The Winter Trees. Natalie’s Garden.
A Note from Natalie:
I’m sending this note while en route to Paris with Collection #67: Natalie’s Garden in tow, headed for the spring presentations. While these forty-eight new styles travel to their unveiling at the Palais-Royal, Collection #66: The Winter Trees launched online this past Tuesday. The ever-unfolding succession of collections for Alabama Chanin has been the centerpiece of my life’s work, and I’m incredibly grateful to the teams of artisans, creatives, makers, thinkers, doers, and scholars who have informed and collaborated on this work over two decades.
Join me in taking a minute to reflect on sixty-seven individual collections, more than 63,817 hand-sewn garments and the amount of love, talent, and commitment which brings us to this day. I would never have imagined this path in December of 2000 when arriving home to embark on a small project.
I’d also like to take time to recognize all of those whose lives changed forever on September 11, 2001. I’ve shared my own story many times, and this year is no different. Let us hold all of our people dear to our hearts and look for opportunities to build peace in our fleeting time on our planet.
And about fleeting time—this Tuesday, September 12th, I’ll celebrate my sixty-second birthday. The numbers are BIG: two glorious children and an inspiring granddaughter, six books, sixty-seven collections, sixty-two trips around the sun, and one full adventure of a life.
Thank you to all the friends, family, and colleagues who have brought immeasurable meaning to my world.
Two years ago—at the big 6-0—I requested that, in lieu of birthday gifts, anyone who felt called to honor me with presents would instead donate to causes that are near and dear to my heart. In 2021 I started a design scholarship at my alma mater, North Carolina State University College of Design, because I believe that design matters. Thank you for overwhelming support in this action through 2022. Read more here.
This year, I ask that you raise a glass and join me in supporting the work of Project Threadways as we begin to expand the work of advancing our mission. Supporting this important work can be as simple as spreading the word, donating a dollar, or becoming involved in any way that feels appropriate.
Project Threadways is a 501(c)(3) organization that documents, studies, and interprets history, community, and power through the lens of fashion and textiles. From raw material to finished goods, we seek to understand the impact of textiles on our community, nation, and world. In partnership with Alabama Chanin and The School of Making, we connect people, places, and materials through design, making, and education—with cultural heritage and craft preservation at the core of our work.
In June of 2023, we were humbled and fortunate to receive an anonymous donation, gifting us the time and space to explore the future of textiles and fashion through the lens of our newly crafted mission statement. This generous gift funds a year-long Viability and Constituent Study, which is expected to conclude in April of 2024. Look for updates about this work in the coming months.
Thank you to all who have contributed to Project Threadways in 1,000,000 different ways.
Follow Alabama Chanin on Instagram, subscribe to our newsletters, or reach out to our team to learn more about how to be involved.
Thank you for these twenty-three years of supporting artisan craft and the opportunity to do this good work.
Deeply grateful to one and all,