Rosie Baird

ITS Fashion@Work by illy Project

Born 25th August 1996, Scottish

As illycaffè coffee is manufactured, each cog of the chain is essential and creates a product that is special and brings joy. It brings joy not only to those drinking it, but to each person involved in the process. illy has such a strong focus on supporting the people behind the product, every step of the production chain. The apron should be a continuation of this core value, being both beautiful yet entirely functional. Rosie wanted it to highlight the process up to the point of consumption, with a focus on people; being educational for both customer and employee, and encouraging an active questioning and transparency of the production chain.
She wanted to create an entirely zero waste pattern and this is why – similarly to the coffee manufacturing process – every piece is essential. Functionality was key, with useful pockets included in her zero-waste pattern. The apron had to be comfortable and work towards the needs of the employee, providing both wearer and observer with aesthetic satisfaction. The structure became an adaptable piece, a hybrid apron/dungaree/Scottish kilt and sporran. The textile was developed to mimic tartan, using organza strips (cut on the bias so that they can be curved, again to aim at zero-waste) applied onto the fabric. She then stenciled images that explain the manufacturing process – from growing to shipping, to roasting, to brewing – with details like the 9 Arabica beans used in the illycaffè coffee. She included motifs of hands doing each action to highlight the human aspect of the process and hopefully encourage consumers to appreciate the journey their coffee has been on.


ITS Fashion@Work by illy Award

2020 sees the return of the ITS Fashion @ Work project by illycaffè, which will challenge a selected number of finalists with a radical, sustainable re-design of their coffee aprons. The ITS Fashion@Work by illy Award offered by illy will grant €10,000 to the winner.


The high general level convinced us to reward two projects: on the one hand an authentic couture garment with great quality in details, combined with a workmanship that avoids unnecessary waste, on the other hand, almost opposite in style but equally stimulating, a project that has been able to transform the apron into a versatile object, promoting its use in a new shape wearable even outside the workplace.