The Studio Series 2.0: Doug Johnston and Tomoe Matsuoka, Artists

“We don’t want to have to worry about what we’re wearing in the studio,” explain artist Doug Johnston. “Eventually all of our clothes become ‘studio’ clothes because we wear them to the studio and they get oil stains or resin or wax or liquid foam on them, or they get ripped.” Doug’s work oscillates between art and design, primarily utilizing a process of coiling and machine-stitching cordage creating an array of functional sculptural objects. He often collaborates with his wife, artist and designer Tomoe Matsuoka, whose work varies from furniture to wearables, space design, performance and photography. Yes, they’re the definition of power couple and, yes, they both rep the Ilana Kohn coveralls well. “We can change into these coveralls when we get to the studio and not worry about ruining our entire wardrobe,” explains Doug Johnston. Plus, they’re super comfortable, simple and stylish, while being truly durable and useful with several big, easily-accessible pockets where we can keep our phones, keys, notes, and snacks!”

Get to know Doug and Tomoe below as they put the coveralls to work.

Meet the Artists We Invited to Draw All Over Our Merch

We spent the weekend at Capsule, the roving independent designer-focused trade show, in New York, joined by some pretty choice company. Along with our curated community of indie designers presenting their spring/summer 2018 collections, we had the pleasure of working with six talented illustrators on some pretty special giveaways. Throughout the weekend, the artists spent hours drawing on exclusive Garmentory tote bags for anybody that stopped by our booth and wanted one, with no limit to their creativity. From self-portraits to animals of all kind, each drawing was one of a kind. We wanted people to leave Capsule with something unique, something memorable, and that’s exactly what these ladies delivered. Their stories, inspirations, mediums and aesthetics are all remarkably different, adding to the uniqueness of their canvas bag creations. Scroll on to get to know the six illustrators and rad women we now happily call our pals.

 

Gina Schiappacasse

Designer, stylist, and fashion illustrator Gina Schiappacasse, has been obsessively drawing all her life. Originally from Minnesota, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design with an emphasis in illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Gina has now spent nearly a decade living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and dog, Thelonious.

Living in New York, Gina finds herself inspired by the fashion world: photography, icons, and the city’s stylish denizens. With influence from the style of children’s books and Japanese comic art, Gina’s work is fashion-focused with a playful slant.

WHO ARE YOUR MUSES?I’m a huge fan of Björk and her constant ability to blur the lines between fashion and art. I also have always loved Alexander McQueen’s dark beauty and the women he dressed, including Daphne McGuiness and Isabella Blow. I’m in love with the photography work of Tim Walker and Sølve Sundsbø, but I also really enjoy drawing my friends and Instagram acquaintances. There’s such an incredible plethora of imagery online that it’s easy to find muses everywhere.”

 

Youloune

French illustrator Youloune is the kind of artist who carries their sketchbook everywhere they go. She grew up in Normandie, France, lived in Paris for ten years and in January of this year moved to Montreal with her boyfriend to experience somewhere new. Hélène loves to draw what she sees out and about, whether that’s at a concert, sketching the musicians playing as her pencil follows the drum rhythms, or details in jewelry, sculptures, and embroidery shown in museums she often visits. Her illustrations are mesmerizing as she draws as if she is pulling thread from a spool to make silhouettes and stories appear on paper.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A NIGHT IN? “I like reading comics, listening to old vinyl records, and trying to catch my neighbor’s cat! I also take the time to upload all the pictures I took during my daily walks onto my Insta stories.”

 

Gabriella Cetrulo

 

Gabriella Cetrulo grew up in a the suburbs of New Jersey before moving  to New York City to earn her BFA in Illustration from Parsons. After spending many years working for a tech company as a web curator — her drawing falling wayside — Gabriella is now a freelance writer and illustrator living in Manhattan.

She draws inspiration from old films and photographs, idealizing people from the past and bringing their stranger moments to current time. Once described as “ominous posing as innocuous,” by a close friend, Gabriella’s illustrations embody a strong sense of nostalgia. Through character details such as a hair style or vintage silhouette, she brings decades of the past to the paper in front of her.

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON? WHAT’S YOUR ROUTINE LIKE?I’m definitely not a morning person. I could easily sleep until noon if I don’t need to be anywhere. I usually hit the snooze button at least three times, read some things on my phone, check social media, and then get out of bed to make myself tea. I try to meditate in the morning but usually end up doing that before bed because if I’m still tired in the morning, I’ll just fall back asleep!”

 

Lindsey Balbierz

Lindsey Balbierz is an illustrator whose work lives in many mediums: magazines, book covers, newspapers, as well as live events. She’s the talent behind the cover of I See London, I See France, a book published by Harper Collins, The Boston Globe’s illustrated Sunday real estate section,  a custom pet portrait on a Louis Vuitton dopp kit for a long-time loyal customer, and so much more. She also runs an Etsy shop, where she sells pins, patches and stationery adorned with her illustrations. There are no limitations to where Lindsey pulls inspiration from. Seriously, anything from maps to dogs in bags and farmers markets to snow cones, influence her work. All of Lindsey’s illustrated objects, people and environments are friendly and whimsical. Her distinct aesthetic of hand-drawn, brightly, graphic colors is to say the least warm and welcoming.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK UP AND MOVE, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?My top three would be: 1.) Somewhere outside of Portland, Maine. I’ve always had a dream of buying a farm house and renovating it. The coastal surroundings are so pretty. The lobster is also a bonus. 2.) Maui. I went in 2015 and enjoyed the lush greenery so much! It would allow a slower and more relaxed lifestyle that would be a good change from urban living. 3.) Japan. I have visited Japan twice, but I think moving would allow for a complete immersion of the culture. I’ve taken Japanese classes, but I think moving would force my brain to think in Japanese and therefore force me to speak the language more.”

 

Danielle Kroll

Danielle Kroll is a textile designer, ceramicist, and — of course — illustrator. She is also the co-founder of Beech Hall, a multi-disciplinary artist collective she started with two university friends selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items such as paintings, ceramics, jewelry and home decor. Inspired by everyday life, childhood memories, objects from the past and nature. Danielle’s illustrations are colorful, painterly and playful but not childlike. Think a skinny pineapple ceramic or quirky depictions of ladies at the beach. Her pieces encourage her viewers to experience a more playful look at life – to always look at the bright side of things.

