Fifth Piece of Art Added to Boehringer Ingelheim, FIT's DTech Unwearable Collection

June 28, 2023
Fifth Piece of Art Added to Boehringer Ingelheim FITs DTech Unwearable Collection image

The Unwearable Collection is an art collection that uses raw materials like paper and glass to illustrate the physical and emotional burden that people living with generalized pustular psoriasis may experience.

In partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology's (FIT) DTech Lab and world-renowned designer, Bart Hess, Boehringer Ingelheim is introducing a fifth piece to The Unwearable Collection, an art collection that uses raw materials like paper and glass to uniquely illustrate the physical and emotional burden that people living with generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) may experience.

Designed by FIT students in partnership with Hess, the Collection's fifth piece—Trapped by Uncertainty—brings to life one of the most common experiences of people with GPP, who cite the uncertainty of how it will impact their life each day, or how others will perceive them. To inform their design, the students had the opportunity to hear from and interview people living with GPP, who described the threat of flares as "very unpredictable."

"Since its introduction last year, The Unwearable Collection has helped to raise much-needed awareness for GPP. With the addition of Trapped by Uncertainty, we hope to improve the understanding of what life with GPP feels like and illustrate the intense emotional burden it can have," says Claudia Beqaj, Executive Director, Dermatology, Sales and Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim, in a news release. "With the help of Bart Hess, the students and faculty of the FIT DTech Lab have done an incredible job of bringing the anxiety and uncertainty of GPP to life through fashion and design."

Trapped by Uncertainty combines unwearable elements, such as shards of glass and crystals, with materials used in everyday fashion design. The outer layer of the design uses materials like tulle and mesh that have been manipulated to appear as smoke billowing around the individual, to represent the feeling of uncertainty that many people with GPP experience between flares. The placement of colorful glass on the hands, face and body represent the beauty and individuality of people living with this rare disease.

FIT's Fashion Design team worked under the supervision of Dobriana Gheneva, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design, with creative direction by Michael Ferraro, Executive Director, FIT DTech Lab to create the fifth design. The collaboration also welcomed students from across multiple interdisciplinary teams—including Animation, Interactive Media & Game Design, Exhibition & Experience Design, and Advertising & Digital Design teams—who developed launch strategies for exhibiting and promoting the fifth piece. 

"The students who developed this design were insightful and empathetic in their ability to creatively convey the emotional uncertainty and discomfort of living with GPP through an evocative and alluring design," says Mr. Ferraro. "The FIT DTech Lab is incredibly proud to contribute to the creative industries worldwide with socially conscious solutions that have a positive impact on the world and to be able to be a part of this extraordinary project."

Hess, who collaborated with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop the first four designs in The Unwearable Collection consulted with FIT students and faculty to inspire the fifth design while ensuring it was a natural complement.

"It was the experiences of people living with GPP and their descriptions of the disease that ultimately inspired me to create The Unwearable Collection. As the Collection evolves, it has been a privilege to act as a mentor to FIT's talented group of designers and witness how they have interpreted the experience of people living with GPP to add a new dimension to the Collection," says Hess.

The five pieces of The Unwearable Collection were unveiled this week to a private audience that included Hess, people living with GPP, members of the FIT DTech Lab and Boehringer Ingelheim teams. Following the US reveal of the Collection, the pieces will make their international debut at the upcoming GPP Forum and World Congress of Dermatology in Singapore from July 1 to 5, 2023.

The Unwearable Collection will be on display in an exhibit inside FIT's Gallery of Art and Design from September 14-October 15, when visitors can view the Collection and further explore the experiences of those living with GPP. You can learn more about the exhibit at

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