Winifred Grace’s Style Muse: Her Grandma
Coolness most certainly runs in the family.
Winifred Grace grew up in an art-loving family—her parents were both avid collectors—but it was her grandmother who really pushed her into the creative life. And, damn, was this is the jewelry designer’s grandma stylin’. Get a load of her look below. —raquel laneri
“My grandmother was an artist, and she had this amazing style. I don’t want to call her a hippie—because she was more sophisticated than that—but she was a bohemian. This picture of her was a studio shot, but she actually carved those little figurines out of soap, if you can believe it.”
“My grandmother always lived close to us, and she would come over and sit with my brother and I and make things. Please note her cool pinky ring and layered chains—it makes me happy. Because of her, I knew early on that I wanted to make a living making things and selling them.”
“My grandmother was sort of a tomboy. She wore men’s wallabies—they’re like suede desert boots with rubber soles and sturdy laces—with brown corduroys. She had a very unique sense of style and marched to the beat of her own drummer.”
“When her husband died when she was in her fifties, she went and lived in San Miguel, Mexico, in an artist community, where she took all sorts of classes at the art institute there. Seven or eight years ago, I went to San Miguel and took metalsmithing classes in the same exact classroom that my grandmother had taken classes. It was a very cool thing.”
“When I went down to Mexico to take metalsmithing classes, my mom brought this sculpture my grandmother made, which weighed, I don’t know, 75 pounds. We brought it to the art institute, and the son of the man who taught my grandma during the sculpture class made a mold of it and made copies so that I could have one and my brother could have one. I have it in my studio.”
“This is one of my all-time favorite photos of her, sipping coffee with her kerchief on. I wore a kerchief like that for years before I ever saw this picture. Though she’s no longer living, I feel very connected to her. I channel her taste a lot—a lot of the pieces I make, I can see her wearing, which makes me really proud.”
comments, reblogs & likes
Of a Kind
If you’re on the East Coast today, you probably wish you could be snuggled up in this Family sweatshirt right now (possibly with Practical Magic queued up on your Netflix and a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on your lap?). The good thing is that once everything is back to normal-ish—and you’re back to wearing real pants—this cozy, sequin-fueled creation will be just as appealing. —erica
Read more about Katie King, the designer behind the line:
comments, reblogs & likes
Meet the Faces Behind Skinny Vinny
Creating solid products runs in the family.
A peek at the Skinny Vinny moodboard.
When Vincent Lai’s family moved from China to the U.S. back in the day, they ran a garment factory in New York. And, as a teenager, Vincent spent much of his time there, observing how the design and production components come together to make some sartorial magic. Although Skinny Vinny, the line of streamlined bags Vincent launched in 2008, is mostly a one-man show, for Vincent, enlisting the help of those he grew up watching seemed like a no-brainer—especially as things got busier. Prepare for some introductions. —jiayi ying
His mom: “My mom is my pattern-maker. She came to the U.S. in 1977 and took a class at FIT for a year. Later, she ran her own garment factory with her brothers and sisters. I knew general pattern-making basics just from spending time there, but, with the bags, I was just learning as I went. My mom was like, ‘No, this is how it’s done.’ I would just watch her and go, ‘Damn…’ Now I leave it to her.”
His uncle: “My uncle helps me cut. After their factory closed down, everyone kind of scattered to different jobs—my uncle went on to work at a belt factory. He’s really good with patterns and cutting, so he does all of that for the line.”
Vincent!: “If I have any ideas, I just sketch them in my notebook. Then, I refine the proportions, lock down the measurements, and sit down with my mom to make a few patterns and to mock-up samples. That usually takes a few tries. If everything goes right with the samples, we go ahead with production. Our bags are usually named after plants and trees—when I was at school, I worked with a lot of different kinds of wood, and so I thought plants were a good place to go for names.”
comments, reblogs & likes
The Bande des Quatres Designing Women
A knack for jewelry runs in the family—whether Erin Wahed likes it or not.
It’s pretty tough to get to know the mother-daughter team behind the sculptural jewelry line Bande des Quatres without saying, “Aww,” every five seconds—so just be prepared for that. To track the evolution of their collaborative bond, we got the twosome to submit some of their favorite family photos and asked both Erin Wahed and her mom Janis Kerman about their unique working relationship—that happens to operate across borders, with Erin in NYC and Janis in Montreal. Warning: Diving into what lies ahead will make you want to give your mom a big hug, stat. —jessie pascoe
“I was born 3 pounds 10 ounces. They compared me to a chicken. Here I am in the pool in Westmount Square in Montreal with Mom.”
