Angela Luna is 23 years old. She was recently named to the Forbes “30 Under 30 Art & Design” list. Angela Luna is a clothing designer. But, Angela is about much more than just fashion. Overwhelmingly inspired by the plight of refugees around the world, particularly Syrian refugees, Angela took a radical departure from what she thought would be her lane. Her incredible work is very good news for the millions of displaced persons living in harsh conditions around the globe.
Angela began her new mission during her last year of study at Parsons School of Design. She was moved initially by what became a viral photo of a 3-year old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shore. Heartbroken and stirred to action, Angela pulled together all available refugee statistics. As of late 2016 when she undertook her thesis project, there were 65.3 million forcibly displaced persons and 21.3 million refugees. She decided to use her 2016 senior thesis project to explore the concept of designing clothes that would also save lives.
Angela’s mother gave her $7,000 for her thesis project. With this money, Angela was able to design nine prototypes. Among her pilot designs was what she named the [In]visible jacket. The idea for this prototype came about following a trip Angela took before graduation. She spent several months visiting refugee camps in Turkey and Greece. While there, a tragic death of a mother and her child occurred. They were returning to the camp in the dark, following a very long walk to the grocery store. They were struck on the road because the driver did not see them. The [In]visible jacket is 100% waterproof. But more importantly, it has two sides. One side is reflective silver and the other side is camouflage. This way, whether the user needs to hide or be seen, this one jacket offers them the protection they need.
Angela Luna’s line of life-saving clothing includes a collection of jackets that transform into tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks. There is a jacket specially designed to carry children. All of the jackets are waterproof, Unisex, are adjustable to fit a variety of body types and can be worn no matter the environmental conditions.
Angela’s designs were motivated by a desire to develop practical solutions to the problems she saw, such as lack of shelter, warmth, ability to move quickly, transport small children, hide, or to be seen.
However, even more than this, Angela intends to completely disrupt the fashion narrative that the industry is only about creating items for consumerism. She doesn’t want designers to be perceived as being out of touch with the problems in the world. Angela wants to use the fashion industry to drive awareness and build aid for the world’s enormous displaced persons population. She founded Adiff Clothing to actualize this vision.
Angela’s tenacity and forward-thinking approach is good news for the refugees receiving her life-saving jackets. Her work continues.