Identity & design

Elena Picone Senior Designer Sportstyle Apparel

The concept of identity has always sparked my interest and it is a prominent influence within my creative work. I find the way people from all walks of life communicate who they are through their clothing fascinating. 



PUMA employee Elena Picone

Identity is integral to how I design. Who is wearing my design and how do they want the world to view them? What is their perception of themselves and what ideas/values do they want to convey? For me, identity and fashion are so intrinsically linked that the question of ‘who?’ is the first thing I think about before I put pencil to paper. Who am I designing for? What is this persons experience of the world and what do they want to communicate?

Outside of the more abstract idea of identity, I also use the more literal influence of sportswear in my work, which is ironic as I am not a huge sports enthusiast. Perhaps the appeal for me is taking the sports out of sportswear when it is recontextualized by different subcultures and how they make it a part of their identities. You see sportswear entrenched in so many youth tribes from the football terraces to skate parks to the grime scene. An artist gives a tracksuit a whole different meaning when they wear it on stage as opposed to the athlete wearing it post training session.

As a Londoner, that rich clash of subculture and sportswear has always surrounded me. Getting the opportunity to travel a lot from Asia, to Europe, to South America, I seek out these alternative patterns of dress and styling wherever I go. Consuming and understanding this kind of visual knowledge, especially from people with a different life experience to my own, is how I continually influence my design process.