WHERE DO YOU LOVE TO SHOP IN A CITY FILLED WITH ENDLESS CHOICES? “I mostly shop at vintage stores. The pieces are unique, affordable and it’s really fun for me – I like a good treasure hunt! Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint is my spot in the city: They have a whole room of boxes labeled with specific categories like ‘jumpsuits’ and ’80s high-waisted pants’. “

 

Lily Qian

DC-born, Brooklyn-based fashion designer-turned-illustrator Lily Qian has been drawing, painting and sewing since childhood. With her inspiration sparked by artists and entrepreneurs, Lily reflects the beauty of everyday life in her work, which is stylistically informed by cinematography, literature, and fashion history (particularly the 1960s and ‘70s). In her 12 years as an illustrator, Lily has worked with fashion and beauty brands ranging from Sephora to OBEY, sought after for her experimental techniques and loose, romantic style.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK’S CRAZINESS?My favorite places to escape NYC’s craziness is going hiking in Harriman State Park, visiting Storm King Art Center, Dia Beacon, and long weekends in Montauk.”

 

Sissy’s Fall 2017: What I’m Into

Our Fashion Editor-At-Large, Sissy Sainte-Marie, shares her current obsessions.

 

SILVER LAMÉ

Wearing head-to-toe beige cotton everyday is so me. But don’t be shocked if I shift gears and go full-on lurex and lamé this season.

 

 

BERETS

I think it was last year’s election that got me feeling a little militant, or maybe it’s merely the Gucci effect, but I’m really into topping my noggin with berets right now. Clyde’s in fawn lambskin is my choice.  

 

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST

I guess we have Beyonce to thank. Lemonade’s references to this 1991 film about Gullah women at the turn of the 20th century, led to its restoration and re-release late last year. It is a visual masterpiece, a beautiful story, but tbh, I was mostly focused on the costumes.

 

SLEEPING BEAUTIES

I love my bed so much I recite an ode I wrote called “Oh bed oh bed” to it from time to time. If you, too, can list sleeping as one of your favorite activities, you are going to love the bedspread-inspired runway looks for F/W 2017. Grab a pillow bag from Modern Weaving and you’ve got yourself a look.

CURLS AND BANGS

If it ever looks like I’m having an absence seizure, I’m not. I’m most likely just seriously wondering if I could pull off “Last Tango in Paris” hair.

 

MENOPAUSAL BLUE

I once heard an older woman in a vintage store describe a dress as “menopausal blue”. I still don’t know what that even means but perhaps it is no coincidence this blue-gray shade is showing up all over catwalks around the same time Manrepeller is trend-reporting on Menocore?

 

BEN TOMS’ POSTCARDS

Ben Toms’ set of postcards for Owl Cave books. The theme is adaptive mimicry. The title is Untitled.

 

ALEX CAMERON

This Aussie pantydropper is equal parts humor and heart.  Recommended for you if you think Louie Anderson should win a nobel prize for his portrayal of Mama Baskets and that Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads could have had more laughs per minute.

Anna Gray’s Go-To Spots During New York Fashion Week

Did you know that I moved to New York as a totally clueless 18-year-old with a college acceptance letter, side bangs and stretchy purple Urban Outfitters jeans? Entire inner worlds are destroyed and rebuilt between the ages of 18 and 28 anyway, but imagine living that out in New York City. But I didn’t die and here I am, bedecked in cool-girl garments, mostly emotionally sound and holding an iced almond latte ready to show you around. (The purple pants are long gone, I promise). The first thing you learn in this here town is that lifespans are short. Favorite bars, vintage stores, restaurants, fast first year friends? All gone. The key is to visit favorites often, experiment with new places and avoid serious attachment. A bit like dating, for some.

Anyway, here are my favorite places that are still around. Though they did just open a Starbucks on the corner of St. Marks Place and Avenue A, so  this is probably the end of NYC as we (I) know it. Swing by any of my below go-to spots  during Fashion Week and you might catch me hiding out.

Aurora Vestita skirt; Catzorange bag; Vans sneakers

6th & B Garden: Okay, this place will be here for awhile because it’s a city sanctioned non-profit. Also, it looks like all of your secret garden dreams come true. There’s a treehouse! Drink your morning coffee in here and make a calm memory you can return to when you’re sprinting between shows.

Still House: I swing by Still House before any birthday/baby shower/wedding to pick up something small, beautiful and reasonably priced. Their ceramics and minimal jewelry are great. It’s a tiny shop so browsing is quick – i.e. it’s a great place to kill the tiny amount of time you have before your next appointment.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mogador: A classic since 1983. You’ve probably been here but I’m putting it on the list in case you haven’t. Delicious Moroccan food, reasonable prices and it’s on my block so you’ll likely run into me and we can talk about how great it is! Go on off hours like 3:30pm to avoid a long wait.

Oliver St Coffee: From the team that made Mr Fongs (more on that later), Oliver Coffee is a kind reprieve from the usual laptop-crowded cafe and also the mayhem that is fashion week. The magazine selection is great, they have obscure Asian snacks and the coffee/tea/milk options are plentiful.

Coming Soon: Fabiana and Helena are women with taste as excellent as their dispositions. They carry Chen & Kai, Concrete Cat, Fredericks and Mae, to name drop a few. They have lots of small cute gifts, so even if you’re in for the long haul of fashion month you can snag a souvenir. I go in for gifts but want everything for myself.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mr Fongs: Too many of my favorite bars have closed in New York but it’s okay because now we have Fongs. It’s cute, they have snacks and banquettes and the bartenders are nice. I highly suggest going when it’s still sunny out, it looks prettier.

Starstruck Vintage: Great vintage that requires a little digging but not too much. Sunglasses, dresses from all eras, and the bag selection is solid. Their vintage tees are outrageously expensive though! It’s on the west side, so you can stop by when you’re heading east after leaving the piers.

Kes NYC dress

Text by Anna Gray

Photography by Chloe Horseman

The Ins-And-Outs Of New York City With Our Boutiques And Designers

There is no arguing that New York City is a magical, fast-paced, concrete zoo filled with bustling creatives in every realm possible. It’s the city that never sleeps and, as any denizen or tourist can attest, has hundreds of unspoken rules that you best know before coming (like don’t make eye contact on the subway, never take a selfie at a museum, and always move out of the middle of the sidewalk if you are a slow walker). It is also home to many of our close friends, the emerging designers and indie boutique owners that live the city day in and day out; the people we turn to for the inside scoop on how to survive manic, hectic, addictive, draining New York City.

To kick off New York Fashion Week, possibly one of the craziest times to be in the city, we wanted to reveal the best of the Big Apple from our New Yorkers. Scroll on for tips on where to escape the madness, wisdom on how to de-stress, and where to get the best cup of joe.

 

WHERE IN NEW YORK CITY DO YOU FEEL MOST PRODUCTIVE?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

New York can be an extremely productive city, and on the other hand extremely playful city,” says Ivan Gilkes, co-owner of In Support Of, a boutique and showroom in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. “The trick comes to knowing when to turn it off, and when to turn it on,” he explains.

Szeki Chan of 7115 by Szeki says her studio is her most productive place. “Quiet, peaceful, and no distractions,” she explains. Assembly’s Greg Armas agrees, saying his Chinatown studio is where he gets in the zone. “It’s nice to be surrounded by the city but slightly isolated,” he says. For designer Nikki Chasin it’s her studio in Chelsea.

