WSC Scarves.


How can we start to understand the modifications of these skin tones? What factors and conditions determine the particular colors that make up each palette? Every country has its own composition of skin colors that is linked to its population, climate, economy, politics, and social practices.

The World Skin Colors scarves turn this (demographic) data into a visual language, and then into fashion. A program directed by Reineke Otten and applied by LUST designers translates these gathered statistics about migration, population density, temperature, UV radiation, GDP, and transport into a graphic code: the numerical grid of an Excel sheet becomes shape, color, and pattern in eight overlapping layers. Each layer represents a different factor influencing the composition of skin tones in a particular place.

Each of the 231 scarves is unique because each country generates its own data. The scarves reveal relationships, histories, and patterns of populations; they tell stories that you can fold, twist, drape, hang, or wear; stories to contemplate, discuss, or retell.

I create the conditions for these layers of information to interact visually. The beauty, for me, lies in the surprises — the unexpected ways in which these shapes and colors come together.

-Reineke Otten

A small selection of scarves is now in production. In the future, scarves representing additional countries will also be available.

Visit the web-shop to see these conversation pieces and choose one!


This project has been made possible with the help of FondsBKVB.

Info_Textiles_Reineke Otten

Screen shot 2011-03-07 at 4.05.22 PM

Design-The Netherlands

Design The Netherlands

WSC-TextilesReineke Otten

The Netherlands


Design Iceland

WSC-TextilesReineke Otten



Design Martinique

WSC-TextilesReineke Otten



Explanation of the symbols