurance running coach to learn the proper running gait, breathing method and ways to tone muscle and train in speed.
One of the runners, Charice LAI, is honest about her lack of training in marathon. It sounds a daunting task for her to run the Half Marathon spanning 21 kilometres. “At the beginning, I found it particularly difficult to learn to breathe rhythmically during running,” she admitted. “Oftentimes, I felt muscle ache all over my body after a routine exercise. I thought of quitting countless times. But with the encouragement of my teammates and the coach, I trundled through 5 kilometres and then 10 and then 14 kilometres…The progress achieved every time kept me going and I gradually came to enjoy running.”
On the competition day, Charice put on the combat gear designed by her fellow student Vicky and felt particularly elated. Finally Charice completed her first ever half marathon within her target time. She found fashion media design akin to running. Both require you to keep learning and going forward.
Accumulating experience in the fields
HKDI Lecturer of the Department of Fashion and Image Design Stephen PARKE arranged students for the industry-supported event. He hoped to build up the linkage between students and industry for the former to accumulate practical experiences and unleash their potential.
He pointed to the burgeoning development of new media in recent years. Numbers of fashion brands and magazines hire graduates conversant with fashion and multimedia platform management to take up brand promotion work. The HKDI Higher Diploma in Fashion Media Design programme covers knowledge in different areas like media strategy, journalism, fashion film, webpage and app design. Apart from this industry-supported event, HKDI from time to time invites industry veterans over to talk to students and arranges for students to take part in industry events such as work in fashion and trendy product design, and photography and short film so they can hone their job readiness.