But for others, being on the on go is what sparks productivity. Anna Pang, the designer behind womenswear line Index Series, says her brain is best “on the train! I tend to have sudden revelations of what my inspiration, concept, ideas are for collections.” Katie Goldman Macdonald, designer of House Dress, bounces off the energy of the Garment District. “It’s where everything happens. I run back and forth between my factories, button, and fabric stores — as well as coffee shops — and end up feeling pretty satisfied (and exhausted) by the end of the day.”

 

HOW MANY COFFEES/TEAS/LIQUIDS DO YOU DRINK A DAY? WHERE’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT?

Image by Hannah Schneider

At least two,” admits Mandy Kordal, designer of knitwear label Kordal. “I need coffee to start my day, and then around 4pm I either make another batch of coffee or tea,” Luis Morales, co-founder and creative director of The Ensign, is also dedicated to that AM caffeine fix. “I try to limit myself to one coffee a day, but it’s a mandatory request for each morning.” He likes to stop at Café Integral (above) for his one a day. Greg heads to Doughnut Plant. “Creature of habit, I have one Americano every morning… and a doughnut.”

Stacia Canyon, owner and buyer of boutique Canon NYC, which is located on Sullivan Street in Soho has her liquid day mapped out to a T. “One to two coffees a day from Cafe Regular in Brooklyn or Colombe on Prince Street in SoHo, then one matcha latte from Banter on Sullivan Street in Manhattan, and finally one juice from the Juice Press in Manhattan.”

Image by Matt Johnson

Szeki opts for, “just one, two tops!” She goes to, “Caffe Vita if I’m close to our LES location, Ninth Street Espresso if I’m at the studio in the East Village, and Sweatshop (above) if I’m at the Williamsburg location.” While on the other hand Katie’s average is, “five coffees a day.I love Madman Espresso on 35th, Grumpys on 37th and Culture on 36th in the Garment District. Sometimes if I’m feeling too caffeinated, I’ll sneak in an herbal iced tea or kombucha.”

As for the non-coffee drinkers: “I drink fresh juice in the morning from Kabila across the street from my studio then I drink water throughout the rest of the day. I don’t really drink coffee unless I’m trying to stay up really late or pull an all nighter to work,” explains Dominic Sondag, the designer behind menswear line S.K. Manor Hill.

Adeniyi Okuboyejo, the designer of Post-Imperial, also prefers a fruity option. “I usually get smoothies from the bodega around the corner of my apartment.”

 

WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET FRESH AIR?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

Escaping the concrete craziness is essential. “I love to go to Jefferson Park for fresh air. It’s a beautiful garden on the grounds of what used to be an infamous women’s prison, a hidden jewel. I’m also often at Washington Square dog park,” says Kelly Colasanti, owner of Fairlight, a beautiful boutique located in the West Village of Manhattan.

The ladies of Duo NYC, Wendy and LaRae Kangas, love to go for, “ a run along the East River. It’s breezy and great for people watching. But for a dose of real fresh air we take a road trip upstate to Woodstock or Hudson.”

“The parks in NYC are the best,” proclaims Ivan. “I have a top four depending on my mood: Grand Ferry Park is a super cute and tiny inlet park in Williamsburg with great views of Manhattan above the Williamsburg Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 has an equally fantastic view of downtown Manhattan and a great lawn for sipping wine with friends. Prospect Park, which in my opinion is better than Central Park, is the best park for activities all year round. It’s great for a picnic and party during the summer and in the winter if it snows you can sled on the Long Meadow there. Last the High Line is a super fun park for people watching and at the end of it you can finish your visit to the park with a trip to the Whitney.”

But sometimes no nature is needed at all. “When I’m at work I’ll step outside the studio to the street on 39th and if I’m at my house I’ll sit on the stoop,” expresses Dominic.

 

DURING FASHION WEEK, HOW DO YOU GET PUMPED UP? AND THEN, HOW DO YOU DE-STRESS?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

“The buzz of the shows and the anticipation of the collections generally gets me excited,” explains Luis. Ivan has a similar reaction. “Fashion Week can be an extremely fast paced time during the year. Getting pumped up for it doesn’t take that much though. If there is a brand that I’m really pumped to see I feel the excitement come naturally.” His trick once he feels overwhelmed? “I like to return to my home and watch some TV and tune out of fashion completely. This coming fashion week fall shows will be back I’m sure I’ll be watching How to Get Away with Murder and hopefully Scandal.”

For designers, things can be a little different. “I get pumped up when I have all of my samples ready to shoot,” says Nikki. Katie explains how she’s, “just naturally high on adrenaline (and coffee) for a week straight during Fashion Week.” So undoubtingly needs, “to lie comatose for a few days and drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc in the tub.”

Getting pumped for Anna starts with, “an early rest and a somewhat substantial breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast and an apple).” To de-stress, she likes to, “light a candle, lie in bed and put on a cool face mask for 30 minutes. I never feel like I have time to actually do this so when I do it feels extra amazing.”

Sometimes after that crazy week, it takes an actual escape. “For de-stress, I usually leave for a bit after Fashion Week, it can be intense,” admits Greg.

 

ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE NEW YORK CITY?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

“My love for NYC is a rollercoaster. I’m from Northern California and that’s a hard place to beat, but I’ve lived here for 6 years and I love it a little more every year. Hot sweaty days where I’m carrying 50 lbs of fabric in the Garment District I rate a four, but when I get home and see the trees of Inwood park out my window, my love surges to a ten,” says Katie. Luis has the same teetering feelings. It’s about a two from January-March, a four in March-April, a solid ten from May-July, back down to one in August, and about an eight from September through December. We have a love/hate relationship, but we somehow make it work.”

For others, their love for the city is undeniable. “Ten. After living almost fifteen years in this city, I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. New York has the absolute best of it all,” asserts Ivan. Wendy and LaRae agree, “Eight to ten depending on the day but there’s no place quite like NYC, we’ve got it all here.”

“Ten for sure! I love NYC so much!” professes Kelly.

Both Nikki and Adeniyi went for eleven. “To be honest, I am not sure there is any better city in the world than New York. It keeps me on my toes. It constantly kicks me in the ass to remind me that even with all my accomplishments so far, there is still tons of work that needs to be done,” Adeniyi admits.

“It’s required to 100% love New York City to live here,” states Greg.

Lead and featured image by Michael Cobarrubia

Seven Must-Follow Women on the Front Lines of New Zealand Fashion Week

Before the weeks-long tour de fashion cities — New York, London, Paris, Milan — that make up “Fashion Month” kicks off in September comes the lesser-known New Zealand Fashion Week. Initially an industry-facing trade show, NZFW has evolved in recent years to a vibrant hotbed of local as well as international talent showcasing their collections to thousands of fashion-focused delegates and style-savvy attendees. (Including us this week! Follow along on Instagram for all the fun.)

