Thursday, 24 June 2010

Nike Sweat shop workers

To truely understand what its like to live on less than 1 dollar a day in Indonesia check out this film by Jim Keady, Behind The Swoosh..

Whilst in Indonesia I was lucky enough to meet Dita Sari (featured in this film), Dita was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment after protesting against
sweat Shops, and released after 4 years due to pressure from Amnesty International.

Dita Sari then set up The Swarna Institute to help workers get better pay and form trade unions, she is
a true inspiration to my work.

Interview coming soon....

Regenerate Kids helping Kids, build my dreams campaign

Whilst in Indonesia I was greatly saddened by the fact there
were so many children on the street. But rather than give them a hand out, I decided to give them a hand up!

These are some of the statistics :-

  • 40% of children are malnourished
  • 2 million can not afford to go to school
  • 1.7 million live on the streets
  • 63% of kids in Surabaya live on the streets

On my return I got together a plan and started telling my Shop collective about these key social issues, we decided to take action.

I got together two key SHOP FAMILY artists in Nottingham Jon Burgerman a Internationally recognized doodler and Nick Chaffe an award winning illustrator.

The three of us designed 3 pieces of artwork and sent it to the street kids at Phae foundation and The Childrens foundation in Lombok, Phae put posters around the slums and 30 kids came to colour the artwork.

These pictures shows the children colouring in our work and wearing the free ‘Regenerate Build my dream Tshirts’ that Phae had donated.

There work will go on cards to sell and our work will be printed on to Organic bags. Each bag comes with pens to doodle on and encourages big kids like us to collaborate, interact and play.

Each bag will be sold for £10 and all the money goes to help street kids.

To sponsor a child costs £40 a month we hope we can sell as many bags as possible and find as many sponsorships to help to get these children off the streets, through Phaes foundation and other childrens foundations.

This is another childrens foundation where we will raise money to help street kids: -

Distro Printers

Some Distro labels run factories to cater for the demand of the industry, on my second trip to Bandung I visited Phae Ratulangie who produces 1000s of pieces a week, for designers and Distro businesses this includes Oscar Lawelleta and Hard Rock Café. Phae owns 4 outlets and 2 print and manufacture factories.

Phae has built a skate ramp and runs a foundation called The Phae Adikaka foundation which encourages parents to interact with their children, and which keeps the children of Bandung away from drink, drugs and prostitution by giving them a positive place to come to after school.

He also runs this rad baby clothing label called Parental Baby, which is totally Regenerate Style.

I spent one day doing a collaborative workshop with Phae and the children teaching them about ethical fashion and about ways to be a entrepreneur in their own area.

Check out this film: -

Distro Bandung

Southeast Asia’s financial crisis struck Indonesia in 1997 and quickly turned into a political and economic crisis.

With many people loosing their jobs and homes, this effected the area of Bandung, where Poverty levels increased by 30%, which led to the birth of Distro


Began as reaction against expensive mass produced brands.

Deriving from the urban street culture

Where youth made their own clothing

To express their individual identities and lifestyle interests.

Bandung is the centre for textiles and clothing manufacturing in Java

Which lead to Distro entrepreneurs opening their Shops selling their goods

These retailers are called DISTRO

There are now over 200 Distro outlets in Bandung selling clothing, toys and accessories.

Fair Trade Ikat

During my trip to Indonesia I discovered Ikat through Oscar Lawaletta’s exhibition in Jakarta. The colors and patterns of Ikat inspired my work, rich in traditional values and culture, Ikat was passed down through generations.

  • 30 years ago homegrown Cotton and natural dyes were grown all over Indonesia for Ikat..

  • But poor economics, meant that communities were forced to stop growing cotton for extra income as weaving no longer made economic sense.
  • With modernization came cheaper cloth and bright chemical dyes

  • Threats from the global market forced weavers to act quicker so they abandoned growing cotton and natural dyes
  • Pockets of weavers still remain, but in poor marginal areas of Indonesia.

After researching into fair trade organizations, I only found one certified fashion company in the whole of Indonesia.

This business is based in Bali called Threads of Life.

Threads of Life encourages weaving communities to revive techniques of weaving and natural dyeing that are in danger of disappearing.

Clean Batik Campaign

Indonesia has the finest batiks in the world, each piece of cloth can take up to 12 months to create, depending on the quality of design on fabric. Whilst in Indonesia I visited an array of producers who used a range of colours and motifs from different cultures and regions of Indonesia, their are around 13500 designs in total, and more always being made.. A trip to The Ministry of trade highlighted how large the batik industry is their are 48,287 batik producers in Indonesia, who employ 792, 285 workers

Although Batik is a flourishing trade this has come at a price :-

  • Batik produces the highest annual emission of CO2 as a result of high dependency on kerosene and electricity.

