I recently had a wonderful opportunity to work with someone whose interest in fashion has brought them right into the heart of it. James Howard began working with textiles and sewing during school and has continued pursuing this interest with the hope of finding a career in it.
Howard finds pieces he enjoys and combines them, creating wonderfully aesthetic pieces that are frankly a refreshing addition to menswear. His knack for embellishments and ensemble are uncanny. The day I met with him to discuss his ideas for our shoot I took immediate notice of the outfit he was wearing — an outfit that wasn't even intended for our shoot!
Though soft-spoken, Howard's warm demeanor and enthusiasm for what he does is inviting. In fashion many designers appear to be interested solely in the numbers, but my experience working with individuals working in a smaller niche tells me that they are passionate about their work and passionate about broadening their audience's horizons. Sometimes that means getting people to think about fashion in a different light, and sometimes it means getting them to take on new or taboo concepts. ILAN is an example of twisting an idea on itself to produce something people can support.
Make sure to keep an eye out for James on social media and in fashion. I bet he'll do some great things! Upcycled fashion is a growing trend that will prove to be a formidable market. Companies like H&M and Council for Textile Recycling are already hard at work on this, but the opportunities are endless.
According to some measures, the average American throws away nearly 70 pounds of clothing each year. This is often due to minimal defects like a small stain or hole in a larger garment. Many people don't realize these pieces are still highly viable. While Howard has used new items to create his pieces so far, his techniques could easily be tailored to breathing new life into old shirts, pants, hats, and more.
Are you into upcycled fashion? Are you contributing to sustainability in innovative ways? I'd really like to know about it! Let's collaborate! Shoot me an email so we can talk. Keep rocking!