The bizarre industry around donated clothing

What happens when the lid of the container slams shut and our donated clothes embark on their global journey? Because of its massive scale and numerous facets, the charity industry processing them is a bizarre operation. It is the butterfly effect: a seemingly small action like giving away your old T-shirt sparks off a process with great consequences, for example for the industry in countries where it ends up.

This stylised documentary for BNNVARA shows the consequences of our benevolence.


Director: Teddy Cherim
Fashion/Concept: Lisa Konno
Production: Cake Film Cinematography: Thijmen Doornik



A stylized portrait of a Turkish immigrant

BABA is the second edition of an ongoing multi-disciplinary project in collaboration with writer and director Sarah Blok, part one being NOBU. The collection, the photographs and the short film play with both Turkish and Dutch aesthetic cliches. Ceylan Utlu a.k.a BABA is the Turkish father of Serin Utlu. Questions about the role of migration in his life, their father/daughter relationship, loneliness and adaptation form the base of the story. The collection is inspired by items out of BABA’s wardrobe, such as a checked button down shirt and symbolism out of his life: A papaver flower symbolising his hometown Pörnek, his love for music and poetry in the saz and his own face as a brooch to mark his stubbornness. The rug is used as a symbol of Orientalism, covered with wool prints illustrating his personal identity on top of what is perceived as Turkish.

Director: Sarah Blok
Fashion/Concept: Lisa Konno
Production: Boondocs
Photography: Laila Cohen



A stylized portrait of a Japanese immigrant

NOBU is inspired by Lisa Konno’s father: Nobuaki Konno. In this film she asks him about cultural differences while he wears the collection she made for him. The short film made with director Sarah Blok combines aesthetics with humour and social engagement with optimism. The collection reflects on Dutch and Japanese identity, caricaturizes cultural misunderstandings and the hype about Japan and at the same time draws an intimate portrait of her father as an immigrant. The designs are based on items of Nobu’s closet such as his old promo T-shirts, vintage kimonos and his favourite raincoat. The collection purposely exaggerates aesthetic cliches that are often used when designers are inspired by Japan: the decor includes a field of over-sized origami tulips and kimono-flowers were used as patches on T-shirts promoting Karate championships.


Director: Sarah Blok
Fashion/Concept: Lisa Konno
Photography: Laila Cohen



Yours Truly is a project that was presented during Amsterdam Fashion Week in 2016. The collection invites you to be part of the process of making a garment. After the show the pattern package of an item in the collection became available. By selling an idea instead of a finished garment the project aims to gain back value for clothing by involving the wearer with the production of their wardrobe. The key material in this collection were highly recognisable printed scarfs, re-interpeted to create new and eclectic garments without wasting any textiles.

Photography: Team Peter Stigter, Peggy Kuiper



An anti-sweatshop statement

In January 2015 Lisa Konno made her Amsterdam Fashion Week debut with her For the workers collection. This collection aimed to not only create awareness about the circumstances in the fast fashion industry but also to contribute to ideas on how to create fashion in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.

Pictures of the Bangladesh factory disaster were digitally printed on the garments in an abstract way. The fabrics were adapted in a way that turned the harrowing images into non-figurative aesthetic prints. A visual metaphor for fashion’s way of hiding the ugly parts of the industry. Repurposed striped men’s shirts formed the main material of the collection.

Photography: Tomek Dersu Aroon, Team Peter Stiger


Here you find a collection of other smaller projects and collaborations.


is a modular clothing system that invites people to create clothes together. An open source manual explains how to make four different shapes that together create a complete outfit. For JOIN I made a modular jacket and skirt by repurposing vintage cotton bandanas. You can download the manual from their website. Each shape can be made by someone else, everyone can JOIN.


is a fashion brand for which I work as a freelance designer. The garments from Afriek are made in Kigali and aim to create a closer and equal connection between the maker and the customer. Inside every garment you will find the signature and polaroid picture of the specific tailor who made that piece.


is a never ending garment made in collaboration with Karin Vlug. A basic shirt can transform into a dress or a jumpsuit, using a very simple DIY button system. You are able to collect as many parts as you wish, such as different sleeves and collars. This sustainable wardrobe, containing just a couple of pieces, provides endless styles and possibilities to adjust to personal preference.


This collaboration of photography and fashion was presented in FOAM. Photographer Olya Oleinic created a series of still-life’s of mass produced shirts. Olya’s pictures suggest an environment of destruction, referring to the circumstances in fast-fashion. The photo’s were printed on fabric. In combination with actual recycled shirts they formed the material of the garments. Instead of taking the shirts apart completely, small details were left in tact and used as ornaments to showcase the work that was once put into the shirt.


For the opening of the Cool Japan exhibition I created a performance with choreographer Peter Leung. In the spacious light hall of the museum dancers Carlo Camagni and Frederik Kaijser wore the NOBU collection while dancing a karate inspired choreography. Nobu himself was modelling as the judge of the fight while wearing the pink coat made for him. The performance played with Japanese/Dutch culture and ideas of masculinity.

Yours Truly Pattern Package

is a DIY poster that enables you to make the blouse out of the Yours Truly collection. The package says: You can buy a shirt for 20 euro’s, but only the idea, you would have to put in the work and materials yourself. It involves the buyer in the making proces and encourages people to start making their own clothes again. Graphic Design: Marius Schwarz.

Graduation Collection

In 2014 I graduated from ArtEZ School of the Arts in Arnhem with a collection made out of textile waste. Different techniques such as knitting, weaving, coating and punching were used to design a collection that was both inspired by the visuals of a textile dump and made from textile waste.


A selection of my work presented at various places such as: Dutch Design Week, UNSEEN,Villa Mondriaan, Ginza Mitsukoshi Tokyo, Kiki Niesten, Het Verzetsmuseum, M-ODE, Museum Arnhem, Het Tropenmuseum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, FOAM, Fashion For Good, WOW, Tokyo Design Week, Glamcult Looiersgracht & Het Nieuwe Instituut.


A selection of my work in press clippings featured in magazines such as: De Correspondent, i-D - Vice, Vogue Italia, Vogue Netherlands, ELLE, De Volkskrant, Het Parool, NRC Handelsblad, Linda, Amsterdam&CO, Nasty Magazine, Marie Claire, AndC, L’Officiel, Harpers Bazaar ...
My name is Lisa Konno and I am a fashion designer based in Amsterdam.

I aim to walk a different path in fashion and work on projects that use design to tell socially relevant stories. I started in 2015 by making collections from textile waste that made statements about the unethical habits of the fashion industry. Since the work on the short film NOBU - a stylized portrait of my father - filmmaking became a place for me to express narratives through fashion. It has allowed me to use the optimistic, fun and aesthetic look that fashion can bring to point out human stories, instead of using fashion’s appeal to seduce into overconsumption.

Currently I am experimenting with fashion in combination with documentary, ceramics and performance, trying to create flexibility and relevancy in what it means to be a fashion designer. A work in progress that is, as is fashion, ever changing.

+31 643539566
Design website: Marius Schwarzo
Typeface: Jungka

Laila Cohen
Team Peter Stigter
Peggy Kuiper
Tomek Whitfield

Sarah Blok
Teddy Cherim

Thijmen Doornik
Simon Meesters
Marc Slings

Styling: Pascal Joel Weber

With support of Stimuleringsfonds, Nederlands Film Fonds, AFK