Studio Adaptive Skins was founded in 2018 by designer Jef Montes. Adaptive skins is a textile architecture studio based in Arnhem with a strong focus on responsive materials. A new approach on creating shape within the materials rather than cutting patterns out of 2d fabric. The materials are applied on the human skin but also connected to the structure of a building and interior. Responsive to the human and its surrounding the textiles improve the function and experience of: body, light, energy, areas, acoustics and climate. The studio has its own signature projects that are focused on: wearable designs, high fashion and material installations. Next to that the studio also offers a wide spectrum of adaptive textiles and services to other companies. Sustainability and upcycling are an important starting point. No waste is the norm. Finding new ways to recreate the production system is constantly researched. Illusion, shape and transformation play an essential factor in the design development. The materials are non seasonal and keep on expanding. Everything starts with a square that unravels into shapes. It’s a natural ongoing process.

”I see clothing and materials as living architecture. Adapting to the environment. Organic and emotional.”


In 2012 Montes graduated with honors degree from ArtEZ institute of the arts Arnhem. After being nominated for the national Lichting award 2012, Montes founded his label to focus on developing his signature. With the support of Philips Lighting he started creating upcycled fiberglass materials made from his own studio in Arnhem. Illuminosa was created in 2013 and presented as the national debut collection at Amsterdam Fashion Week January 2014. With support from Creative Industries Fund NL Montes was able to research architectural materials, using professional weaving machines. Creating luxurious fabrics with sustainable materials. Velero was designed and developed in collaboration with TextileLab Tilburg. This project was based on his passion and personal connection with the maritime world. The collection was created in 2014 and presented in Amsterdam February 2015. Velero was nominated by the British Council for the IFS award 2016. After presenting the Resolver experiment at Amsterdam Fashion Week, Montes started working on Tormenta. The concept of Tormenta reflects a Storm around the body and consists of 6 nylon material categories that were recycled from fishing nets. Tormenta was presented during Paris Fashion Week in September, and during FIAC October 2017. After his international debut Tormenta was nominated for the 33rd Hyères award 2018. In 2019 Montes was awarded with the international Re-FREAM 55.000 euro prize.

Currently Montes is working on projects Marinero & Moreneta, the follow up after Tormenta. These collections represent marine waves and the light from within. Next to working on his own projects he is aiming to expand his talent to related and unrelated industries, where his material designs can be translated into new context. Collaborating with gaining new information and making unexpected connections is what inspires Montes.

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