If you’re anything like me – you’ve often got your eyes peeled for innovative fashion design that also happens to be kind to both planet and people. American label 100% NY ticks all the right boxes and I’m delighted to share my interview with their passionate Brand Manager, Chris Anderson.
Q. What sparked Daniel Silverstein and Marge Bacon to stray from the pack and create 100% NY?
When Daniel and Marge worked as interns in the fashion industry, they saw first hand the piles of fabric waste typical of garment production. They knew it didn’t have to be this way and wanted to do their part to make a difference. Shortly after graduating from NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, they launched 100% NY with a passionate commitment to zero waste design. Using unique draping techniques and skillful appliqué work, they have been able to create spectacular designs with little to no waste.
Q. How would you describe 100% NY’s design aesthetic in 10 words or less?
Edgy, ethical and like nothing you’ve seen before.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what makes your label both socially ethical and eco-friendly?
In addition to zero waste design, 100% NY is committed to local production. Minimizing our carbon footprint and supporting the NYC fashion industry is important to us. We make our garments in our studio in Brooklyn and, whenever possible, we source materials from NYC’s garment center.
We are also committed to using sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton, tencel, repreve and cupro if at all possible. It’s great to be in ethical fashion today as the number of amazing eco fabrics seems to grow everyday. The internet and social media help us keep up with the latest textile innovations; however, we are always open to suggestions.
We also work to keep best green practices in mind in the daily operations of the business. From recycling office waste to limiting printed materials, it’s important for us to minimize our impact on the environment.
Q. How does the city of New York influence the pieces in your collections?
The fast pace of city life informs Daniel’s designs. He creates clothes for the urban woman who has places to go, things to do; the woman who wants to look incredible but also wants to be comfortable. We think our focus on ethical design is a bonus for this fashion forward woman.
Q. Where does the inspiration for Daniel Silverstein’s signature ‘spine’ detailing come from?
The “spine” was inspired by Daniel’s desire to eliminate fabric waste without sacrificing style. Instead of trimming fabric, as is typically done in garment production, he creates a repetitious rectangular appliqué resembling the discs of a human spine. Every piece is meticulously hand turned and stitched. Many, though not all, pieces in our collection showcase this spine detail.
|Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson rocks 100% NY’s distinctive “spine” detailing!
Q. Which eco-fashionistas is 100% NY loving right now?
There are so many wonderful advocates for eco-fashion right now! Some of our favorites include Livia Firth, Jocelyn Whipple, Summer Rayne Oakes, and Greta Eagan. We also have a mini love affair with eco-stylists who help spread the word of the beauty of eco fashion! Two of our favorites here are Lucy Harvey (the Ethical Stylist) and Jill Heller (The Pure Thread). Though not recognized as an eco-fashionista, we applaud Kate Middleton’s willingness to wear and be photographed in the same outfit multiple times! It’s funny that some media outlets consider this to be a fashion faux pas. We say YES to royal recycling!
Q. I recently read that one of the big motivators in your life was the kindness of your late Grandmother. When did you last encounter a random act of kindness that made you smile?
Oh my gosh, I don’t know how “random” it was but this act of kindness certainly made me smile! I recently celebrated a “milestone” birthday with a big dance party. My entire family (my parents, 3 sisters, one brother, their spouses and 13 nieces and nephews) traveled four hours for the occasion. The dance floor was crowded, the music was pumping when my dad took the microphone and gave a toast…then my brother gave a toast and then to top it all off…my mom and sisters took to the dance floor with masks of my face and started a choreographed dance to “Poker Face”. Within a couple of minutes, my nephews jumped in, then my nieces, then my kids…all wearing masks of my face! It was absolutely incredible! A flash mob dance for me! They all had been working together for months to make this night special. Needless to say, I was overwhelmingly happy…it was an act of kindness that will stay with me for the rest of my life!
Q. What’s coming up on the horizon for 100% NY?
We just launched our Spring/Summer 13 collection [fire under water]. Inspired by the works of artists Dale Chihuly and David Choe, the collection represents Daniel’s passion for design despite the demands of the world we live in. As Daniel says, “Through everything, beauty prevails”.
Feast your eyes on the entire Spring/Summer 13 [fire under water] collection here – as well as 100% NY’s Resort 2013, Autumn Fall 2012 and Spring 2012 Lookbooks.
You can also get a regular hit of 100% NY’s unique sustainable fashion via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their blog The Source!