In celebration of this season’s NZFW, we want to introduce you to seven badass kiwis running the scene. From a baker to an illustrator, these ladies are killing it creatively while exposing just how good New Zealand style is. Get ready for your girl crushes to begin.  

 

CAITLAN MITCHELL, PHOTOGRAPHER AND EDITOR

Caitlin Mitchell was born into the NZ fashion scene, literally: Her parents began one of New Zealand’s first fashion magazines, NZ Apparel, back in 1969. Caitlin’s teen years led to her modeling, eventually inspiring her to try her hand at the other side of the camera as a photographer. A graduate of Whitcliffe College of Arts and Design with degrees in fine arts and business, Caitlin now runs the magazine her parents founded with her siblings while continuing to shoot fashion editorials, musicians, scenery and more. Steeped in fashion from birth, Caitlin has naturally developed her own signature style, incorporating pom pom statement heels, chunky oversized cardigans and the cutest berets, making her an NZ must-follow (especially during fashion week!).

Follow @caitlanmitchell

 

MARY MAGUET, MODEL

In her own words, Mary Maguet is an “int’l model by day, and a goofball by night.” Born in Kenya, Mary came to New Zealand when she was two years old. She was scouted as a model on a Sunday morning at her church and has quickly become one of the most sought-after local models. She is a NZFW runway vet and has modelled for many notable names such as Karen Walker and Lonely Lingerie. To top it off, she is a total sweetheart and has amazing style. Follow Mary strutting her stuff in not just New Zealand but New York, Milan, Hawaii, you name it.

Follow @pinkishlymojotastic

 

FRANCA CHRISTINA, CERAMICIST

We predict this style queen-ceramicist is going to blow up in no time. Based in Auckland, Franca works on her exploratory project of beautiful ceramic objects. From geometric vases to a unique cheese platter and mug duo, her pieces are the perfect home additions. Just like us, she is a huge fan of emerging designers. Just head over to her Instagram feed where you will spot Paloma Wool pants, a Kowtow striped jumpsuit, Suzanne Rae’s to-die-for white pumps, and so much more. We highly suggest you take a peek and steal some style inspiration.

Follow @franca_christina

 

HARRIET + CARTER WERE, PHOTOGRAPHER/KNITTER + BAKER

Meet New Zealand’s coolest twin sisters, Harriet and Carter Were. Both women are creatively-charged, expressed in distinctly different mediums. Harriet is a dual photographer and a knitter; She shoots editorials, photo series, interiors, and a does a portrait project called ‘Lonely Girls’ for Lonely Lingerie as well as knitting texturally-complex clothes and accessories. Carter is a baker known locally for her organic sprouted bread —a recipe that took her two years to perfect! — and seeded sourdough, which she sells through her company Were Bros. Each gal flaunts a compelling Instagram feed: Harriet’s full of lush photography and images of her knit work, and Carter’s an artistic homage to beautiful food. Consider them NZ’s Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Follow @harrywere + @werebros

 

KELLY THOMPSON, ILLUSTRATOR

Kelly Thompson came into illustration by way of fashion photography, inspired by the models she shot. With a feminine and delicate style, Kelly’s illustrations quickly gained an online following and she now works as full-time freelance artist, speaks at creative events, is the founding director of creative consultancy and illustration agency Maker’s Mgmt, and is constantly collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With 23K IG followers and counting, her posts are the perfect mix of OOTD shots, illustrations, and creative inspiration.

Follow @kellythompsoncreative

 

GEORGIA PRATT, MODEL

We may be slightly obsessed with Georgia Pratt’s dreamy style and scruffy dog, Vito Valentino. Trained in fashion design, Georgia was scouted from the shores of New Zealand back in 2012 and has since emerged as a sought-after model. The Auckland-born beauty has walked the runway for Christian Siriano and Tome, starred in Lane Bryant’s Plus Is Equal campaign, and was named alongside Candice Huffine and Katy Smye as the “Models Out to Change Plus-Size Fashion” by Vogue. It’s safe to say, Georgia won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Head over to her feed for refreshing snaps of beauty, fashion and everyday life.

Follow @jojacalled

In Conversation With Jewelry Designer Pamela Love

You don’t need an introduction to Pamela Love. The New York City-based jewelry designer has been a household name to anyone following fashion for nearly a decade, racking up countless magazine credits, stockists, collaborations, and awards. The brand’s blend of on-the-nose aesthetics, careful material sourcing, and made in America production quality has proved to be the perfect storm for continued success in the rocky retail climate that’s emerged since Love began tinkering with jewelry making back in 2007. We spoke with the established-indie designer on dealing with copycats, price point backlash, design integrity, and more. Read on for more on the balance of art and commerce with Pamela Love.

CONGRATS ON TEN YEARS IN BUSINESS — THAT’S PRETTY REMARKABLE. Thank you! I kind of feel like it’s a cheat to say ten years because the first two years I was experimenting; I sort of sold stuff, but not really. It’s always funny to say we’re ten years old and we started the company in 2007 because I think from 2007 to 2009 was just me fucking around and I think I sold to one store. I don’t know if we’re allowed to count those first two years as, like, “doing business,” as much as it was like, “Pam playing around.”

WHAT WAS THE MOMENT WHEN IT FELT LIKE “OFFICIALLY” A BUSINESS? It got to a point where I had to get an office space, and I had to quit my day job because I didn’t have time to juggle both. It was a great feeling, but also really sad, because I loved my other job. But I couldn’t juggle everything, so I had to pick.

It was a great feeling to be creating something that was supporting me and other people, I was able to hire some jewelers. It was a great feeling to be able to see that I was able to support jobs here [in the US] and myself. As soon as I was old enough to work, I was working. So it was really nice to be able to be a business owner.

AND NOW YOU’RE DOING YOUR FIRST STORE, WITH THE CFDA RETAIL LAB. Yes, we have a temporary retail space through the end of September. We’ve done little shop-in-shops, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to curate a space and, for the most part, get to represent the brand the way I would if I had my own store.

IF THE PERFECT STORE SPACE PRESENTED ITSELF AND YOU COULD DROP IT INTO ANY NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE WOULD YOU OPEN? Probably on the Bowery. I’ve been obsessed with this one building forever — it’s right across the street from the Bowery Hotel — that’s housed a variety of brands over the years, and I’ve had this dream that I would one day occupy this space on the Bowery. I don’t know if that will happen or not — it seems to be occupied currently.

WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THAT SPACE? I love that neighborhood, I love the architecture of that building, the interiors are really great, there’s a lot to work with. I just always found it to be a really magical spot.

I CAN’T IMAGINE THIS IS THE FIRST OFFER THAT’S COME FOR YOU TO DO A STORE. WHY DID THE CFDA OPPORTUNITY FEEL RIGHT? We love the CFDA. They’re so supportive and they make projects like this available to brands who may not be able to front [the money]. Their programs allow us to experience things we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. I’ve always wanted to open a store, but I never thought it made sense for us, financially, to do that right now.

