Many of you who have been following my business from the start know that I began in 2009 as Remade USA, a leather repurposing business. I was very inspired by the idea of not using new materials to make new products as I feel there is so much waste in the world and I didn’t want to contribute to it. I repurposed jackets into bags for about three years, selling direct and wholesaling to Barneys NY for about two years. Searching for the right jackets, cleaning them, deconstructing, and then redesigning and reconstructing them is a lot of work – and it all had to be done in-house. I got a bit burnt out.
Last year, I started looking for other sources of leather waste and I found there is much remnant waste from the furniture industry. I began working with a wonderful NYC-based bag manufacturer and launched my eponymous line last year, using beautiful reclaimed nubuck leather.
I’ve been on hiatus from repurposing jackets for almost a year, but throughout the year I’ve continued to get emails from people asking me to transform a jacket they had in their closet. The stories have warmed my heart and often brought tears to my eyes. Last month, I had a realization that I couldn’t give up this beautifully emotion-driven side of my business completely and decided to re-launch Remade USA as a service.
I’m very happy to announce Remadeusa.com, a new site, devoted solely to my custom jacket-to-bag transformation service.
To celebrate the launch, we’ve partnered with The Collective to run a contest:
Submit your personal story about your old leather jacket to win a redesign into a new bag.
I’m running a few months late on this news, but I’m happy to say that one of my favorite online boutiques, Beklina, is carrying my bags. They’re stocking two totes. One is a collaboration between Lina Rennell and I using her gorgeous ikat printed faux suede. The other is my Montauk tote in camel.
They have such a beautiful collection and do such a great job of presenting it.
Thank you, Angelina!
Hello! The past few months have had some big changes. I’ve moved into a new and bigger studio space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I now have a lot more room to spread out and I’m sharing with a painter named Jackie Meier. She does fantastic large scale abstract graphical paintings and she’s having a show at Nancy Margolis Gallery that opens on March 28th. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Additionally, we’ve adopted a new member into our family! Meet Lola, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. She’s about four months old (three months in this picture) and is so much fun and so much work! She’s growing so fast and has tripled in size since we got her two months ago. I’m a little obsessed and have been going kinda instagram crazy documenting her growth.
I have been working… Last month I showed at capsule, a trade show in NYC. If you have a store or know any stores that would be a good fit for carrying my bags, please email me. I’m still taking wholesale orders and will be starting production soon on my AW2013 collection.
A great new store just opened in Beacon, NY that is carrying a beautiful collection of local, independent designers, mainly from the New York area.
Reservoir and Wood is the brainchild of the talented fashion designer, Erin Murphy of EM Reservoir. The store is stocked with awesome pieces from Erin’s collection (she has her studio in the back – every designers dream!) as well as a few other clothing designers, furniture designers, a candle maker, jewelry designers and bags (including mine!).
A perfect day trip out of the city is just an hour and a half by train to the stunning old Nabisco factory turned museum, Dia:Beacon. After getting your fill of the great installation artists Serra, Judd, Chamberlain, etc, a walk down Main Street will lead you to some cute new shops and restaurants, including Reservoir and Wood.
Grand Opening: Saturday, March 9th from 5-9pm. There will be live music and drinks to sip, plus many of the designers whose goods are for sale there will be hanging out to meet and chat. RSVP here.
It feels like forever since I’ve posted and I have a list of things I want to post about! For now, I just want to let all the store buyers out there know that I will be showing at my 2nd capsule show in a couple days, here in NYC. Wha-hoo! I have a new collection that I am very excited about, so please drop me an email for info or stop by the show!
Support your independent designer this holiday season! I will be participating in four awesome holiday sales. If you are in NYC, please come by and check them out…
It’s been a rough few weeks for many New Yorkers. I am so grateful that my home and studio were untouched. Hurricane Sandy was the worst natural disaster to hit the NYC area ever. So many people have lost their homes in the Rockaways and Staten Island. It’s been shocking and heartbreaking to see the damage that has been caused. There are still lots of opportunities to volunteer and donate. From now through the end of the year, I will be donating 10% of my profits to relief organizations working to help New Yorkers in need.
After a long break from selling wholesale (Barney’s was my last account), I finally decided it was time to get back into the wholesale game with my new collection. Last month, I showed at my very first capsule trade show. It’s a curated trade show where you have to submit an application to show there. It was a really good experience and I met buyers from some great stores… several of whom will be carrying my bags very soon! Yay!
One of the great things about being there was seeing the new collections of some of my favorite designers and also discovering some that I’d never heard of before.
The lovely ladies of Feral Childe were there and it was great to hang out chatting with Alice Wu. (made in NYC)
Next to them was Micaela Greg, a San Francisco based brand that I have since fallen in love with. (made in SF)
Speaking of San Francisco, I was happily surprised to run into jewelry designer, Vanessa Gade, who I knew from the bay area design world when I lived there a few years back. (made in SF)
I was turned on to LA brand, Black Crane, where I’ve already invested in some of their gorgeous raw-edged organic cotton comfort wear. (made in LA)
Jaclyn Mayer showed me her line, Orly Genger. She makes beautifully crafted, playful jewelry from a variety of cords and acrylic paint, which she does not dip, but hand paints on. (made in NYC)
I met fellow leather workers, Alex and Noelle of Toronto-based The Leather Atelier. We chatted a while about ethical materials, hand crafting etc. They are super talented and absolutely the nicest people you could ever meet. (made in Toronto)
There you have it. There were so many more amazing brands that I would love to add to this list, but for now these were the top ones that really stood out.
I cannot tell you how long I’ve been meaning to write about my dear, beautiful friends at Eko-Lab. We’ve been working out of the same studio space for about a year and a half and the more I get to know them, the more I appreciate their work. Melissa Kirgan and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard are a rare breed. They are artists whose medium happens to be what is typically one of the most careless and wasteful industries- fashion.
These ladies don’t follow trends and they don’t mass produce. They do what comes from their hearts and create beautiful, unique works of wearable art.
They often collaborate with artist, Jennifer Wen Ma, who will sometimes come in and hand paint a limited number of garments.
For pieces with a larger production run, they might hand silk screen Jennifer’s art onto yards of fabric. All of this happens right in our studio and it is so beautiful to see in action.
Eko-lab have recently been focusing more on accessories. They make one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, often using recycled materials such as slices of glass from bottles and other found objects.
They have also recently started working with laser cutting felted wool to make beautiful stoles which were sold at an exhibition Jennifer recently had in Beijing.
The Hudson tote bag is a large carry all made of nubuck leather. It is soft and gorgeous – especially in sage. Autumn is here and sage is such a fresh and more interesting alternative to brown or beige. I recently came across Fort Standard‘s new collection of cage necklaces and fell in love. The muted colors and brass are stunning and I think they go beautifully with my bags. I also just love all of the scents Anne of MCMC Fragrances comes up with. They are natural, complex and intoxicating without being too feminine or granola.
1. Cage necklace by Fort Standard, $280
2. Lace sweater by Micaela Greg at Beklina, $310
3. Stud ring by James Colarrusso at Love, Adorned, $600
4. Hudson tote by Shannon South, $480
5. Nuk pants by Étoile Isabel Marant at La Garconne, $380
6. Lordy loafers by Dieppo Restrepo, $253
7. Hunter parfum by MCMC Fragrances, $95