ColumnSometimes the best design is in the details.
Constructing a 100 percent sustainable fashion collection may never be possible, but having a team 100 percent committed to designing clothing that women can feel good about wearing is achievable; and fashion designers Daniel Silverstein and Marge Bacon of 100% NY are putting their sewing machines where their mouths are to do just that. Founded in 2011, 100% NY strives to use a selection of organic, recycled, and ethical materials throughout their luxury sportswear collections that they produce entirely in New York.
Designer Daniel Silverstein
Silverstein tells EcoSalon, “Designing has always been a part of my life. I have been drawing, taping, and sewing since I can remember, and my parents were very supportive in helping me turn my passion for using my hands into a set of marketable skills.” Nurturing his inner calling for the tactile aspects of designing, Silverstein began his first true sewing instructions in a summer program at age 11. By the time he had graduated from his teens, he was attending Saturday Live classes at FIT for high school students. Now, as a graduate of FIT in International Fashion Design with a year abroad studying in Milan, Italy, Silverstein is breaking the mold as to what luxury fashion means in today’s market.
100% NY’s most recent collection for Autumn/Winter 2012 called Aquarius, drew upon renderings rooted in the zodiac sign mixed with images from Greek and Roman mythology. Designers Silverstein and Bacon are both Aquarius, and as time would have it, the collection was born under this astrological association as well. For another layer of musings, Silverstein tells EcoSalon, “We also brought in work by Picasso for linear inspiration as well as images from the Beatnik movement for inspiration for the proportions and silhouettes.”
Source to Style
For 100% NY, their sourcing and creation process is based upon a general framework rooted in beginning locally and expanding from that out of the U.S. only if necessary.
“Bacon is the more tactile inclined of the two of us, she uses our mutual approach of starting with what we can find domestically, and then expanding to what we can source from other countries that is organic,” says Silverstein. Overall, 100% NY works diligently to use U.S.-made goods whenever possible to keep production local and CO2 emissions lower.
A glimpse inside 100% NY’s studio
Waste Not, Want Not
Zero-waste design is undoubtedly generating a buzz in the ever-evolving conscious fashion design community. This philosophy is embraced in distinct ways by different brands; for 100% NY, their staple piece is the Spine TM.
“We use all of our extra fabric, which would ordinarily be trimmed off of the pieces, to create a repetitious rectangular applique that resembles the discs of a human spine,” says Silverstein, adding that from that point, every piece is intricately hand turned and stitched in their Brooklyn-based studio to create an effortlessly chic bodycon dress.
Actor Jennifer Hudson rocking the Spine Dress
An “edgy aesthetic” often triggers more sharp, harsh images than soft and ease-infused feelings. But for 100% NY, they have captured a distinct look that fuses true comfort with an edgy sex appeal. Silverstein tells EcoSalon, “We think in New York, you need to be ready for anything at any moment. Even your yoga pants should be cool.”
Designers and friends: Daniel Silverstein & Marge Bacon
Fashion For Your Friends
Looking cool and feeling good about what you’re wearing is a refreshing mantra. Silverstein says he’s inspired by his friends and wants to create clothing that they would want to wear. Silverstein tells EcoSalon that his message via 100% NY is all about, “creating clothing at a contemporary price point that you can look sexy in, feel great in and still maintain your New York City edge while being socially and ecologically responsible.”
Sounds like a win, win in our book.