Fashion design has always been a passion for Lyndon Sheehan. A self-described “skater kid”, he was making his own stencils and sewing them onto t-shirts as a teenager.
Now, the 29-year-old has formalised that passion with a fashion degree – he’s just graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Industries from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology – and is already making waves in the fashion world by taking out two awards at the recent Hokonui Design Awards and winning a Project Ignite scholarship to help launch his brand, Forest Lane.
Aware of a growing call for sustainability in fashion, Lyndon ensures all the materials he uses are as natural as possible – right down to the cotton, clips and metal. “Activism has been in fashion for a while but I think it’s growing as people become more aware of the effects of consumerism on the environment. As fast fashion is growing, so is slow fashion – people have more understanding of why it’s important.”
It’s an ethos that is at the heart of Forest Lane. “I created Forest Lane with a specific market in mind - ‘the adventurous heart with a designer taste’. It will appeal to an outdoorsy city dweller. The person who is going away hiking on the weekend, but living in the city during the week. They have a love for the outdoors but are in tune with trend-based design that is sustainable. They are forward-thinking, and they care about what they buy and consume.” The former NZ Olympic skier says his designs are inspired by the New Zealand’s landscape, scenery and natural environment.
“I love being outdoors – that’s where my values have come from. My kids might not be able to ski or surf the way I have if the oceans are too polluted. That informs my design. I wanted to create something trend-based but meaningful and bring awareness without it being in your face.”
“That’s what you get in the [Bachelor of Creative Industries] degree; you begin to see the difference between something that is just pretty, and appreciate how it is art. It changes your thinking.”
Forest Lane is now taking pre-orders
for February delivery. For more information visit www.forestlane.co.nz. To find out more about Toi Ohomai, visit www.toiohomai.ac.nz.