Erin: “My mom started making jewelry when she was 15 at summer camp. Being exposed to jewelry as a child and watching my mother work, I knew that I would never have the patience to hand-make jewelry, but it always fascinated me.”
“Smiling with mom in our party outfits on our way to her one-person show at Galerie Jocelyne Gobeil in Montreal. I am one year old.”
Erin: “Each design for Bande des Quatres is collaboration: conceived by myself and handcrafted by my mother.”
“Here, I’m five years old at my father’s 40th surprise party in my favorite dress.”
Erin: “Working with my mother has truly been a gift. I’ve never had a knack for drawing. It’s always ideas for me, and she can read my mind in the sense. I’ll point to something, and she’ll know exactly what I’m thinking and how to translate it. That really works extremely well. It wouldn’t work like that with just anyone.”
“Mom and I having cocktails in our backyard with friends before heading out to my 20th birthday dinner.”
Janis: “I never imagined that Erin and my relationship would morph into a working relationship, too. As in any venture, there are challenges to overcome but working long-distance seems to be one that we have been able to surmount.”
“We’re at the Collection II launch of Bande des Quatres at the Bowery Hotel in New York on January 20, 2012.”
“It’s always exciting to see what direction Erin wants to take us!”
comments, reblogs & likes
Rachel Albright, BBQ Heiress
The jewelry designer shares her family’s tangy, finger-licking recipe.
The slaw-topped, bun-cradled finished product.
Raised in a very Southern household in a small town outside of Richmond, Virginia, Rachel Albright was the black sheep: “I was the only person in my hometown who cared about fashion and style,” she says. But for her, launching an adorably loud line Academy Jewelry didn’t mean getting the hell out of Dodge: She’s stuck around, making it possible to go on weekly square-dancing outings with her grandmother Nene and to master the matriarch’s secret barbecue recipe (that, er, shared below is secret no more). “It’s a vinegar-style BBQ, and my grandmother loves vinegar—I think I picked that up from her,” Rachel explains. “We’re convinced it’s the secret to health and to square dancing well into your nineties!” —olivia seely
10-pound pork shoulder or pork butt
1 white onion, diced
6 grabs salt (bigger than a pinch)
3 grabs black pepper
4 grabs paprika
6 glugs of white vinegar*
6 glugs apple cider vinegar*
*A glug is a generous pour. There should be enough white and apple cider vinegar to cover ¾ of the meat. Add another couple glugs if you need more after you flip the meat.
1 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green apples, thinly sliced
3 big spoonfuls mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
2 glugs apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Take the pork shoulder (or pork butt, whichever is less expensive—we’re not fancy!). Put it in a slow cooker with the diced onion, salt and pepper, paprika, or whatever other spices are lying around. Add white vinegar and apple cider vinegar to cover about ¾ of the meat. Put the heat on low and let it cook all day long—seriously: like 8 or 10 hours. Flip halfway through (if possible) and add more vinegar to taste. When the meat starts falling off the bone, take it out of the pot, pull the remaining meat from the bone, and shred it with your fingers. This should be easy to do because the meat should be tender.
Next comes the coleslaw, which is just as important as the meat around here. Mix the cabbage, carrot, and apple in a bowl with the mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and other spices if you want a little kick.
That’s it! The pork is best with coleslaw on potato roll served with, of course, sweet tea.
comments, reblogs & likes
LAYERxlayer Goes Bananas
The twosome whips up a go-to recipe, packed full of good-for-you deliciousness.
The design philosophy behind the Patrick Turiello and Leah Fabish’s accessory label LAYERxlayer infiltrates every single part of their lives—including the food they eat. As Patrick, one half of the culinarily skilled couple notes, “We really do put a great deal of thought into our daily consumption, and we experience an immense amount of joy when sharing a meal with family and friends.” Speaking of sharing: Leah bakes a mean banana bread, and she wants you to get in on it, too. The basic recipe comes from her grandmother, but she’s made some changes to ditch the gluten and make it vegan (for more on that, check out her blog). It’s time to preheat that oven. —liza darwin
1 ½ cups sorghum
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground flax seeds mixed with ½ cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sunflower oil
2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon) in a small bowl, mix thoroughly, and set aside. Cream the flax mixture and sugar in large bowl. Add the oil, then banana, vanilla extract, and pecans to the wet ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into two 8 ½-inch greased bread pans. Bake for 1 hour.
