Heron Preston and H&M Launch Mentorship Program with Three Emerging Designers

In a groundbreaking fusion of style, community and eco-consciousness, H2 Exchange is shaking up the fashion game. Championed by the trailblazing designer Heron Preston in partnership with fashion giant H&M, this project is the newest chapter in the H2 story that kicked off last fall.

H2 Exchange is all about giving a platform to fresh faces in fashion who are all about that sustainable, upcycled life. Setting up shop in a swanky downtown Manhattan pad for a 13-day stint starting June 2nd, H2 Exchange is the place where innovation and recycling collide. This spot is a launchpad for the next wave of designers who are here to change the game and make fashion more planet-friendly. At the heart of H2 Exchange are three rising stars who will team up with Heron Preston and H&M to whip up some seriously cool upcycled collections. These jaw-dropping pieces will be crafted from clothes donated by the public in a drive back in March. And guess what? People who donated to that drive scored a token that lets them snag pieces from the upcycled collections made throughout H2 Exchange. It’s a win-win, baby!

Nestled at 55 Chrystie Street in downtown NYC, H2 Exchange is more than just a design studio – it’s a hangout spot for the community. They’ve got events lined up like weekend hangs, creative hours, and design workshops to bring everyone together. Plus, there’s a chance to rub elbows with Heron at a meet and greet and hear stories straight from the fashion guru’s mouth. But wait, there’s more! Mentees in the program won’t just come away with a fresh set of design skills – they’ll also leave with killer portfolio snaps and the potential for their designs to hit the big leagues thanks to reviews by industry big shots and H&M honchos.

The mentees on this project include Devante Hicks, a self-taught designer based in NYC. His journey began in 2019, transforming old garments into rejuvenated pieces, which led to the establishment of his brand, Unorth. Hicks describes his creative process as “unorthodox,” favoring spontaneity over predetermined designs, resulting in one-of-a-kind garments.

Another mentee is Treshara Franklin, a rising fashion designer from Brooklyn. Her love for sustainable fashion began in Syracuse, where she spent much of her time thrifting. During the H2 Exchange, Treshara aims to improve her technical design skills, with a particular focus on mastering pattern-making.

heron preston - h&M
Devante Hicks. Image: courtesy of H&M.
heron preston - h&M
Treshara Franklin. Image: courtesy of H&M.

H2 Exchange is all about boosting budding designers in an empowering atmosphere, with workshops, studio time, and direct mentorship to not only level up their craft but also instill a deep respect for sustainable fashion. A new wave of designers is coming, y’all – get ready for it!

Updated: June 6, 2024 — 12:01 pm