  • The Indonesian Ministry of Environment has identified batik as one of the worst river polluters in the country.

The Clean Batik Initiative, a 4 year program implemented the German Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The Consisting of three components;- sustainable production, sustainable consumption and policy dialogues. By Supporting Batik producers and helping them produce cleaner and greener batik.

Clean Batik Initiative:-

  • Trains batik makers in the art of clean batik
  • Supports Green production
  • Promotes producers internationally
  • Supports an International Dialogue

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Ernte means harvest in German and was born out of a installation project called Harvest Space which somehow mutated into a fashion line. If I ever wanted a company to collaborate with on an impressive installation or art piece for Regenerate, Ernte would be the on the top of the hot list.

Whilst in Bali I came across Evan from Ernte and interviewed him to find out what was lying beneath his inspiration.

Miss Regenerate 'What is the concept behind your brand?'

Evan Ernte 'Concept was traditionally a hybrid between the idea of a synthetic skin and totems like animal magic. Something protective. It has since become looser and more diverse, something a lot more basic and attainable. A progression I am very happy about... Everything is made in Bali.'

Miss Regenerate 'What inspires you and your work?'

Evan Ernte 'Numbers, Systems, Landscapes, Cells, Rituals and Music.'

Miss Regenerate 'What parts of the world have Ernte taken you too?'

Evan Ernte 'Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, USA and Indonesia'

Miss Regenerate 'What have been your highlights?'

Evan Ernte 'I think the two most major highlights were our total takeover of Loveless in Tokyo and the runway show in LA, in 2007.'

Miss Regenerate 'Where do you exhibit or sell your collections?'

Evan Ernte 'Right now I am primarily producing Ernte on made to order basis, but there are some objects and jewelry in Maxfield (Los Angeles).'

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Queen Chenoa of Chanteuse

Chenoa Fox has her own distinct style; she glides in the room with such an elegant slender posture, holding her head high, every movement eloquent, mesmerising and glamorous. Her persona resembles a time when women had short sleek hair, bright red lips, wearing silky shift dresses and sexy lingerie, Chenoa is a modern day 1920s flapper epitomising the spirit of a reckless rebel dancing the night away under the stars.

When I discovered that
Chenoa had her own label Chanteuse I was so excited, this was a chance to buy some silky lingerie in the style of a classic French garconne. Miss regenerate caught up with queen Chenoa of Chanteuse for high tea in Bali.

Miss Regenerate ‘Tell me the story of how you founded Chanteuse?’

Queen Chenoa ‘I used to be
a contortionist/burlesque dancer creating all my own costumes, whilst working with Artists from Montréal and circ du soleil.

In 2008 I founded Chanteuse, fuelled by the desire to create something that everyone could be a part of by start something I felt was missing in the world of lingerie.

Chateau's has a timeless feel for a modern women, who like me is also inspired by the 20's and other vintage eras. I work with eco materials such as Organic Cotton, Bamboo and silk whilst exploring the use of fabric combinations and reconstructed vintage.

I recreate high quality pieces for women to wear and look out of the past, without the stitches falling apart and turning to shreds, as so many vintage silk dresses do.

Miss Regenerate ‘What has been your highlights so far?’

Queen Chenoa ‘the highlights! There are So Many, Let's see, when I see beautiful women wearing my designs and there positive reaction to my pieces, When we landed our account with Co Co de Mer, traveling to Bali to make and produce the line and meeting people like YOU!!!’

Miss Regenerate blushes. ‘Why thank you’
‘What inspires your work as a designer and creative each season?’

Queen Chenoa ‘Inspiration is endless and comes from everything I can see feel and hear, Music is a huge inspiration hence the Name' Chanteuse. Last night I saw a band called Fish Tank Ensemble and I was so moved by the range of the Singer I wanted to make her the perfect dress to wear on stage. Many different Designers and Iconic performers are always inspiring but most of all my close friends who are the most amazing artists and creative people I know, but I am inspired most of all by Love and Passion.’

Miss Regenerate ‘What (ethical) new designer labels are you into at the moment?

Queen Chenoa Stella McCartney and Regenerate Clothing

Miss Regenerate ‘Who would you like to wear your clothes in the future?’

Queen ChenoaZooey Deschanel, Audrey Tatou, Marion cotillard, Dita von Tease, Kate Moss you!’

