Imagine a jigsaw puzzle. Now imagine creating a jigsaw puzzle from scratch. Now, imagine that instead of a rectangle, your finished puzzle will be in the shape of a dress, but you can’t have any pieces left over. Ok, stop imagining. You’ve just mentally gone through the design process of Daniel & Marge, co-creators and masterminds of the new NYC-based line 100%NY. Their creations are 100% Chic, 0% Waste, with the majority of materials sourced locally and everything manufactured in NY.
Daniel and Marge both studied fashion at FIT. Marge has a background in intimates and is driven by fit. Daniel did a stint in sales and worked between the US and Italy for a while before teaming up with Marge to launch the line 18 months ago.
After graduating FIT, Daniel couldn’t find a fashion company that he wanted to be a part of, because there are a lot of things he dislikes about the industry. As someone dedicated to “fashion first,” he also doesn’t care to “dress like a hippie” in order to be sustainable. So, he and Marge combined a high-fashion aesthetic with their desire to minimize waste, and a line of gorgeous, eco-friendly, locally-produced, minimal-waste pieces was born.
The process has come a long way since they started. In the beginning, Daniel would come up with a design, cut out a rectangle of material and wing it. At a certain point, Marge would take over and strategically place the leftover scraps in ways that enhanced the design itself. As this process repeated itself, it got more and more streamlined. Now, Daniel says, they color-code everything with sharpies and have the system down to a science. There really is almost 0% wasted. Daniel conceded that they place a very small wastebin under their sewing machines to catch teeny scraps, but added that it takes at least a month of production to fill it. That’s an A+ in my book!
You can really see their design process in this, the Tara Tee. Daniel told me that when the basic shirt was cut out, there were leftovers in 16 different pieces that were then added to the design. Behold:
The materials are sourced mainly in the US, with a few exceptions mostly from Japan. They try their best to hit as many of the sustainability categories as possible. By my count, they fall into the following: Made in USA, eco-friendly, zero waste, and ethical. Not too shabby. When they do use leather, they use an ethical leather (for more on the great leather debate, see this post).
100% NY is less than two years old, but has clearly arrived on the fashion scene with a bang. Within the first three months, Jennifer Hudson was spotted in one of their dresses!
For their current season, Daniel and Marge have teamed up with fashion bloggers Rachel et Nicole: With their vision for flowers, and the haunting motifs of the collection, 100% NY brings you the look for Spring/Summer 2012. Rachel et Nicole breathe life into the [SPINE.], which beautifully eliminates fabric waste, and is the detail around which the collection is based.
For more info and to shop the 100% NY collection, check out their website. I look forward to working with these awesome designers and seeing many many more collections to come!