THE CFDA HAS BEEN REALLY GOOD TO YOU. I love the CFDA.

HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM TO BEGIN WITH? We applied for the Vogue Fashion Fund many years ago, and we didn’t get in. And we applied again the next year, and I was finalist, and then a runner up. After that, we applied to be a CFDA member, and since then my brand has won the Swarovski accessories design and the CFDA Award for accessories design. That was something we were nominated for three times, and in the third year we won. I think it’s actually kind of cooler, because I got to go through it three times, which puts attention on your brand for three years. I was so excited to win the third time instead or the first time — or at least that’s what I told my team.

WHAT DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR GROWTH WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF THE CFDA? I don’t think we’d be here without Vogue, without the CFDA. I think I would have given up at a much earlier time. The access to mentors and people who can help grow and guide you was so integral to the growth of my business.

There are so many factors that go into whether or not your brand is successful, so I don’t think the CFDA is a silver bullet, but I do think it is an integral ingredient and wonderful support structure for finding success.

IN YOUR EARLY DAYS, YOU WERE KNOWN FOR A CERTAIN AESTHETIC: THE TALONS, THE DAGGERS. WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE NOW WITH THOSE PIECES? It’s a funny thing that happens when you start a company at 25, 26 and then you grow up. I was a single girl living in Greenpoint, wearing cut-off denim shorts and combat boots, started getting tattoos, I thought I was so cool, I smoked cigarettes, and the [brand] aesthetic was very much that. And at some point it started to transition to be more bohemian, but at some point you grow up and you want to make things that you identify with, that you would wear every day and not just things that you know will sell whether or not they appeal to you any more. That’s been an interesting transition for us. Some of the pieces won’t really die, for lack of a better word, and at a certain point you say, “This isn’t who we are any more, so I don’t offer this.”

And we’re changing again. Next season [spring 2018] is going to be very interesting, because we’re sort of going to be closer to going back to home but with a very different point of view. It’s going back to the origins of the brand but with more of a sense of humor and not taking itself so seriously.

Those transitions can be hard because people do think of you as one thing, and it’s hard for them to think of you as something else. There are definitely some mistakes I’ve made, from a design perspective, or designing on the requests of a retailer versus going with your gut. It’s a learning process. You’re not going to do everything right every time.

WHAT IS THAT LIKE WITH RETAILERS, WHEN THEY HAVE ASKED YOU TO REPRODUCE SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT BE INTO ANYMORE, BUT THAT YOU KNOW WILL MAKE YOU MONEY? I definitely have made mistakes making things I didn’t stand behind because it satisfies something the retailer needed, but I’ve learned that’s not the way to do it. If you wouldn’t wear it, if you don’t stand behind it, it doesn’t matter if it sells well or not because ultimately it’s not going to communicate your brand properly, and it’s going to detract from your brand’s strengths. So I decided I’m only going to make things I want to wear, and if that works, great, and if it doesn’t work for a retailer, unfortunately that’s it.

I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s a learning process. Right now, we’re in the process of learning what it’s like to listen to ourselves 100% and follow my gut and the gut of my team, and see what happens.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OVER TIME ABOUT PRICE POINTS? It’s still kind of a mystery to me. It’s harder now because there’s always a cheaper alternative to what you’re doing, and that can be challenging, because people are always looking for something more affordable, but at the end of the day you have to stand by your quality and your manufacturing, and if it’s more expensive than someone else, and someone else is able to do it cheaper, there’s really nothing you an do to control that. We just try to stand behind our work and how much it costs.

It does get to me some times when people complain the product is too expensive. That’s always hard, because you want everyone to be able to afford your stuff, especially people who love it, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise quality.

I posted a picture of a ring on Instagram yesterday, and somebody commented, “I loved this, until I saw that it was $2,400,” and it was a piece of fine jewelry. I didn’t want to respond or say anything, there’s nothing to do. That person doesn’t understand how much something like that costs and that’s the end of it.

I love how democratic it is to work in sterling or brass, because of how many people you can reach with it. But I also love creating one-of-a-kind things with some of the best materials in the world, and that, unfortunately, is not so democratic and affordable.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH COPYCATS? DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST ONE? Yeah. I remember the first time. It hurt so much. It was some random brand in Europe. It was a girl with a blog who also made jewelry, and she knocked off the talon cuff, which was our best seller at the time. I was so upset, and I tried to reach out and contact her and ask her to stop. Apparently that’s a big no-no — you don’t contact them. But I thought if I could explain how important it was to my business and to my livelihood that maybe she would stop. But she didn’t. And then there were a lot of copies after, and ultimately what you realize is you just have to keep doing what you do. If you get tired of a piece, you move on from it, if you love a piece and you’re not ready to move on from it and it gets copied, you still make it as well as you can, and nobody can really take that integrity from you. If a high street retailer copies you, [their product] isn’t going to have that integrity or that craftsmanship, and a customer who cares about that isn’t going to buy it from them, they’re going to buy it from you. A customer who doesn’t care about that is probably going to go to the high street retailer anyway, and they weren’t your customer in the first place.

WHAT’S YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS CELEBRITY FANS OF THE BRAND AND INFLUENCERS? It’s always very, very flattering when anyone you admire wears your product, but I never want to make [celebrities] too much of what we’re about. We’re more about every girl. We’re excited about girls from every walk of life doing cool, awesome stuff and trying to change the world. And whomever they are — a celebrity or your neighbor who works at Greenpeace — for me, it’s about righteous women who are doing awesome stuff. I want to support them and I want them to support me back. If those women are celebrities, that’s awesome, but I wouldn’t share that more than someone else I look up to who is maybe in another field.

By Nicola Fumo

All photography by Chloé Horseman

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Get To Know Six Of Seattle’s Coolest Creatives

Between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington lies a city of distinct neighborhoods and urban districts that thrive with industrial, commercial and cultural activity around the clock. This bustling city is overflowing with creatives, makers, and explorers, and we want you to get to know six of our favorite. In the simplest terms, our Seattleite squad includes a photographer, restaurant owner, designer, toy collector, hair stylist, and vintage store owner. But, of course, they are all so much more. Get ready to meet some of the coolest creatives we know, find out why they love to call Seattle home, and get the lowdown on their expert city tips.

CHRISTINA HICKS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Art director and photographer Christina Hicks lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood with her boyfriend Ryan — also a multi-disciplinary creative — and their two year old rescue dog, Nori (a must-follow on Instagram). Hicks creates content in the fields of design, fashion, travel and technology with work that is both commercially strategic as well as artful.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the freedom of living in a growing city with so many amenities, yet being within a short drive of so many beautiful natural environments: the Pacific ocean, the Puget Sound, two major mountain ranges, an archipelago of islands, national parks, forests, and deserts, to name a few.

