Batsheva Hay New York Designers Lyndsey Butler Veda Collina Strada Hillary Taymour Shop Local Support Covid-19

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Shop Local: Support the Designers you Love

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“Nowhere do people dress more freely and expressively than in New York.” Three designers on NYC style and how we can support the local fashion industry right now.

In New York, anything goes when it comes to style. A quintessential part of what makes this city so visually exhilarating is the spectrum of looks you can expect to see on any given day. In New York, the people-watching is unsurpassed, individuality celebrated. For this reason, New York has long been a creative center for many of the world’s most exciting design talent. Here, we talk with three of our favorite local designers about the defining role fashion and style play in shaping the city’s cultural identity, the challenges faced in the wake of Covid-19, and how we can support. 

Lyndsey Butler, Veda 

“Born in Texas, raised by New York City,” reads the opening salvo of Lyndsey Butler’s biography on the Veda website—the clothing label she founded in 2008 at the age of 24. Since inception, Lyndsey has expanded her offering from a capsule collection of leather staples to a full ready-to-wear line achieving high praise along the way and setting the benchmark for fit and quality. From excess fabric, Lyndsey has also been making limited-edition face masks.   

What are the main challenges you are facing right now?

Lyndsey Butler: One of the biggest challenges for me personally is trying to navigate running my business day to day—managing my team, chasing down past due payments, renegotiating lease terms, applying for loans and grants, order cancellations, delivery extensions etc., while also trying to be creative at the design/product level and thinking creatively about what the future looks like for our brand. This balance has been tough because honestly, it is easier to deal with the day-to-day work stuff that is coming up, but I know it is important to use this time to prepare for a new future if we want to survive.

Also, we make a lot of our product to order in our downtown studio, just a few blocks away from the SoHo Grand on Canal Street, and with the stay at home orders, we are unable to reopen and hire back our manufacturing and factory staff so we have a backlog of orders that we are unable to fulfill. The safety of the team and our community is most important so I am not upset about that. I just wish there was a way that this work could be done remotely as well.

 

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How can we support the local fashion industry during this time?

LB: I think if you have any extra spending money that you can put back into our local economy, do it. By shopping online directly with your favorite independent designers and retailers instead of bigger national retailers your dollars are making a big impact on the real people who live and work in New York. 

Some of my favorites: Nikki Chasin, Collina Strada, Susan Alexandra, Nomia, Upstate, Cafe Forgot, Anthom, Warm. 

How do you think fashion is central to New York’s identity?

LB: New Yorkers have style. Bottom line. Fashion and style are such a defining characteristic of the city. After 18 years in New York, I am still inspired daily by outfits I see on the streets. A little less so lately since I only go out once every 10 days or so and there aren’t many people out, but for me, that has also made getting dressed for those moments out in the world even more fun. I have been dressing pretty crazy, probably a combination of house arrest and being very pregnant. 

Hillary Taymour, Collina Strada 

Hillary Taymour is the designer behind one of New York’s most progressive brands, Collina Strada. We got in touch to talk about how we can support the local fashion industry and discovered Hillary has been hard at work creating a quarantine collection comprising 44 one-of-a-kind pieces, created in collaboration with Charlie Engman and Tomihiro Kono. Hillary and Charlie used materials that were on hand in the studio and repurposed them with dye and Swarovski crystals. Tomi used scrap hair in his studio to make unique masks. Each piece was auctioned off in the lead up to Memorial Day with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to individual charities.

 

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What are the main challenges you are facing right now?

Hillary Taymour: Just keeping it going. Manufacturing has stopped and stores are demanding product. There’s very little we can do at the moment. 

How can we support the local fashion industry during this time?

HT: Shopping small, shopping directly to small brands, websites, and promoting things you love!

How do you think fashion is central to New York’s identity?

HT: New York is an amazing place where you can outwardly express yourself without judgment. So many unique individuals with great style. We use clothes to represent our personalities here, it’s beautiful.

Batsheva Hay, Batsheva 

Batsheva Hay launched her namesake label in 2016. Since then, her ready-to-wear line of dresses for women and girls has amassed widespread recognition for its subversive take on historical looks including the one that started it all—a vintage Laura Ashley dress. Batsheva is also currently selling reversible cotton face masks with twenty-five percent of proceeds going to Food Bank for New York.

 

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What are the main challenges you are facing right now?

Batsheva Hay: Cash flow and fear.

How can we support the local fashion industry during this time?

BH: Support local designers as much as you can; buy a t-shirt, a face mask, whatever works for you. And just stay safe. 

How do you think fashion is central to New York’s identity?

BH: Clothing and expression go hand in hand. Nowhere do people dress more freely and expressively than in New York. 

WORDS Edwina Hagon 

PHOTOGRAPHY Alexei Hay, courtesy of Batsheva Hay 

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