September 04, 2014
Today marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, a time when the world’s eyes are dazzled by American fashion. While the event has launched the careers of many up-and-coming American designers now firmly established in the fashion lexicon, it has not always been a shining example of clothing manufactured in America.
In recent decades many American labels have outsourced their manufacturing due to increasing production costs. But the strong crop of female designers at this season’s NYFW, like Emily Saunders of Saunder and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row, are taking up the Made in America cause and proving that its as luxe as it is a successful business model.
American female designers have been championing U.S.-manufactured fashion largely since 2007 with the inception of “Save the Garment Center”, an initiative led by designers Nanette Lepore and Anna Sui to preserve NYC’s Garment District. Over this 7-year span the “Made in America” label has undergone a complete makeover: from reserved for kitschy, small-town novelty items to the defining feature of high-end American fashion. And with much attention focused on the health of New York’s Garment District, there is a push in the fashion industry to manufacture at home.
As a manufactured-in-America NightStyle line, mia piuma is pleased to see the strong list of female powerhouses who are making their American-made mark for spring 2015. Here are a few of our favorites:
Look out for Saunder tomorrow afternoon at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street. Started by Emily Saunders in 2011, the line is produced entirely in NYC’s Garment District and features a range of eclectic and global influences. The strength of Saunder is not only in the namesake designer’s diverse travel background, but also in the interesting combination of textures in the clothing with earth-toned and punchy hues.
Another designer who exclusively produces her line in New York City, Tanya Taylor will show her eponymous collection tomorrow at Industria Studios. Her designs exude a pared-down femininity with punches of color and youthful prints, an esthetic she cultivated by growing up with “three generations of fiercely ambitious women”, according to her website. The designer has made an impression on the fashion elite, with her collection stocked at Saks Fifth Avenue and ModaOperandi.com, among others.
Just like the bright lights surrounding Lincoln Center, Edie Parker’s bright collection of acrylic clutches and handbags created by Brett Heyman are a shining example of wares handcrafted in the U.S. Launched in 2010, the line is inspired by bags carried by showgirls and socialites during the 50s and 60s. Heyman designed the “wearable sculptures” after she was unable to find vintage handbags that fit her unique point of view, and her collections feature retro mid-century details with contemporary edge.
Acclaimed for its minimalist and supremely sophisticated designs, The Row is a strong supporter of high-end fashion manufacturing in the U.S. This year, The Row will be showing on Monday, September 8. Founders Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen have made part of the value of their line not only that it uses the finest quality fabrics and perfect tailoring, but that most pieces are domestically made. The Olsens were recognized as Womenswear Designers of the Year for their timeless designs in 2012 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
NYFW not only transforms the city into an area abuzz with street style snaps, after parties and shows, but also is a floor for some of America’s best female designers to flaunt their made-in-America best. All launched within the last ten years, Saunder, Tanya Taylor, Edie Parker and The Row are quickly becoming leaders in American fashion—an impressive feat for how little time they’ve been around.