Two weeks ago, our team left New York feeling excited and energized—and with the conversation at The Standard the night before fresh on our minds. This was the third annual Makeshift, held in New York each spring during Design Week. Over the years the conversation has shifted—but our goal of learning how certain themes cross industries (and how they learn from each other and work together) stays the same.

Makeshift began as a conversation about the intersection of the disciplines of design, craft, art, fashion, and DIY—and, on a bigger level, using this intersection as an agent of change in the world. Since then, we’ve explored making as individuals, and how making as a group can open conversations, build communities, and help us co-design a future that is filled with love and promise—for planet, community, and one another.


This year we posed the question, “What can design learn from food?” Over the last decade, we’ve seen the emergence of the Slow Design, Slow Fashion, and the slow “everything” movement, patterned from the work of Slow Food International—who created the credo “good, clean, fair.” Slow Food began in 1986, just as the industry was beginning the assent to faster, faster, faster. This credo has helped to change an industry, while words like farm-to-table and #eatlocal have become sayings and tags that generations have begun to understand through the taste of a simple tomato.

We partnered with the Standard Talks in New York to host the conversation. The range of topics that were covered included raw materials, sourcing [materials], geography, craft, the act of making, and scale. The events from the week culminated into a special evening of discussion, making, and inspiration with Natalie Chanin (2013 CFDA Eco-Fashion Challenge Winner) and Ashley Christensen (2014 James Beard Award-Winning Best Chef Southeast), as their conversation connected “Love and Raw Materials in Food, Fashion, and Design”.


Other highlights of the trip included our Makeshift Pop-Up Shop at lf8. The East Village store also featured works of photographer Mary Ellen Mark throughout the month of May.


Alabama Chanin and lf8’s Lisa Fox hosted an intimate sewing workshop and fundraiser at The Lower East Side Girls Club Center for Community along with Mary Adams, author of The Party Dress Book. We selected this location because it is a source of empowerment for the community’s girls and women. The group of girls and women in attendance designed and crafted aprons, provided by each of the hosts. After the workshop, Gael Towey’s film “Portraits in Creativity: Alabama Chanin” was screened, followed by a Q+A between Natalie and attendees.


This year’s Makeshift event was used as a catalyst to propel the conversation forward, as we plan for another event this fall and a series of events next year during Design Week. Stay tuned for more…

We can’t thank our friends, partners, attendees, and collaborators enough for their continued support of MAKESHIFT.

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