A warm “thank you” to Laird Borrelli-Persson and Vogue for interviewing Natalie and including Alabama Chanin in their recent article, “How the #WFH Movement Could Reshape Fashion.” Read excerpts below and view the entire story here. Also big love to Vogue for uniting all 26 global magazine editions with a forward-looking theme of ‘hope’. (If you haven’t heard about their initiative, learn more here.)

“A growing number of independent designers are decentralizing fashion, or taking it ‘off the grid,’ in the sense of choosing to work at a remove from a fashion capital, or withdrawing from cities altogether. They are quiet revolutionaries, changing the system by literally stepping outside of it. Not only are they finding new ways to work, often in more environmentally friendly and humane ways, they are also recalibrating it by rethinking what success can look like. Before delving into their stories, it’s worth stepping back for a brief look at the remapping of fashion in the post-war period, as the axis that was created then still frames our way of thinking about and valuing fashion now, even though it has been a long time since there was a strong correlation between where clothes are designed and where they are made.” 

The case study for ‘off-the-grid’ fashion was created by Alabama Chanin who, in 2000, headed to Florence, Alabama, to work on what she thought would be a one-month project. Her idea, she says, was to make 200 one-of-a-kind T-shirts by hand, and she went home ‘to search for the elusive skills of hand-sewers who were raised in the quilting tradition.’ Twenty years later, she’s still there, an integral part of a community who is working with fashion responsibly and with transparency. She’s also deeply involved in philanthropy. ‘I never underestimate the value of this community and of being able to work in a global industry from my small town,’ says Chanin. ‘Additionally, in being removed from the ever-increasing pace of the industry over the last 20 years, I was able to build my work and business at a pace that felt realistic to me.’”

Also featured in this story is a roster of independent designers who have established their studios in towns, villages, and cities across the world and are finding “new ways of working at smaller scales, breaking with traditional ideas and embracing the notion that there’s no one measure of success.”

Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund of CMMN SWDN | Sweden
Katie Roberts-Wood of ROBERTS | WOOD, the English countryside
Gary Graham | Franklin, New York
Anne Karine Thorbjørnsen | Norway
Sandra Sandor of Nanushka | Budapest, Hungary
Alejandro Gómez Palomo of Palamo Spain | Posadas, Spain
Billy Reid | Florence, Alabama
Ernesto Naranjo of Maison Margiela | Southern Spain

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