studio visit: amy brill

Most of the apparel we sell turns out to be designed and created by women, for women. Coincidence? Perhaps. Yet so much of what these women care about is evident in their clothing and it is not mere coincidence the clothing speaks to so many of us. We thought you might enjoy getting to know these uncommon wonderful women.

Amy Brill

Amy Brill

How did you get started as a designer?

I was a performer, a very physical performer: a mime, a clown, and a puppeteer. Each of those professions requires special costumes and props, and I made them myself. I also made doll clothes, and used sheep fleece as hair. I once bought a whole sheep fleece at a garage sale, then realized it would make a gazillion doll hairs, and so I thought, what else could I do? So I started spinning yarn. Then I wondered, what could I do with this yarn? So I learned to knit…

When I got started in clothing, I made literally everything! I thought up the yarns, then I spun them, then I knit the sweaters, then I made the label, then I made the boxes, then I shipped them.

I still hand-make some of my yarns today, one 8oz ball of yarn at a time, with a hand-cranked twisting machine.

My regular yarns, the poly-acrylic, came about when people needed something lightweight. This yarn is made for me. First I make a small piece of yarn around a foot long, I send it to a sample maker at the yarn company, and then they make my yarn for me. I wanted something you could throw into the washer and dryer.

Are you designing for yourself?

The other morning I was getting dressed and I was cracking up. Everything I was wearing had my label. And I realized I had become a brand.

I guess it starts with me. Everything is personal and I’m passionate about what I do. I still try on everything I make and wear it around the house and see where adjustments have to be made. Then I put it on other people. Each piece should look proportionately right on several different people, the way I think the proportions should be.

When I make one size, I don’t think of “one size fits all.” I just make one size, that’s all.

Women are not all built like models, but pleasing proportions work for all, and you can make your body a piece of art. Women have been told a lot of things about their bodies and looks, and it takes a long time to get over these things. You feel good and you know you look good. You have you to be, so you don’t have to worry about how you look. I took care of that.

Long-Sleeve Twist Front Sweater by Amy Brill

Long-Sleeve Twist Front Sweater by Amy Brill

By |2016-11-30T12:33:04+00:00November 26th, 2008|spotlights|

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