Pathlight students suit Timberland to a T

Pathlight School student Asher Ng, 13, and his specially designed pair of Timberland boots.
Pathlight School student Asher Ng, 13, and his specially designed pair of Timberland boots. ST PHOTO: DON WONG

Pathlight student Asher Ng was the centre of attention at Timberland's Raffles City branch yesterday. The 13-year-old budding artist had the pleasure of seeing the shop sell his creation. It was not a painting or sculpture but a wardrobe essential - the T-shirt.

Asher's creation was one of two limited-edition T-shirts unveiled by the leading American outdoor lifestyle brand and the result of its collaboration with The Art Faculty by Pathlight, Singapore's first autism-focused school.

Under the initiative, the school's bright young minds were tasked with re-imagining the iconic Timberland footwear - a pair of boots - as an artistic design, which would be printed on T-shirts and sold at selected Timberland stores.

Asher was all smiles as he showed his T-shirt featuring a simple but eye-catching line drawing of a pair of legs sporting Timberland boots. He had imagined a guy who needs a hardy pair of boots.

"This guy (is on) a safari and the weather is really harsh, so he needs a good pair of boots," he said.

The second design, by 18-year- old Foo Thong Keen, features a drawing of Timberland boots covered with tiny, multicoloured dinosaurs.

Pathlight principal Linda Kho said the chance to collaborate with a global brand for the first time could shine a spotlight on the special abilities of those with autism.

"It's not just a focus on autism. It's just to say that they have talents and look at what their talents can bring to the whole array of merchandise," she said.

This is not the first time Pathlight students have impressed with their artistic abilities.

Earlier this year, See Toh Sheng Jie was thrust into the spotlight when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife carried a dinosaur print purse he designed to a White House event.

For the Timberland initiative, 500 T-shirts of each design will be sold at a special price of $39 each. For each item sold, Timberland will contribute $5 to The Art Faculty by Pathlight.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'Pathlight students suit Timberland to a T'. Print Edition | Subscribe