I have been making things and sourcing and re-working vintage since I was a teenager, and at 18 I moved to NYC from Vancouver, Canada to study fashion design in NYC. I then designed for large retailers for 10+ years, but was disappointed by the direction the industry had been taking, its overproduction of disposable clothing, and the part I played in that. I left the corporate fashion world at the end of 2018 in pursuit of more fulfilling work. My first hat was made as an "isolation creation" in the early days of the pandemic having a couple of vintage towels remain unsold from my vintage shop. I have always been inspired by the garments made by women in the 60s and 70s from towels they bought at department stores like Sears Roebuck, but I really wanted to think outside the box in terms of what I made with those materials!
As a textile nerd, what keeps me inspired is the textures and richness of the towels I source - they were all hand-loomed and each one is incredibly unique. Just laying out the pattern pieces and determining what portions of the textile to highlight gives me such satisfaction. I have been so lucky to see my brand grow during this abysmal time, but I take such joy in being able to market Picnicwear as a slow fashion brand made by hand in NYC (almost) entirely from vintage and deadstock materials - I now have 2 other sewists doing production for me and I take pride in paying them over minimum wage. It's been so incredible to see the community of upcyclers, makers, and vintage sellers and lovers come together through social media and I'm constantly inspired and excited by the people I get to meet. I now have a crew of people helping me source the towels since it can be hard to do so from my Brooklyn apartment! The name "picnic" actually came from my idea to have this brand embody the camaraderie and joy of people coming together, and everyone contributing something to the "picnic" table.