NASA and Victoria Secret have designer Ted Southern in common. Southern is the artist who designed the Angel wings for Victoria Secret, and now he is flying off into space designing NASA’s new-age space suits.
In an interview Southern told reporters, he has always been an artist, he went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he studied music performance and sculpture. While he studied he worked for Martin Izquierdo, a costumer. Southern shared how his career has had him all over the place, and it was not until he went to grad school where his interest in space began to develop.
Having a career in fashion has allowed Southern to improve his designs by working in various themes, that contained different styles, from working with Broadway shows, movies, theaters, and other ranges of fashion. He told sources, one of his favorite works to do were costumes for the opera. He currently makes costumes in his studio in Brooklyn, New York for the stage, and has a 10-year contract with Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, for the wolves in the Michael Jackson show. The designer started off with one of his first jobs being the Angel Wing designer for Victoria Secret, and designing spacesuits for NASA is next on his list.
Southern came across the idea to design new-age space for NASA when he was designing gloves for his master’s thesis. He read about a competition NASA was holding asking competitors to redesign gloves and he decided to give it a try. The designer did not know what he was doing, and lost the competition. However, he met his Russian competitor Moiseev, and they decided to team up and try the competition again. Since, Moiseev was an engineer the two competed in the competition for a second round, and won the $100,000 second place prize, for their design of a single layer glove.
After the competition, Moiseev moved to America and they formed their private design firm, Final Frontier Design. The firm designs safety apparel for space travel. Moiseev pushed Southern along with NASA in expanding their designs beyond the single layer glove, and they were able to see themselves becoming contractors and design space suits for NASA, until they found out there were other space industries slowly growing, going orbital, and building their own rockets.
NASA has recently given the private design firm a grant for $125,000, to design gloves for missions they may soon be taking to Mars. Although NASA is supporting the firm, Southern has told sources he still feels reluctant sharing his spacesuit idea designs with the big company because he is just a guy in a garage that does not have the right equipment to compete with the big guys.
The duos private design firm Final Frontier Design, also makes t-shirts and patches for anyone to buy. The site has detailed presentations which explain how they built the space suits, and the features that come when considering to make purchases of one. There is also an inquiry section where other designers of space gear can reach out and work for the company, or offer ideas that will help enhance their designs. Southerner being a designer for the famous Angel Wings for Victoria Secret, would have never thought NASA would invest in designs for him to create new-age space suits.
By Krystle Mitchell
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Final Frontier Design.com
Photo Courtesy of Penn State’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of LP’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License