In June, Cold Picnic founders Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer sent out an open call to Black students pursuing careers in art and design, seeking submissions for a collaborative project. The final result of the project would be a blanket designed by each winner, with all profits going to the artist. Cold Picnic is a textiles and home goods line perhaps best known for their bath mat that is a playful homage to the female form. They had recently taken down their retail site, encouraging users to donate to Black Lives Matter causes instead.
“As owners of a company,” Sung said, “Peter and I believe that whatever personal efforts we put forth towards social justice in our personal lives should be amplified in our brand. Cold Picnic is a tiny brand, but it puts product and content out into the world and because of that, reaches more people, carries more influence, and has more resources than either of us in our personal lives.”
Now, the site has reopened and features knit blankets designed by the three winners from the call for submissions: Moraa Stump, Kiwii McLaurin and Sjournee Quaidoo. Stump cites bell hooks as one of her life inspirations. In hooks’s book All About Love, she writes, “We have power as consumers. We can exercise that power all the time by not choosing to invest time, energy, or funds to support the production and dissemination of mass media images that do not reflect life-enhancing values.”
Below, meet the design student winners of the Cold Picnic contest. Though pre-orders on the Cold Picnic site have sold out, orders can still be made from three retailers: Loversland, New Classics and Continuum.
Where were you born and where are you currently living?
Moraa Stump: I was born and live in Toronto, Canada. I grew up and spent my formative years in Mozambique and Swaziland.
Kenyetta “Kiwii” McLaurin: I was born in the small rural town of Wagram, North Carolina. I lived in those beautiful woods for most of my life. I am now living in the city of Chicago after moving from San Francisco with my fiance.
Sjournee Quaidoo: I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I currently live in Brooklyn, New York.