It's been an upward trajectory for Nicole McLaughlin, whose viral upcycled designs put her on the map. And things just got bigger and better for the 27-year-old designer, who's just been tapped as Arc’teryx Equipment's first design ambassador as part of a multi-year partnership.
According to WWD, McLaughlin joins the Vancouver-based company's growing roster of ambassadors that include athletes, climbers, and thought leaders, becoming the first designer to represent the brand in this way. Through the partnership, Arc’teryx will provide McLaughlin with resources and development opportunities, which will see the designer lead design and upcycling workshops in New York City for Arc’teryx Academy this fall.
To celebrate the announcement, Arc’teryx and McLaughlin have teamed up on two designs, a cruiser cart purchased on eBay and remade with two Bora 62 backpacks, and a mini tent made from Arc’teryx Gore-Tex scraps. The pieces are not for sale but will be auctioned to a cause of the designer's choice.
“It was a serendipitous turn of events,” McLaughlin said. “I posted an Arc’teryx piece on my page, and someone shared it with someone within the brand who reached out to me. [Arc’teryx brand partnerships manager] Marshall Talbot sent me some scrap materials to play with. That was the start, and from there, it opened up conversations about doing something bigger, which turned into this partnership.”
Previously a graphic designer at Reebok, McLaughlin's playful, bespoke upcycled customs have earned her a massive following. And her eye-catching creations have made her a prominent voice for sustainable innovation in fashion. Her new partnership with Arc'teryx will focus on finding solutions in circularity through upcycling and sustainable methods, and though product is part of their plans, the main focus is sustainability.