26-year-old Ekroth made the short list at this year’s Hyères fashion festival for his men's wear collection, which was inspired by Brett Morgen’s “June 17th, 1994,” a documentary about a series of major sporting events that were ignored because they occurred on the same day as the O.J. Simpson police chase. The pieces mix athletic uniforms with with laser-cut polyamide fringe and Swarovski crystals, which Ekroth and his parents spent hours applying. Despite his momentum, Ekroth never planned to be a fashion designer. After studying to be a social worker, he became a pro poker player and then took sewing lessons “with a bunch of little old ladies.” It was only then that Ekroth began studying fashion design at Aalto. He’s now considering offers from several major European houses, but plans to continue his eponymous collection on the side.