With a small but versatile collection, featuring crisp cuts, plenty of strategic pockets, and soft, natural materials, a new local clothing brand is making waves. All we remember was created last year by Jacob Victorine and Noah Zagor with the intention of ethically producing highly functional and gender neutral designs. Now a collective that includes Victorine (a part-time faculty member in the Departments of Fashion Studies and English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago), Zagor (who owned the Meyvn menswear store in Logan Square), Rob Johnson, Alex van Dorp and Kiyoshi Martinez, AWR offers three styles: a four-pocket drawstring jacket, a one-pocket knit t-shirt and six-pocket drawstring pants. They are available in three colors (undyed, light or medium indigo) and cost between $ 150 and $ 410. This fall they will be adding more colors and patterns to the line, but always taking a thoughtful approach to their production. Victorine and van Dorp explain what goes into each piece they make.
What is the main concept behind All We Remember?
Jacob Victorine: AWR revolves around three words: future, nature, shapes. For us, this means using only natural, organic and biodegradable materials and traditional techniques, such as botanical dyeing, to produce functionally and aesthetically avant-garde clothing: silhouettes that adapt to a range of bodies. and genres, many functional pockets.
What do you think makes AWR special? What innovations are you bringing to the market?
JV: There are a lot of things that make AWR special, which doesn’t mean we’re the only brand doing them; however, we are part of a select group of brands that do several or all at the same time. In terms of design, we strive to truly innovate, which is especially difficult as a small company working with limited resources and only natural materials. In addition, we are one of the few brands that only use natural, organic and biodegradable materials, right down to our sewing thread and packaging. Although an increasing number of brands are using organic fabrics, unfortunately most clothing brands still use polyester, nylon or rayon thread to sew their clothes.
Outside of design, I think our philosophy is particular in the current makeup of the fashion industry; to be honest i wish it was less unique as i would like to see more brands especially the big ones prioritizing fair wages, transparency, natural materials and colorants, inclusiveness and locality in a way. holistic and structural. It doesn’t mean that we are perfect; we would like to source even more locally to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and get a better idea of our supply chain, and our collective would benefit from greater diversity.
Can you describe the aesthetics of AWR?
JV: Most of our garments are inspired by elements of workwear, sportswear or military clothing, but features the soft drape and feel that comes from our use of organic textiles. We favor functional pockets in the seams and adjustable details, such as our lichenized drawstring, which allows people of different body types and sizes to wear our clothes or one person to wear multiple sizes of the same garment.
Our garments are designed to be comfortable, while providing the structure and functionality of workwear. Most of our clothes are made from medium to heavy weight fabrics, but have the drape and handiness of pajamas, almost like someone has woken up and decided to wear their favorite blanket for the day . So while our designs and patterns are highly technical, our materials are more like bedding than work clothes. In fact, one of our suppliers for our fall collection mainly produces fabrics for blankets and sheets!
It is also important to note that many of our aesthetic decisions are driven by the ethical framework we have established around the brand; although I wouldn’t say we are an inclusive brand, since we currently only manufacture six sizes, we do think about body shapes a lot when designing. For example, our tops have large rib pockets, instead of traditional chest pockets, to be more functional for people with larger breasts; our outerwear has a box pleat in the center of the back to create space for a wider range of hip sizes; our sleeves are designed as a kimono-raglan hybrid with a dropped armhole to provide a wide range of motion for different chest and arm sizes.
Alex van Dorp: Personally, I am deeply influenced by the aesthetics of what I will call “positive for the future” science fiction, particularly “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Instead of deeply unnecessary cynicism about the future, it’s fun to think about what the aesthetics of a world would be like in which some of our most pressing social issues are alleviated, and I think that shines through. in clothing and branding. Accessible cuts, a diverse cast for photoshoots, eco-friendly materials and fair production processes, but never sacrificing inventive design and details. Dress for the world you want, you know?
What do you keep in mind when designing clothes?
JV: We think about fit, shape, feel and function. As I mentioned before, we want our clothes to be highly functional, with lots of pockets and freedom of movement, and we also want our clothes to fit a range of bodies. It is also important that our clothes do not look overworked. I like to think of our clothes as similar to poems in that they may seem simple at first glance, but they are deeply intricate in their craftsmanship and meaning when you engage with them over and over again.
While I’m not sure anyone is doing any construction work with our clothes on, we imagine people actually live there: gardening, hiking, walking, painting, dancing, writing, cooking dinner, lounging , which I am already doing or planning for the most part. to do in clothes.
Why did you decide to move to Chicago? Do you intend to stay that way?
JV: All of our current collective members are based in Chicago, and as a collective we believe in keeping things local as much as possible, both for ethics and convenience. Our cut-and-sewn partner, Blue tin production, is also based here, just like our natural dyer, Amy taylor and our boss grader, On point models. Keeping things local allows us to make adjustments faster and easier, and it also allows us to develop relationships with the people we work with. In the same way that local food movements help support and develop local farms, suppliers, grocery stores and restaurants while reducing the environmental impact of shipping, we hope to see a growing local clothing movement that gives the priority to local supply and production; if we are far from perfect according to this criterion, we hope to be able to work with more and more local partners over time.
Journalist Isa Giallorenzo was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and has elected Chicago as her beloved home since 2009. She runs the urban style blog Chicago Looks and wants to see this city become one of the fashion capitals of the world. .