Nordic Region Design Competition Overall & Apparel Winner 2022 : Emilia Utbult


Nordic Region Design Competition Overall & Apparel Winner 2022 : Emilia Utbult

Meet this year’s Apparel Winner and Overall Winner for the 2022 Nordics Region Student Design Competition- Emilia Utbult-Karlsson.

Emilia Utbult is a fashion designer who graduated from Beckmans College of Design. She has a passion for providing solution-oriented designs with sustainable elements incorporated into all stages of the creative process. Her goal is to create clothing and products that are inviting and fun with a twist. As a designer, she works in an experimental and spontaneous way with textile techniques. Ruby GG228 is about shaping Emilia’s origins in a contemporary fashion context. Her point of departure has been her references for clothing from the fishing culture in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago and the move to a city. The goal was to work with a collection inspired by the fishing culture where she grew up in Öckerö, and adapt it to her current context, where the historical references play an important secondary role, while the primary ones are her own created references about clothes.


Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

Ruby GG228 is about shaping my origins in a contemporary fashion context. My point of departure has been my references for clothing from the fishing culture in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago and the move to an urban city.

Öckerö, where I was born and raised, is a place that is close to my heart. There is a professional fishing culture that everyone is part of. I have realized that in previous projects I have subconsciously referred to my heritage in garment types, colour choices and cuts. At the same time, I have created new references for clothes by moving to Stockholm, a much more urban environment.

For my future, I felt it was important to explore my heritage from Öckerö, combined with what I have created myself to this day. I wanted to see what form it would take in a dissertation and give a central role to what has previously been fragmented in my work.

What have I brought with me through my move from my hometown and what have I created?

What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?

Something I learned early on in this project was to compromise, as leather is a material unlike ‘regular’ textile fabric-  it always varies in appearance, feel and thickness. For me, this became an opportunity in my creation that opened up new paths and an interesting result, whereby I took advantage of the limited material I had and used as much as possible, which in turn had surprising results.


What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?

Photography by Albin Handig

In my opinion it depends entirely on how one works with the material and why. When I create and start a design process, it always feels important and central to define why I’m doing it and how. Especially when we work in an industry that has for so long focused on spending and producing in an extremely commercial way.

For me and my practice as a designer, I see leather as a material that can remind and motivate people to make fewer purchases and to focus on using long-lasting garments that you can share for generations, and which can then both be rooted in a common heritage and belonging but also a long-term reduced footprint in the choice of the material.


Follow Emilia on social media:

Instagram: @emiliautbultkarlssonl



View her full portfolio here.

Discover the other Nordic entries here.