WHAT’S THE CREATIVITY COMMUNITY LIKE? The creative community here is definitely close knit — I think Seattle’s geographic location up in the corner of the country contributes to a sense of pragmatism and camaraderie.

I love that there’s an undercurrent of go-getters that gravitate towards one another, encouraging and supporting each other as both friends and creative colleagues. And with the more recent tech boom, I feel as though the creative community is coming together even more strongly as a means of survival in a quickly changing city that could easily displace artists and small businesses.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE IN SEATTLE TO PHOTOGRAPH? I love the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island- it’s an inspiring place to walk and clear your head, and the impeccably kept grounds offer an endlessly changing backdrop of colors and textures.

Follow @xt_marie

 

MICHELE TANSEY, HOME GOODS STORE OWNER

Michele Tansey co-owns a vintage rug and furniture shop called Homestead Seattle as well as Plant Shop Seattle (you can imagine what they sell) with her partner Ryan. In their spare time, the couple has been renovating and restoring their 1903 house over the course of seven years. They run an Airbnb out of the home, and it is one of the most beautiful places to stay when in the city.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I’m from Washington state but grew up in the midwest, and I always felt like I just needed to get back to Seattle. It’s beautiful here even when it’s cold and rainy because it stays so lush and green. If the green can carry you through the sunless winter, the summer here is just perfect (and practically mosquito free). We live about a mile from downtown and can walk to a beach or forest just as easily as a museum or restaurant. But my favorite thing about living in Seattle right now is watching it grow, so much so fast. Even though some of the growth is problematic I’m still proud as hell of our city, continuing to evolve and make a bigger name for itself in the world. Like me, it seems to be right in the middle of its story and I’m interested to watch how it plays out for both of us.

WHAT’S VINTAGE/ANTIQUE SHOPPING LIKE IN SEATTLE? It’s good and bad. Compared to somewhere like Portland, we have fewer cute, small vintage furniture shops, but we have more large antique malls, especially if you’re willing to drive an hours. I’d consider Pacific Galleries to be the gold standard of antique malls in Seattle. We also have some really great collectors that you can easily find selling on Craigslist. If you’re not scared of a bit of elbow grease, our friends over at Seattle Furniture Co have a 7000+ sq ft basement filled with furniture to hunt through.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER FOUND AND DID YOU KEEP IT? Pretty much anything that’s made the cut to stay in our house at this point falls into the category “favorite.” We only have so much space, and in order for something to stay something else has to move on. If I was forced to pick one thing right now that I own I think it would be a large Persian Gabbeh carpet that I have hiding under a stack of other beautiful hoarded rugs in my basement (this stack is the one thing I allow to grow). As for furniture, in the shop right now we have a pair of lucite Pace Argenta Chairs and a set of Mario Botta Quinta Chairs. If I could, I would hoard those forever, too!! Definitely going to cry when those lucite chairs leave the shop.

Follow @micheletansey

 

BOBBIE YANOUPETH, HAIR STYLIST

After living in New York for the past 10 years, Bobbie Yanoupeth has moved back to his hometown of Seattle. In 2015, he and his business partner Michael Sing teamed up to open BAHTOH, a bridal boutique that does everything from floral arrangements to decor to hair styling. Bobbie is a professional (and seriously amazing) hair stylist who has worked with Lady Gaga, numerous fashion houses, and whose work has been featured in Vogue, Brides, Nylon, and more.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? Seattle has just as much to offer as any other big city. It has great food, cute little shops, dope art, so many cool neighborhoods, diversity and who doesn’t love driving along the freeway and seeing all the lush greens and Mt. Rainier in the distance!?! Even with all this growth and great culture, Seattle still has a small town feel. Since opening our shop, so many people have reached out to us and are so excited to support us. There is a sense of community here that a lot of big cities lack.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR HAIR STYLING? I was eight and we were living in Holland, MI. My parents were refugees from Laos and could barely speak English. So my mother decided that in order for her to keep up with the hair trends, she was going to teach me. She pulled the dining chair up to the kitchen counter and taught me how to perm her hair. Which then led to French braids, French twist and other updos. I became obsessed and started playing with everyone’s hair. I would get in trouble in class cause I was braiding hair during work period.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE IN SEATTLE? I’ve really been into intimate weddings. We did a wedding at Zoe Events recently. It feels like a little secret garden in the middle of the city. I can’t wait for the day that a couple give us total freedom to do whatever in that space. I want to recreate that moment in The Great Gatsby movie when he meets up with Daisy at her cousin’s house. He had the whole place decked out with tons of flowers, sweet treats and cakes. SOOOOO DREAMY!!!

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LINDA DERSCHANG, RESTAURATEUR

Linda Derschang is the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, which owns and operates six neighborhood cafes, bars, and restaurants in Seattle. With so much success, Linda has rightfully earned the title “Queen of Capitol Hill.” Her signature aesthetic –– rustic, Scandinavian-inspired, vintage–– can be found in each space, big or small.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the Seattle summers. After nine months of grey, it is such a treat to spend so much time outside and on the water.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN THE SEATTLE FOOD SCENE? Ever since moving to Seattle I have known people who are involved in food, art, and music. After opening Linda’s Tavern in 1994, it was just a natural progression to move into food.  

TELL US WHERE YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING OUT WOULD BE FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT. My ideal eating out day would start with Vif in Fremont for breakfast. I love their smoked trout tartine. Then I would pop over to Juicebox in Capitol Hill for lunch. They have amazing juice and salads. Le Caviste is just a few blocks from my house downtown so I often head there for wine, bread, and cheese, or charcuterie in the evening. I would  finish out the day at Stateside in Capitol Hill.

Follow @lindaderschang

 

ABRAHAM VU, BOUTIQUE TOY SHOP OWNER

Abraham Vu and his family moved to Seattle from Edmonton in the late ‘90s. He’s spent most of his career at tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, until he recently quit the corporate world to pursue his dream of starting a boutique toy shop, curating collectible and designer toys under the moniker Made to Scale.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? The diverse mix of culture, food, and the great outdoors. Seattle’s culture has been flourishing with the recent come up of tech companies and startups, leading to the increase of new food spots and developments in the city. I also love that you don’t have to drive very far to be surrounded by water, mountains, or the forests of the Pacific Northwest; what’s not to love!

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO COLLECTING TOYS? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into collecting toys at some point in my life. My passion started as a kid the day I received my very first Transformers toy from my parents as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve collected everything from He-Man and Ninja Turtles, to Marvel toys, to now the more art-centric collectibles. I’m a huge sneaker collector, too, and the designer vinyls go hand-in-hand with sneaker culture. I think what appeals to me the most about toys is seeing the progression of the hobby so deeply rooted in my childhood to now being fully engrained in my life and my appreciation for them as an art form. I have always viewed toys as the artistic process of starting from a 2D art drawing, manifesting into its 3D representation.

