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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA alum rolls out latest fashions

    An artist collective founded by a UA alumna is gearing up for a big release this summer: turbans. New York-based ORE Apparel, founded by Courtney McKenna, will be rolling out its Urban Turban line this summer in hopes of appealing to the fashion forward.

    McKenna, a 2009 alumna in retailing and consumer sciences, presently serves as both creative director and as a designer. She manages ORE Apparel’s online presence and helps come up with new projects.

    She also helped found ORE Apparel, which currently has a dedicated core group of roughly five to eight designers and collaborators.

    “Coming from all different backgrounds and even all over the world, a lot of us have different ideas about what we want to do with our art,” McKenna said. “My job is just trying to find the common ground between all of that.”

    ORE Apparel had humble beginnings. It originally started out as sewing parties, which turned into craft night, which turned into a formal night, seeing the artists stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning working on projects.

    “It was sort of my dream to have mutual artists help each other and bounce ideas off of each other,” McKenna said.

    The collective produces wearable art pieces, bracelets, necklaces and headpieces. Over the summer, ORE has even handmade a dress out of lenticular holographic pieces that look like chainmail.

    “We’re definitely trying to sort of stick towards the futuristic retro side,” McKenna said.

    Short film is also a medium that the collective works in, producing pieces that highlight its unique fashion sense.

    “We all happen to kind of come from a film background, so that’s why we have a lot of styling jobs that we’ll do,” McKenna said.

    On Tuesday, the collective will introduced its Terraform Collection, which centers on the “Urban Turban.”

    Interestingly enough, turbans, while primarily worn by Sikhs and some Muslims and Hindus as part of their faith, have been a fashion trend that has always seemed to lie in the background. In November 2010, The New York Times published an article titled “The Head Wrap Comes Back, Again,” while in October 2013, published “Head’s Up: The Turban Trend is Back.”

    So why have McKenna and Ore Apparel chosen to pursue the turban this summer?

    McKenna has been making turbans for roughly two years. It was never a set goal to have turbans become an item.

    “It’s been a natural evolution process,” McKenna said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be the next big thing or not, but I like them.”

    Obviously, people who are more fashion forward will flock to the turban. However, a surprising group of people have taken to the out-of-the-ordinary headwear.

    “I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from cancer patients, which I didn’t think about at first when I was making turbans,” McKenna said. “It’s pretty cool to see.”

    ORE Apparel is currently in three shops in Brooklyn and is looking to expand. McKenna is in the process of moving to Los Angeles with hopes of expansion. She noted that one of her collaborators is in Denmark.

    “We’re spreading ORE Apparel everywhere at the moment,” McKenna said.

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