Dutch Jacob Kok proves what research already knows about the characteristics of an innovator – double degrees. Having background in animation he stepped in to the role as a fashion designer ending up winning the Dutch version of the well-known tv series Project Runway. However his journey in to the high fashion world did not end up just building a ready-to-use fashion line but followed the path concept of an “Evolution” – the name of one of his collections that brought him in to a groundbreaking collaboration with software company Autodesk.
– How did you really end up working with Autodesk Jakob?
– After seeing a demonstration of the 123D Catch application I was instantly intrigued and impressed Autodesk is able to offer such complex technology in such an accessible way. I contacted them to work together, and they were up for it, curious and excited like me.
Using the app 123D Catch the Evolution collection is brought to life letting the user rotate and interact with the model, zoom and examine the garments in detail. A digital fashion experience far from convention.
It is not the only virtual collaboration Jacob has taken on. In 2013 he presented his “Paradise” Collection, a both physical and virtual fashion experience brought to the runway as well as on the famous game platform The Sims by Electronic Arts. Without compromising his psychedelic, spectacular aesthetics he entered the game industry.
– I’m generally very attracted to the game aesthetics, and I like the idea of interaction. Fashion is very personal, but fashion shows can be distant and impersonal. I’m working towards a similar playful interaction between fashion and the wearer.
Lover of aesthetic “tackiness” and “awkwardness” his specific style in fashion entered the virtual every-day life in the Sims. As a concept, you downloaded Jacobs collection to use on your very own Sims character.
Your aesthetics differ from most of the art in the video game industry, what were the reactions to the Sims collection?
– As a statement it worked very well, and people in fashion were excited about the project, but obviously people that got to play with it were mostly gamers. They were, to say it mildly, not into it at all.
You have now been making collections that both have a physical and a digital life, claiming that virtuality gives fashion new dimensions. Would you consider only making the garments digitally, or are they mutually dependent?
– Fashion is in essence about people wearing it. Even though the core of my work is about visual stimulation I tend to find it necessary to also work towards a physical purpose. I would like to state I can fully let go of the physical and investigate solely the virtual, but something inside me tells me I need to work on both.
You are working in an innovation landscape of virtual technology with many possible directions such as art, computer games, online retail, product development etc. What path would you want to take from now if you could choose?
– At the moment I’m working towards a broader interpretation of my vision, approaching my brand as a design studio. Doing so I don’t restrict myself to any field. The vision and the fascination need to be guiding me.