YOUR FAVORITE TOY RIGHT NOW AND WHY? My favorite toy right now is the 400% Jackson Pollock Be@rbrick, from the Japanese company Medicom Toy, a collaboration with the late American painter. What draws me to this piece is that it perfectly captures the essence of Jackson Pollock’s work and makes for a great display piece in any collection. Medicom Toy is definitely my favorite toy company because of their collaborations with high profile artists and brands such Andy Warhol, Kaws, Nike, A Bathing Ape, Daft Punk, just a name a few.

Follow @madetoscaleshop

 

NIN TRUONG, DESIGNER

Splitting his time between Seattle, California, and Japan, Nin Truong kind of does it all. He runs a small design studio and gallery called WKND with his partner Christa Thomas, which is home to serveral in-house projects: Maiden Noir, a men’s and womenswear line, Blk Pine Workshop, a lifestyle, accessories, and furniture collection, and a small neighborhood coffee shop called Café Weekend. Along with the design studio, he is the design director for Stussy and to top it off, he has recently started a new project called the Da Da Da Gallery. Located in Seattle’s little Nihonmachi/Japantown, it is a revolving creative and contemporary space for work that can transcend from multiple dimensions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I really love the geography and setting in Seattle. It’s a major city but is tucked away between the water and the mountains. I’m always reminded about how much I love Seattle when I’m flying back home.

YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND WHY? My favorite or part of Seattle is the South End (Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Seward Park). There’s a lot of diversity and food choices are pretty amazing. There are still little immigrant restaurants and shops sprinkled throughout. Seward Park is great for swimming and there’s a few good loops for trail running.

HOW WOULD DESCRIBE SEATTLE MEN’S STYLE? It’s a mixture between laid back outdoorsy and contemporary. There are remnants of the grunge era still around, that’s part of the laid back vibe. Filson is based out here, along with several other outdoor brands, so that has an influence. Then there’s a great design and art community in Seattle. It’s much more contemporary — almost Scandinavian or Japanese in sensibility.

Follow @maidennoir

Bonus: We have an unreal Seattle flash sale happening right now! Shop the city’s brightest boutiques and designers at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. And go >

The Insider’s Guide To Seattle

As the largest metropolis of the Pacific Northwest, there is no shortage of things to do, sites to see, and people to know in Seattle, WA. The city has something for everyone, from picturesque mountains to diverse neighborhoods, all sandwiched between the epic Pacific ocean and the second largest freshwater lake in Washington. Seattle is famously known for its iconic Space Needle, rainy reputation, and being home to the first Starbucks — but we wanted to dig a little deeper and uncover the city’s lesser-known gems. Plus, it also happens to be the home of Garmentory’s stateside HQ. This is where our network of local boutiques and designers comes in. Not to brag, but we happen to work with some of the city’s coolest creatives, so instead of relying on dusty tourist books or travel apps, we asked them to reveal the best places to eat, drink, and people watch. Start planning your west coast adventure now.

WHERE TO EAT

“Food is high on the list of reasons why I love this city,” boasts Alisa Furoyama, co-owner of design shop Glasswing. She suggests heading to “Single Shot, especially for weekend brunch, Harry’s Fine Foods for breakfast or lunch, Juicebox for a wellness shot, Plum for vegetarian, and Agua Verde for summer tacos.”

Single Shot, 611 Summit Ave E

Harry’s Fine Foods, 601 Bellevue Ave E

Juicebox, 1517 12th Ave #100

Plum Bistro, 1429 12th Ave

Agua Verde, 1303 NE Boat St

Julia Briggs, founder of New Jersey boutique Mothers + Daughters, recently made the move to Seattle and like Alisa, she loves Harry’s Fine Food for brunch!” She also notes “Suika (below) and Japanese food in general. The sushi here is amazing.”

Suika, 611 Pine St

Image c/o Suika

Suk Chai, designer of womenswear label SCHAI, has a few must-eat recommendations: “Sitka and Spruce, Oddfellows, Whale Wins, Walrus and Carpenter,” she suggests.”You can’t go wrong dining at restaurants who create food inspired by locally sourced and foraged ingredients,” she adds.

Sitka and Spruce, 1531 Melrose Ave

Oddfellows, 1525 10th Ave

The Whale Wins, 3506 Stone Way N

The Walrus and the Carpenter, 4743 Ballard Ave NW

Deborah Roberts, co-owner of Belltown boutique RIZOM and the designer behind ready-to-wear line Silvae, reveals that Cascina Spinasse is her go to for a special meal. “They focus on recipes and techniques from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, while incorporating products of artisans and small farmers from the Pacific Northwest.” Her inside tip: “Sit at the bar where you have a great view of the open kitchen and can watch the pasta being made by hand.”

Cascina Spinasse, 1531 14th Ave

WHERE TO DRINK

Images c/o Sun Liquor

Forget Starbucks, Seattle has what feels like a limitless amount of places to grab a cup of Jo. The two best according to our Alisa and Suk: Analog and Caffe Vita.

Analog, 235 Summit Ave E

Caffe Vita, multiple locations

Now let’s talk happy hour. “If it’s a weeknight, Foreign National for interesting flavors,” says Alisa, “or Sun Liquor (above) for cocktails and something cozy.” Deborah is also an advocate for both Foreign National and Sun Liquor.

Foreign National, 300 E Pike St

Sun Liquor, 607 Summit Ave E

“Nothing beats the Fremont Brewery,” Julia argues. “We have kids so it’s hard for us to go out a lot and this place is so wonderfully family friendly! Not to mention the view! Swoon. If you’re looking for a good mixed drink, Oddfellows in Cap-Hill makes my favorite bourbon cocktail.”

Fremont Brewery, 1050 N 34th St

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

Image c/o Molly Moons

Deborah has a whole day planned where you can sneak in some ideal people watching. “In the heart of Capitol Hill, Oddfellows cafe/bar is a great place for people watching. Afterwards, grab ice cream at Molly Moons (above) on east Pine Street  and head to Cal Anderson park, or go down the block to Elliott Bay Books for some travel reading.” Okay, that’s three times Oddfellows has been suggested. As the ideal place to grab a bite, drinks and people watch, it’s officially at the top of our list.

Molly Moons, multiple locations

Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave

Elliott Bay Books1521 10th Ave

“I’d have to say the Ballard farmers market (below)!” says Julia. “We love strolling through all the farmers markets in Seattle and we’re so lucky to have them in different neighborhoods year round. We spend all day Sunday between Fremont and Ballard checking out local makers, vintage sellers and farmers. It’s a dream.”

Ballard Farmers Market, 5300 Ballard Ave NW

Image c/o Ballards Farmers Market

Suk heads to The Olympic Sculpture Park (below). “You get the locals and you get the tourists. You get the earth and art-conscious, and you get selfie addicts. All are worth watching,” she confesses. That sounds like the ultimate people watching day.

Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave

Images by Benjamin Benschneider

Bonus: We’ve teamed up with these guys for an exclusive flash sale! Shop ‘em all at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. This way >

Lead image by Benjamin Benschneider

Woman We Love: Eden Hagos

It’s been an inspiring summer for Eden Hagos. The Sudan-born, Los Angeles-based DJ has spent part of the dog days traveling throughout East Africa, wholly absorbing the beauty of her land and culture, which, she says, have always been a point of reference for her, creatively.

Of course, Eden has made a name for herself with the way she blends her ties to her roots with an instinctive ability to cultivate the freshest, most original beats. She honors representation, diversity and innovation through thoughtful sampling and re-worked cuts (her latest playlist, “Her Favourite Beats,” is a perfect example), remaining firmly entrenched in respect and positive energy.

It’s a thread of integrity that not only weaves into the fabric of Eden’s work, but also how she navigates through life, from mindful style choices to the way she commands her place in a male-dominated industry. A thread that’s made her a go-to for tastemaker label Soulection and festivals like Women In Music and Afropunk. “I pride myself in being a strong, opinionated woman driven by a strong moral compass,” she adds. “If it doesn’t feel good to me, I won’t engage in or support it.”

With open ears and an assured sense of self, Eden’s star continues to shine, enlighten, and rise.

YOU’RE IN ETHIOPIA RIGHT NOW. HOW HAS THE TRIP BEEN? It’s been amazing! The continent of Africa is home. I’m Eritrean by heritage, but I was born in Sudan and immigrated to the U.S. as a toddler. I’m a proud Habesha, which is an umbrella term for individuals from Eritrea or Ethiopia.

I love traveling, whether it is for a music gig or a consulting project. For me, there is nothing more inspiring and eye-opening than leaving your hotel and going for a walk in a new city, especially at night. The sounds you hear, the street style you see, the food you smell and conversations you overhear — each of these add strings to the fabric of your soul. I always make sure to soak in as much as possible.

ON INSTAGRAM, YOU’VE POSTED SOME WONDERFUL VIDEOS OF MUSIC AND DANCE FROM YOUR TRAVELS. WHAT KIND OF ROLE HAVE YOU SEEN THESE THINGS PLAY IN EAST AFRICAN CULTURE? The various tribes and ethnic groups of each East African country have their own distinct music, culture and tradition. Music and dance has always played a vital role in my culture. It means so much more than having a good time. In many ways, African music is a utilitarian function used in vital aspects of life such as a child’s naming ceremony, initiation rights, religious ceremonies, etc.

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ANY ARTISTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT WHILE YOU’VE BEEN THERE? Yes! I discovered Jano band while I was in Ethiopia. I was in town at the time working on a story for an online women’s platform and our translator found out I was an a DJ. He was a big fan of the band and took me to a record shop on my last day to purchase their album for me as a gift. I love what Jano band represents, which is this new sound that blends traditional East African music with more modern rock and future beat sounds. I would love to see them try and attempt a crossover here in the United States. I think they have a shot and I would love to help them attempt that.

YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT HOW A FUGEES ALBUM FIRST SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN BEATS. WHICH RECORD WAS IT AND WHAT DID YOU REALLY CONNECT WITH? During my adolescence, I had a step uncle come and visit our family. It was our first time meeting him and he asked me what I wanted as a gift, so he brought me the Fugees album. Lauryn Hill resonated with me because she addressed topics I could relate to, such as feminism and spirituality. Her honesty and openness was incredibly inspiring and she represented a natural, wholesome look which spoke to me. It is because of her that I always say representation matters.

YOU JUST RELEASED YOUR NEW PLAYLIST, “HER FAVOURITE BEATS.” WHAT KIND OF VIBE WERE YOU GOING FOR? A chill vibe. I honestly just wanted to put together a compilation of songs that I had discovered over the past few months, including while I was in Ethiopia. I wanted to share the music that has been inspiring me.

THE PLAYLIST FEATURES GREATS LIKE BARRINGTON LEVY AND SADE, BUT ALSO SOME LESSER-KNOWN ARTISTS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A COUPLE OF THEM AND HOW YOU DISCOVERED THEIR MUSIC? The selections reflect the different sounds that have shaped me as an artist. Most are sample, reworked beats which are what I am actually known for and enjoy most. I love to find unique sounds and find a way to bridge together different cultures, genres and sounds. As an aspiring producer and as a selecta, I tend to tune in to samples and instrumental usage when I listen to music.

YOU ALSO INCLUDED RAMRIDDLZ’ TRACK, “HABAESHA.” HOW HAS YOUR CULTURE INFLUENCED YOU CREATIVELY? My culture/Africa has been and will ways be a reference point for me.

YOU ALSO INCLUDED RAMRIDDLZ’ TRACK, “HABAESHA.” HOW HAS YOUR CULTURE INFLUENCED YOU CREATIVELY? My culture/Africa has been and will ways be a reference point for me.

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY CHALLENGES BEING A FEMALE DJ WORKING IN A MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES? Yes, I have experienced unique challenges because of my gender. However, I have been able to overcome these challenges by staying true to myself. I pride myself in being a strong, opinionated woman driven by a strong moral compass. If it doesn’t feel good to me, I won’t engage in or support it. I have to be picky about the artists I support and labels/brands/companies I work with. I’ve been inspired by fearless women who have been unafraid of the ridicule, double standards and any other setbacks. I also make sure to surround myself with a close knit group of friends and mentors that genuinely care about my well being.

LET’S TALK STYLE. DO YOUR ONSTAGE AND DAY-TO-DAY STYLES DIFFER? WHAT DO THEY REPRESENT ABOUT YOU? My day and night slightly differ. I like to keep everything simple and clean. I tend to get overwhelmed with over-the-top ensembles. I’m into African inspired breathable clothing with lots of movement and a minimal aesthetic. I also love everything green and earth tone, I’m very inspired by nature. Minimalism is top of mind for me. I truly believe that if you want to lead a minimal life, assessing your wardrobe and living space is a great place to start. You have to de-clutter and get rid of what you don’t need, so you can make room for new energy.

HAVE YOU PICKED UP ANY SPECIAL PIECES WHILE YOU’VE BEEN IN EAST AFRICA? I purchased several dresses, gold, lots of fabric and traditional incense for Bunna (coffee) ceremony.

THROUGH YOUR WORK, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO BRING YOUR LISTENERS? I’m just being myself and I hope that shines through and resonates with people. I stand for greater representation of people of colour and women in music and technology. My hope is to facilitate experiences, offer platforms for individual’s voices to be heard, and for people to find a connection to their own stories through my music and other artistic projects.

eden-hagos.com

By Yasmine Shemesh.