One word: Nom.
comments, reblogs & likes
Lindsey Thornburg’s Crazy-Fashionable Grandparents
Their story is one of those that make you want to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie.
For Lindsey Thornburg, style is woven into the double helices of her DNA. She created her cozy cloaks (the cornerstone of her line) out of her grandfather’s old Pendleton blanket collection—she also calls him her biggest style inspiration—and her grandmother is French. So, you know. Here’s their completely adorable tale. —raquel laneri
“My grandpa was a military man, a navigator in World War II, and he was even in a concentration camp in Germany. But he’s the one who had all the Pendletons. He had the best style—classic button-downs, overall straps that matched his flannels. He taught me you can just as easily look cool and put-together harvesting a crop or working in your garden as you can just walking down the street. He was a gorgeous, distinguished man.”
“My grandmother was stunning: dark hair, big red lips, really thick eyebrows. Her father was a French ambassador to the U.S., and she met my grandfather in a swimming pool in Tucson, Arizona. She moved to Great Falls, Montana, to be with him, but she always carried her French heritage with her. She’s now 87, and she still wears cashmere and pearls every day and has her orange juice and croissant every morning.”
“My grandparents got married just two weeks after meeting. Her family disinherited her. She never got any of the money; she never got anything. But she left it all to be with the man she loved. They moved all over the world together and had nine kids.”
“I have this photo on my desk at all times. My grandfather died when I was seven, but his impact—he was a really predominant figure in my life. He would play the piano, and we would garden together and pick snap peas and play airplane a lot. My grandmother is a quiet woman. She likes to read—she’s very cultured—and drink her rosé. Her whole wardrobe is just a pastel rainbow of all these different cashmere sweaters, and she has the most amazing taste in furniture. Her house is filled with all this amazing stuff from her and my grandfather’s travels—lots of Asian furniture and vases and calendars. I think having that exposure when I was young really affected me—or maybe my taste was just inherent!”
comments, reblogs & likes
Get to Know the Family Artigas
There is no member of the designer’s clan who doesn’t play a key role in the company.
Though the name of the line is Gabriela Artigas after its creative force, it could easily be called the Artigas Family Jewelry Project. From the very beginning, it has been a team effort: Gabriela’s mom was the motivation behind the debut necklaces, her brother helped her turn her work into a fully formed line, and her sister serves as her business-minded partner-in-crime. But, obviously, there’s a lot more to them than that. Gabriela walks us through the dynamics. —erica
“My mom used to wear this a lot. It’s mother of pearl and ebony wood.”
Her mom, Teresita Tinajero
“When I designed my first collection—if you could call it that—it was based on my mother because all the pieces were for her. She was going to a wedding in Mexico, where I’m from, and she didn’t want to wear any expensive jewelry. Now she’s the only investor in the company. She dresses really cool—she has a really nice aesthetic. I remember when I was 16, she got this orange leather jacket that I loved, and she would never let me wear it! She’s also a really great cook. I love her Mexican dishes, like chicken mole and chipotle salsa. My brother, sister, and I all have a really close relationship with my mom. She got married and had us when she was really young.”
One of Alex’s furniture designs.
Her younger brother, Alex
“When I launched the line, it was basically me and Alex doing it. Alex is very smart and super articulate—he still does all of the writing for my site. He’s always seemed older than he is. He studied architecture and now makes furniture—everything is made in Los Angeles. His girlfriend actually does all of the photography of my jewelry, and he has a baby—a one year old who has been like the best gift life has given the family.”
Tere, in jewelry, even.
Her sister, Tere
“She’s two years older than me, and when we’re together, it’s ridiculous. We’re completely opposites, and we’re together all the time. She does sales, and I do production and design. There’s always going to be a fight between sales and production—it’s hard, but it works out. And she’s an excellent salesperson—excellent. I’m shy whenever we go to trade shows, and she talks. She’s really good at what she does. Before the jewelry line, she would never, never wear any jewelry—she’s kind of tomboyish. Now you see her in rings all the time and big, chunky pieces. It’s very funny.”
comments, reblogs & likes
The Corsillo Family Business(es)
Because one cultish label just isn’t enough.
When brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo started their fabric-centric accessories line, they weren’t thinking small. Even as they were just getting The Hill-Side off the ground, another company was in the works: Hickoree’s Hard Goods, an ultra-hip online general store that now sells everything from Wolverine boots and Left Field chinos to slingshots and Big League Chew. “The original idea for Hickoree’s was to make a venue for us to sell things that we created—not just the two of us, but our family as well. My parents are both artists, and my sister is an illustrator,” explains Emil. “By the time Hickoree’s was ready to launch, it coincided perfectly with the first Hill-Side collection. It was our first family brand on our store.” And they’ve still got plenty more family projects in the works. Here’s how everyone’s pitching in.
You can’t get these yet. But we’ll let you know as soon as you can.
Their dad, George
Emil: Our parents used to throw this Day of the Dead party every year at their house in Connecticut, and my dad would make these T-shirts. They came blank, and everyone chose patches—merit badges—to decorate his own. So he’s turning that idea into a brand of bags called Kee-Aw-Kee. Kee-aw-kee was the call that our dad and his fellow Boy Scouts were taught to yell if they got lost in the woods.
Sandy: He used to yell it at us when we were kids. He only found one reference to it at the library—a thing from somewhere in New York in the fifties.
Emil: He’s using a lot of Hill-Side fabrics in the bags—so they’re a bit like brother lines. Every one of them will come with a whistle and these tags, and they’re all lined with bandannas. It’s about going to our factory, looking at what fabric we have on hand, and doing the weirdest, wildest shit we can.
The Japanese character is pronounced wa and means “harmony; peace; balance” (more or less).
Their mom, Susan
Emil: Our mom did a woodcut for us that we used to print a Japan earthquake relief handkerchief—we made a video about it. She’s also been helping us with some really cool hand-knit scarves and ties, which we’re hoping to have completed sometime this winter.
A second edition is in the works.
Their sister, Liza
Emil: Our sister—Sandy’s twin—made this foldout newsprint poster that we put in every Hickoree’s order. She’s a really great illustrator, and it looks amazing—we want her to do illustrated Hill-Side bandannas or handkerchiefs. We’ve been talking about that for a long time.
comments, reblogs & likes
Kristen’s Crazy-Creative Kin
Artiness is a family tradition.
Kristen Lombardi, the designer behind Brooklyn-based leather-and-suede accessories line Manimal, has artistic talent in her gene pool. Just about every member of her family has a crafty profession or an aesthetically-minded hobby—and the same will likely go for her latest creation: a baby boy, who is expected to arrive any day now. Here, she shares the work of her clan.
“My dad draws. He’s really talented. But he grew up without money, so it wasn’t encouraged. I went to art school. I had to learn how to draw, but he just has it in him.”
“My mom just finished this bunting for the baby. When my sister was born in 1972, my mom made one for her, and we each have one. She has eight grandkids, and each of the grandkids have one. We all got to pick colors for our kids—or at least I did because I’m incredibly fussy.”
“This is a crazy suit that my great-grandmother made me when I was in high school, when she was about 95. She crocheted it. And I wore it, which I think is the craziest thing!”
“When my youngest niece was about four, she had this amazing Disney coloring book. She colored the princesses’ capes and dresses black and all of the evil people pink and purple. She said she wanted to see if she could make all of the evil people good with good colors and the good people bad with bad colors.”
“My husband is a musician, so I’ve done his album covers. This is a tapestry I made with a T.S. Eliot line, from ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’”
“My grandparents are very Italian. My grandma has her kitchen, and my grandfather has his kitchen. They aren’t allowed in each other’s kitchens. I have my grandfather’s bread recipe—I took bread-making lessons with him for a year after college, every Wednesday. It was really intense, and it took me about six months to work up to putting olives in it. He took it so seriously. He has all of these decoy recipe books and he said to me ‘Don’t show your uncles these.’ He’ll pass down the fake ones, but I’ll know where the real ones are.”
Check out the very cool, very versatile belt Kristen designed just for Of a Kind here!