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Regenerate Indonesia Intro

Hello I'm May Cortazzi (AKA Miss Regenerate), I am thrilled and feel very honored to be one of the five short listed for the British Councils UK Fashion Entrepreneur Award 2010. Over the next four weeks I will be blogging to you about my crazy and colorful experiences within the Indonesian fashion Industry.

The first week I will undertake an organized tour organized by the Council which is hosted by a lifestyle magazine called Femina, where I'll be experiencing a varied and exciting journey of The Indonesian Fashion Industry, from the perspective of a designer, Shop collaborator and ethical education campaigner. I will call this experience Regenerate Indonesia, as I'm hoping to learn as much as possible about Indonesia in the context of fashion and looking to spread Regenerate to a global market, collaborating with the people I meet on the way, Miss Regenerate Style. If you are curious as to know what my style is then check out my websites for The Shop and Regenerate.

I will be spending next 10 days in Jakarta, Bandung and Solo visiting a whole range of cultural centers, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs with the view of gaining a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that wait for me in this exciting new emerging economy.

I have then extended my trip an extra 3 weeks, where I will be meeting and living with key workers, designers, artists and collectives. Developing ideas and exciting new opportunities.. my lips are sealed into this leg of the journey, so you will just have to stay tuned and follow me on twitter and facebook. ;)

So with an expandable suitcase the size of Brazil next stop is Gatwick airport, where I will meet my fellow entrepreneurs.

Read about this trip here:-

May Cortazzi

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

An Interview with Philip Grisewood

Philip Grisewood works for some of Britain's most edgiest Rock 'N' Roll labels:- House of Gods and Horace who recently held a inspiring womenswear catwalk show of interesting prints and tailored pieces at London Fashion Week named ’Espirt de Corps’. Between working as a graphics designer in both Bali and London, Philip is also has a fantastic portfolio of illustration work and art. Between trips from London to Bali, Miss Regenerate caught up with Mr Grisewood in an exclusive interview, this guy can seriously jump high!

Miss Regenerate 'How long have you been a designer for ‘House of the Gods’ and ‘Horace’?'

Philip 'I have been a designer for both HOTG and Horace for just over three years now. I worked with Adam Entwisle and Emma Hales at ‘Buddhist Punk’ before it became HOTG.'

Miss Regenerate 'What have been your highlights?'

Philip 'My highlights for Horace was when we got the cover for SuperSuper magazine and when Adam and Emma launched the Horace ’Espirt de Corps’ ready to wear collection this season.

Miss Regenerate 'What inspires your work as a designer each season?'

Philip 'I get inspiration from everywhere, from art and advertising to simply watching characters whilst on a tube journey. I get a lot fashion inspiration whilst searching through old photos of bands and pop stars such as David Bowie and Blondie. And of course I get inspiration from the nightlife in London. I try not too look at fashion designers too much, I think films are a good source especially 80s ones!
Also subcultures are a big influence, I have been a skateboarder since I was eleven so I am used to being surrounded hip-hop kids, punks and heavy metallers.'

Miss Regenerate 'What piece of advice would you give to a young designer who is just about to start a label?'

Philip 'My advice to a young designer who is just about to start a label would be to make a commitment to working for another design company for a few years to learn from there mistakes. It is about running a business, which means you need social and management skills as well as creativity.'

Miss Regenerate 'What other art forms take your interest?'

Philip 'Illustration, photography and fine art are other art forms that interest me. I studied fine art at John Moore’s University before graduating with an illustration degree from Camberwell college of Art in 2005. My illustration work is heavily influenced by the techniques I learnt while studying fine art. I was fascinated with texture and the traces left behind from everyday life like tea rings and cigarette burns. So I started layering paint and using different printing techniques over the top to make highly textured illustrations. I mostly use screen-printing, collage, and photocopy transfers, carbon paper and rubber stamps.

I started to use a computer more when I began producing graphics for fashion. This seemed like a natural process to me because my illustrations always had a graphic sensibility. Although my illustrations appear on my textiles and T-shirts, my graphics for garments are more inspired by fashion. And recently my illustrations have become more about fashion.

Something I want to expand on in the future is printing onto textured fabrics in the same way as I layer my illustrations.

Miss Regenerate 'What's the story behind your illustrations?

A lot of the stories behind my illustrations are about Capitalism and pollution. I worked as a temp for many years in big corporate banks, which made me think about these issues. My main source of inspiration was Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. The movie portrays a futuristic vision of industrialization. The workers run the machines, the machines seem equally to run the lives of the workers. This idea is very closely linked to Karl Marx writings that describe the worker as a commodity. This is why I draw vacant robotic office workers and lines of bosses with comb over’s.