It has been many weeks hustling to get our apprenticeship application in, to find awesome candidates and to build the curriculum. It has been so gratifying to see it come together after many months of hard work – though I become ever more aware how long the path is. When you have your head down for so long working, it can be hard to step out and see where you are on the path. Last weekend I had the disorienting experience of finishing the Netflix show, Halston about the famous fashion designer from the Studio 54 era. Halston is reflecting back over the journey of his career that we’ve witness over the course of the season. I was moved by how I could relate to the inner workings of his mind as a designer – his drive to create a feeling from garments.
And the comparisons end there. I had a sudden, striking moment when I realized how unusual it is as a designer – to move to a town that I have fallen in love with, where I know there is a need for quality jobs, but not a single person in the workforce with garment manufacturing experience, no equipment, and no workshop and to decide that I am going to build it. How radically different this is from a designer that works in Manhattan with a room filled with skilled sewers, illustrators, fit models, and pattern makers.
That I have a completely different vision for fashion production makes what I am doing unusual – not usual. The perspective was dizzying. This is a crazy thing to do – to have a vision for a made to measure sewing workshop, to begin at the very beginning, by training people. To start from the foundation and build up with the purpose of bringing designs, a vision for womenswear and this workshop to life. And perhaps I didn’t recognize this until I learned of Halston’s radically different journey – I didn’t recognize how odd what I’m doing is. And yet the time has come for the unusual. The usual, the standard sizing, the disposable clothing, the waste, the poisoned communities, the abused workers, the fast, high stress creative environments that burn creatives until they have nothing left to give – all the business as usual is ready for a change.
So cheers to the things you are doing that are unusual as you hold and hammer out a different vision for this World. We are ready for you.
Go, fight, win.
P.S. I will be on holiday and will resume the Weekly Letter Tuesday, July 20th. Please hold us in your prayers as we wait to hear back on our apprenticeship application. THANK YOU!