Dublin-born, London-based designer Sinéad O’Dwyer is one of the brightest new stars in the world of fashion. Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2018, her focus is on changing the representation of female-identifying bodies in fashion and challenging traditional perceptions of beauty.
One key element in the designer’s early work was the silicone pieces she created using fibreglass moulds cast directly from women’s bodies, which could be viewed as a second skin, clothes, or even wearable sculptures. She has since worked on a spate of exciting commissions and collaborations, including a recent photographic project with Nick Knight, and dressing everyone from Bella Hadid to Björk.
London-based creative agency Greenspace started working with O’Dwyer early on in her journey in 2019. Its newly unveiled visual identity for the designer looks beyond just packaging O’Dwyer’s creative output, contemplating what it means to be an emerging brand in the rapidly shifting world of fashion today.
Starting with the brand strategy, the team landed on the expression ‘For the Love of Every Body’, which is a reflection of the cultural significance behind O’Dwyer’s pieces and the change she represents within the wider industry.
Meanwhile, the visual identity feels in keeping with the designer’s blend of fashion and art. “How I work is looking at a specific form, a specific person’s body, and then I capture that through lifecasting. I definitely approach my practice very much as an artist – more so than a person developing a collection, because with each piece I try to subvert its original meaning,” O’Dwyer explains.
Influenced by the fluid and organic shape of the human body, typography became the key component of the branding. Greenspace drew a wordmark based on the Suisse Int’l Condensed typeface, and a custom typeface informed by ever changing body form and the materials the designer works with daily, such as silicone casting.
“The alternate characters in the face are very organic, and always fluctuating, celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes,” says Greenspace design director Luke Mcilveen. “We worked together with foundry Swiss Typefaces to help refine the type style, and the technicalities, creating bespoke font Suisse Every Body. Swiss Typefaces also coded a cut which auto selected glyphs at random, so type statements are always different.”
The agency then commissioned O’Dwyer’s long-term friend and collaborator Anastasiia Fedorova to write a text reflecting on the designer’s vision. The typography and accompanying text became the DNA that runs through the brand’s multimedia work, website, packaging and other touchpoints.
“Sinéad’s brand is changing the way fashion sees bodies by celebrating, showcasing and catering to all women’s bodies; it’s about celebrating women in every form,” says Greenspace strategist Shohada Akthar.
“Sinéad helps people to connect to themselves and in turn connect with each other. The strategy work was very important in setting the tone for the visual identity: we wanted to ensure the graphic language truly reflected the fluidity and forms Sinéad creates.”