Once in a generation a designer comes along who encapsulate all components of talent.
It is rarer still when that talent calls Edinburgh home.
Since graduating from EdinburghCollege of Art in 2012, Jacob Birge has grafted from his humble studio at Summerhall. In this short space of time he has carved a Birge-shaped hole in the fashion scene, sending his designs all over the world to clients clamouring for his work.
Originally a chemistry student studying at the University of Science and Technology, Kracow, he defected to Denmark after winning an Off Fashion prize, granting him free entrance to the fashion school there. From Denmark he came here to hone his craft and call Edinburgh home.
Now he embarks on an even bigger adventure – creating a spin-off diffusion line Jacob by Jacob and even more excitingly taking part in Project Runway, which is currently on air, back in his homeland of Poland.
Already creating waves on the show, Jacob is stacking up design challenge wins like it is second nature. And of course it is. There is something in Jacob’s DNA that gets design.
His pieces reflect a movement of people who love fashion but have a brain. “I wanted to give all budgets access to my designs, that’s why I created the diffusion.” The new line is incredibly affordable, something that we just don’t see from young designers simply because they can’t compete with high street prices.
The diffusion collection is very street in its aesthetic but still maintains a strong link to Jacob’s design ethos.
It shows a boldness in Birge’s thinking, not only in price point but in ambition. Two mainline collections per year, plus two diffusion lines heaped on top of a competition that is demanding he creates a new item of clothing every week is no mean feat.
So does he ever sleep? “I work quite late, and get a few hours. Usually I’ll be creating something. If not clothing, a short film or music. I just like to create.”
To think of the strides this man has taken since graduating makes your head spin.
He has gathered much acclaim for his futuristic designs since leaving ECA, to think to the future and what it has in store for this ambition designer is truly mind-melting – especially when you see how far he has travelled in such a short space of time.