A collection of decorated garments has been created by young British designers working with Marvel and The Prince’s Trust, giving them insight into the industry.
The T-shirts, jackets, tank tops and beanies were designed by people aged 18 to 30 as part of a three-year mentorship programme run by the youth charity, helping them break into fashion and product design.
The programme, which launched in spring 2021, consists of a series of workshops, hosted by Marvel owner Disney, culminating in the aspiring designers creating two Marvel-inspired product ranges.
The first range, which spotlights Marvel’s The Avengers, features products with design influences from American street culture and sports. It is now available to buy from The Disney Store and online at shopDisney in the UK and across the rest of Europe.
The garments were created after the designers explored current trends in the market, taking into consideration the themes of inclusivity as well as being inspired by the teamwork of Marvel’s superheroes.
Participants worked with Disney designers, marketers and retail teams, with the support of The Prince’s Trust, to learn about the product design industry, with the designers involved at critical stages in their products design and production lifecycle.
The unisex Black Panther tank top for adults was designed by Aaron Asante from Catford in east London, who hopes to pursue a creative career such as a product or graphic designer.
Made of 100% polyester, it features an all-over print with Black Panther artwork, “The Avengers” and “63”, plus an appliqué badge with “Black Panther Monarch of Wakanda” and a list of the hero’s powers. He also created tank tops for Thor and Captain America.
Asante’s garments also include a hooded sweatshirt made of 65% cotton and 35% polyester. It is embroidered with “The Avengers” across the front, plus appliqué badges with “Avengers Est. 1963” and a logo on the back.
Charlotte Ross designed an Avengers varsity jacket for adults with the outer fabric made of 94% polyester and 6% elastane. It features embroidered details with an appliqué “A” on the chest and an appliqué “The Avengers” on the back, both with a bouclé finish, and an appliqué “63” on the pocket.
She also created an Avengers T-shirt, made of 100% cotton, decorated with “Avengers Est. 1963” and a logo on the front and “The Avengers” on the back.
This gender-neutral collection features stationery, accessories and backpacks as well as clothing. Disney is contributing £100,000 to The Prince’s Trust for each year of the project.
To celebrate the product launch, Marvel actor and Prince’s Trust ambassador Sir Ben Kingsley met up with the young people at a celebratory event to congratulate them on their achievements and listen to their design inspirations and individual stories.
A second collection which celebrates the female superheroes from across the Marvel Universe which is due to be launched in spring 2022.
Frances Milner, director of fundraising and marketing at The Prince’s Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to join forces with Marvel on this unique partnership, creating opportunities for young people that support them to realise their potential.
“The ‘Get Started in Product Design with Marvel’ course has brought together young people with a diverse range of skillsets and backgrounds to harness their creativity and build their confidence and self-belief.
“The course has also given young people invaluable mentorship and work opportunities, and some of them have now begun exciting careers in the industry.”
Mike Stagg, senior vice president for Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing EMEA, added: “We are so impressed and proud of the designs produced by these young people. It has been truly inspiring to see the products come to life from their initial sketches.
“We know how hard the fashion and design industries can be to break into, and our partnership with The Prince’s Trust offers such an invaluable experience which we look forward to continuing.”