Tag Archives: designer

NOVIS

NOVIS__01 This week, we’ve been talking to the three winning designers of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, exploring various fashion ideas from just hanging out with friends with Timo Weiland to the extremes of nature and knitwear with DEGEN.

All of these designers have been wonderful, but one of them captured our hearts right off the bat with her traditional silhouettes and re-interpreted vintage prints: Jordana Warmflash of NOVIS.

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What is your favorite piece that you’ve designed?

There are different aspects to each piece that I love. Right now I’m really into this blue coat that’s going to come out in fall 2014. It’s fairly simple but the fit is amazing…it’s a great piece.

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DEGEN

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Yesterday we had the chance to hang out with the designers behind Timo Weiland, and today we venture further into the world of knits with fellow Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award winner, Lindsay Degen of DEGEN.

Lindsay admitted to us that she was thrilled and surprised by the call that she had won, as her aesthetic is “kind of crazy”…working solely in knitwear, her past collections have explored and delved into various topics surrounding the body, ranging from cultural anxieties to microscopic views of DNA and bacteria.

Her presentation this season featured live knitters in addition to male and female models, Crocs, and LED lights as well as various new materials knitted into the funky pieces she is known for.

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To start off…how excited are you to be a winner of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award?

I’m super excited about it. I thought there was no way I would ever get it, because – if you look at the list of designers, they’re all incredible well-known designers, and none of them really have a really crazy, out-there aesthetic. They all look different, but my line aesthetically doesn’t really fit in with the bunch. So I was super excited that they chose me, because it’s a real honor to be lumped in with those other designers. Additionally there’s only one other knitwear designer – Tom Scott – who has won it, and while he has mostly knitwear he also has some woven, so I was really glad to hold down the knitwear niche.

[The grant money] is allowing me to make a 20-foot interactive LED rainbow for my presentation. I really wanted to do it this season anyway, but it allowed me to do it in a less makeshift way. It looks so good, I can’t wait.

A 20 foot rainbow??

This collection, I’m introducing some bizarre things, including fishing line and reflective yarn…because I was inspired by all these materials I’d never used before, I was having all these moments of “Wow, I’ve never had these moments before, I never knew knitting could be like this.” I wanted the viewers to have a similar experience, but they wouldn’t have that by watching someone knit. I thought, “What makes people go wow, what are we amazed by as children?” And the answer was rainbows. It’s the craziest thing nature does.

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Timo Weiland

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Good taste never goes out of style…

I’m all about having a great drink, and as you all know, I live for a beautiful fashion moment. So I was thrilled to hear about the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation, a marriage of great taste between Italian wines and awards for emerging fashion designers.

The EDFF and their elite panel of judges works hard to select the best of the best, and their choice of three emerging designers receive a grant to go toward their presentations at New York Fashion Week. In their 13 seasons, the EDFF has given $1.8 million to designers, many of whom now have flourishing careers such as Joseph Altuzarra and Derek Lam.

This week, we’re featuring the three winners of the EDFF award. Being able to talk to up and coming designers about all aspects of their work – personal style, inspiration, and dreams for the future – is so wonderful and eye-opening for me. As a photographer I love beautiful moments and being able to tell stories, so hearing the tales behind stunning collections makes the experience even better.

For our first interview, we got to talk to the three designers behind menswear winner Timo Weiland – Timo, Alan Eckstein, and Donna Kang. They were so lovely to talk to, it felt like friends just hanging out…which is exactly what their collection is about.

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Who ideally wears Timo Weiland?

Alan: For menswear, it’s classic with a twist. It’s a very wearable collection but it has signs of care, great tailoring, and personality to it.

Timo: Everything we do is classic with a twist, I think. There’s definitely a New York feel and inspiration. And we’re constantly inspired by our circle of friends and their personalities.

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How do you think winning the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award will affect your business?

A: It’s incredible. It’s pretty much our greatest honor to date. Every designer needs some sort of validation, and this is definitely a really great thing for us. It’s a great community, it’s a great award. We respect so many past winners – we look up to people like Proenza, Alexander Wang, Rag+Bone. And it’s a really good year - we love Degen and NOVIS too!

It also gives us the chance to show. We may not have been able to show men’s this year for budgetary reasons, but now we’re able to.

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Millinery in ManHATtan

We live in a world of constant change and developing technology, a world where everything moves so fast. Sometimes this is a brilliant whirlwind to get caught up in, but sometimes this fast-paced world means certain time-honored traditions may fall behind.

So it nearly was with Makins, one of the last remaining millinery factories in New York City’s Garment District. They had been in the city for “forty years, making hats for Frank Sinatra, Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, the works.” Our friend, hat designer Satya Twena, had been using their factory for her own collection for a few years, when suddenly everything changed.

“One day we got a call saying, “We closed, come pick up your stuff before we sell it off,” and I ran over here, met with the owner…and literally we needed to come up with money within two weeks. So we raised money pretty quickly to acquire the factory.”

Satya and her cousin Malka made the decision to purchase the factory in order to save not only all the American-made equipment or the hand-carved hat blocks, but to save the employees who worked there, the small business suppliers and the history of millineries in Manhattan. While they were able to make the first major purchase to save the factory, now they’re raising funds in order to continue the tradition of hand-made hat making.

“We’ve raised the money to buy this place, but we don’t necessarily have the funds to run it month to month…we’ve started a Kickstarter to help support it, and also get awareness out there of the fact that an American-made hat is something that would be lost forever unless we do something about it.”

All of the money raised on Kickstarter is going to the preservation of the factory, hiring back the employees, and getting the factory up and running again.

We spent an afternoon in this historic place, making our own custom-made hats with Satya, which you of course can buy through their Kickstarter, or just take a glimpse at what it looks like to go through the generations-old process of creating a hat…

  

A lifetime’s worth of sourcing and materials…

Satya explained to us that these blocks for shaping the hats are all hand carved; some are from Paris, some from London, and having them all together is extremely rare. If she had not bought all the factory’s equipment, the pieces would have been sold off to individuals, and this library of incredible, beautiful history would have been separated forever…

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