Johns Creek’s Hope Kemp-Hanson, who is in her junior year of fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design, was named one of two winners in the Adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge Nov. 14, 2019, in Munich. 

The international competition organized by Adidas and The Woolmark Company is aimed at early-career creative thinkers in the sports and performance categories. As co-winner, Kemp-Hanson has been awarded a six-month paid internship with Adidas in Germany. 

The annual competition brought together 1,060 students from 115 tertiary universities in 21 countries. In 2019, their assignment was to develop a product from a combination of high-tech and merino wool for the activewear market, in which wool as a fiber currently has a relatively small market share.

Kemp-Hanson, 21, the youngest finalist and only undergraduate student chosen, was named co-winner and awarded a six-month paid internship with Adidas in Germany.

In September, the finalists attended workshops and conferences in Shanghai. In November, they presented their innovative concepts — which ranged from energy-generating merino wool base layers to seamless knitting technology through body-mapping — to an esteemed industry panel in Munich.

Kemp-Hanson said her apparel design entry aimed “to blend urban streetwear with skateboarding equipment by creating a line of hidden impact protection that portrays a satirical look at the story of South Korean skateboarders.”

Sports fashion wasn’t always Kemp-Hanson’s passion, though. In fact, her initial interest was haute couture, for which she had her first fashion internship at 14. Then as a senior at Johns Creek’s Chattahoochee High School, she debuted a formal dress line. 

Her focus took a sportier turn when she signed to play soccer at SCAD. She shifted to designing sportswear using smart textiles with a concentration on sustainability. That shift resulted in her being chosen for the 12-week Pensole Fall 2018 Design Intensive in Portland, Oregon, a highly competitive program founded by D’Wayne Edwards, the former Jordan Design Director at Nike. Last winter, Kemp-Hanson was also named to a design cooperative sponsored by Pensole at Boston’s New Balance headquarters, where she placed first in apparel design.

For more information, go to woolmarkchallenge.com.

As a personal wardrobe consultant and owner of Alpharetta-based Fashion With Flair,  Lori Wynne helps people look their best. Connect with her at fashionwithflair.com.

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