Tales of the gods have enchanted the imagination since Hermes flew to Mount Olympus in his famed winged sandals. Now the legend continues, thanks to Ancient Greek Sandals, a collection of handmade leather footwear. Designer Christina Martini and Nikolas Minoglou find creative inspiration in classical mythology and ancient Greek art. Step into their world with our Q & A, where old-world craftsmanship meets contemporary style.
Behind the Seams
Designer Ilan Delouis and Creative Director Jenny Mannerheim are the masterminds behind EACH X OTHER, a European collective of artists fusing androgynous motifs with Parisian-chic design techniques. From musicians to poets to filmmakers, this collaborative fashion brand encompasses a community where art inspires fashion and fashion questions art.
Jenny takes The Thread on a journey into the forward-thinking world of EACH X OTHER.
Eileen Fisher, a pioneer in sustainable clothing, helps us celebrate Earth Day with a look at her most eco-conscious collection to date. For spring 2014, 52% of the line is designed as part of The Eco Collection and 70% of the cotton manufactured for the entire offering is organic.
“Becoming more mindful about clothing means looking at every fiber and every seed and every dye and seeing how to make it better. We don’t want sustainability to be our edge—we want it to be universal,” says Fisher.
Smart Style: There are so many eco-chic options—from organic linens to hemp to biodegradable Tencel® to bluesign®-certified silks (Chinese silks that are dyed and finished using fewer chemicals, less water and less energy).
Garment Life Cycle: From developing eco-friendly materials to supporting renewable energy to recycling clothing, the Eileen Fisher brand is committed to designing for the environment.
A hybrid of American socialite and self-made mogul, Nicole Richie has morphed into a fashion industry darling by staying true to one philosophy: play by your own rules. The daughter of music legend Lionel Richie, Nicole fuels her predisposed artistic nature through the creative direction of House of Harlow 1960 (HOH1960), a lifestyle brand named after her daughter.
When it comes to channeling inspiration for the collection that includes everything from jewelry to shoes to sunglasses, Nicole, who is the wife to Good Charlotte front man Joel Madden, affirms that “everything starts with music. I’m a huge fan of the music of ’60s and the ’70s, so classic rock is something I listen to every day. My team and I work in a very creative space. We’ll listen to music and throw out design ideas.”
A culturalist of cool, Keltse Bilbao globe-trots professionally, seeking creative inspiration from the people she meets and the places she explores. This native of Spain lives in New York City and is one half of the duo behind footwear brand Plomo, which literally translates from Spanish to “lead.” Keltse and her partner Galia Katz, who is based in Mexico, are part of a new generation of Spanish shoe designers who are leading the way in contemporary style.
Fresh from a trip to Kenya, Keltse tells The Thread about her adventures in Africa, celebrity fans (which include the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker) and what it takes to craft the uniqueness of Plomo shoes.
Sketched into Reality: Plomo ‘Nuria’ Bootie
THE THREAD: How did you enjoy Kenya? And will we see an African influence for your upcoming spring 2015 line?
KELTSE BILBAO: Kenya was both fun and empowering. I travel a lot with my husband, and for this trip to Nairobi, we did a mix of volunteering and tourism. My husband is a musician/composer, and I’m passionate about the universal rights of women, so we teamed up with the Power Women Group in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa and the third largest in the world, which offers a music program for youth as well as business development aid to artisans who are women and are living with HIV and AIDS.
As an entrepreneur and a woman, I deeply believe in supporting this type of community-building, where people can learn and then in turn teach others how to support themselves. I was so inspired by these women, so you’ll see accents of things we designed together for spring ’15—like a sandal with special stitching, or beading and accessory straps that you can add to the shoe.
Just two years ago, Kate Ciepluch went from fashion director of an online retailer to creator of Laveer, a made-in-America collection of blazers and statement jackets–and the New York-based designer hasn’t looked back. The Thread phoned Kate to learn more about her passion and design approach on this timeless wardrobe staple.
Color meets texture: LAVEER ‘Vespa’ Mixed-Media Jacket
On starting Laveer: “My intention was to do blazers and fashion jackets, in a little bit more of an edgy and cool way but still remaining sophisticated, nothing too trendy and of the moment, something that you’re going to want to have in your closet for a long time.”
Designer Jonathan Adler teams up with Blake Mycoskie of TOMS for a second whimsical collaboration of shoes—and helps print-loving ladies complete the look with the introduction of sunnies. As we excitedly step into spring, The Thread chats with the New York-based potter on this latest partnership.
Whether it’s dressed up or worn casually, denim’s effortless appeal can’t be denied. AG design director and surf enthusiast Mark Wiesmayr walks us through the brand’s spring 2014 collection and, in the process, bares the infinite possibilities of this durable and ever-evolving fabric.
On why denim has a universal cool factor: “It’s a ubiquitous fabric. It was made as workwear originally, so it never pretends to be too formal, and after wearing it throughout the last 160 years, we accept indigo as being a part of the monochrome family. It’s wearable with anything. Effortless is how so many of us want to appear, and that is part of denim’s cool factor. The way denim can be treated and given so many different finishes is also a part of being able to express our own individuality, without being too far out from the crowd.”
Since 2003, Rem D Koolhaas, Dutch architect and shoe engineer of United Nude, has been constructing innovative footwear that pushes technological boundaries and astounds the imagination. The Thread phoned Rem, who at the time was traveling through China, to learn more about his point of view on conceptual shoes.
Angular Proportions: United Nude Collection ‘Lo Res’ Pump (Online Only)
THE THREAD: What we love most about United Nude is that you design from a place that has no limits.
REM D KOOLHAAS: Yes, we’re designing footwear to push boundaries, to experiment… Yet as a brand we’ve grown up a lot and offer a broader lifestyle range of shoes. At the same time, we’re doing more wild collaborations, theaterlike footwear, let’s say, with people like British architect Zaha Hadid or Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. This kind of balance between experimentation and wearability is what really keeps us awake more than anything else.
Mod Moves: United Nude Collection ‘Kim’ Sandal in Gold Mirror Leather (Online Only)
THE THREAD: Your theater footwear analogy is quite thought-provoking, especially thinking of some of your designs worn by characters like Lady Gaga.
REM: The good thing about celebrities is that they want to be seen. They are the most open to join the “theater of fashion,” which is basically where people wear something to really show off and make a statement. Most people in their day-to-day life don’t really want to wear things that are too adventurous, but then you have someone like Beyoncé , who recently sent us a request and desires a state-of-the-art shoe. We have continuous requests from the stylist of Lady Gaga to design shoes for her that complement her theatrical way to perform.
Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, which is why we’re so excited to celebrate the online launch of David Yurman jewelry. The precious quality and exquisite craftsmanship of this fine jewelry and timepiece collection is materialized through the partnership of its co-creators—David and his wife, Sybil, a painter, who brings a collectible-art-like character to each piece.
Starting in 1980, David and Sybil have built an internationally desired brand crafted from the alluring and pulse-charging element of the cable, which David describes as life’s rhythm. Captivated by the iconic cable motif in David’s latest line, The Willow Collection, The Thread asked the New York-based designer and sculptor to shed some light on the enchanting grace of willow trees.
David’s poem reads:
Willow’s icy reflections / Dance on the pond / My heart becomes light again