March in New York, New York!

our week of workshops and lectures with the German Center for Research and Development and the Parsons - The New School

On Friday 1st of March we arrived (a few hours late) tired and excited at Newark airport on our exhausting way to New York, Brooklyn, where Lukas, Kristina and I stayed for our 9 day travel. Saturday was a beautiful day, so first we went for breakfast: cream cheese bagel and coffee - what else. On our way back we decided to use the nice, but cold day for some outfit shots in and around Brooklyn.

Monday we kicked off our "zero-waste design in New York week" with a guest lecture at LIM college in Manhattan with lecturer Tara Maurice and Julia Helmes of the German Center for research and development. We discussed the current status quo of fashion and I introduced my zero-waste design approach with a short impulse-challenge based on zero-waste design and a following Q&A.

After our lecture we moved downtown Manhattan to discover some shops and partners and we completely fell in love with the OROBORO boutique. We ended up walking all the way to Financial District and decided to take a night-walk across Brooklyn Bridge in order to get to Brooklyn.

On Tuesday we were invited by lecturer and textile artist Victoria Manganiello to host three workshops at Parsons - the New School. Our three workshops were spread out between 12-10 pm and were based on introducing "zero-waste techniques in fashion” with an hands-on approach. After an introduction of our work, the history and definition of zero-waste we had a design sprint to get creative ideas flowing and to get the students familiar with the idea of zero-waste design. Afterwards we moved on to experience the zero-waste design approach in groups, which were working on specific techniques. The course focused on material studies, so the task included creating different surfaces and swatches for zero-waste textile design concepts based on a certain technique. The final presentation showed an overview of different zero-waste textile surfaces and design ideas. In the end we had a Q&A section about my work, now that the students knew which challenges zero-waste design and pattern-making brings along.

We are continuously excited to discover different ideas and approaches towards zero-waste design. For it is not the lack of freedom, that is killing creative ideas. Creativity and design is problem-solving, which zero-waste design constantly demands. And I can not state this enough: Zero-waste design is just an approach and a technique, which can be realised in very different ways and personal styles.

Fighting our (still) severe jet lag we dragged ourselves home after this exciting day and fell to sleep for a short night. 

Thank you so much Victoria Manganiello for inviting us to your class and allow us meet the amazing student groups - hoping to see you in Berlin this summer. Special thanks to the German Center for Research and Development especially Julia Helmes for inviting us to host the workshop.

On Wednesday we had an early start to get to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), where we got invited by Professor Juliana Cho to host a guest lecture about our work and our approach. We got to talk about our zero-waste design approach and hosted the design sprint to give all students the chance to experience the challenges and the key concept of zero-waste design, followed by an extensive Q&A session. Thank you so much Juliana Cho, for this exciting possibility to see the FIT, meet the students and share our design approach and thanks to Antara of Fashion Council Germany to bring us together. 

On Wednesday afternoon we walked uptown to Berkeley College to host our “zero-waste design techniques in fashion” workshop. After the introduction talk about our work and the history and definition of zero-waste design we moved on to our traditional design sprint about the zero-waste concept. Afterwards we worked in teams focusing on different techniques to create zero-waste designs. From creating swatches to discovering different potentials of certain techniques, over a first sketch, to developing an idea for a zero-waste design, we took the fast-track in trying to fit the entire overview of how to create zero-waste designs in a 3 hour workshop. In the final presentation everyone presented their group work and in which way they imagine to keep on developing the zero-waste idea. After our session we got to visit the “designer in residence” showroom of Berkeley College and we were especially thankful for the Berkeley umbrellas we got as it was raining cats and dogs - flood alert.

Thank you Andrea Kennedy for inviting us for this opportunity to share our design approach and work with this amazing group of students. This was such an amazing experience, organised by our dear team member Kristina. 

Thursday was not only Lukas birthday, but also the day of our exhibition. It was a beautiful get-together of intertwine arts hosted by craftwork at Victoria’s and Nicole's Brooklyn based studio, supported and organised by the German Center for Research and Development.

First thing in the morning we checked out some more stores in Greenwich Village and close to the Financial District followed by a day-time tour over the Brooklyn Bridge. The afternoon was packing and rushing through delayed trains to the beautiful studio of craftwork by Victoria and Nicole and a quick set-up together with Julia (DWIH), who brought our exhibition material of the 2022 future forum, which did not need to be reprinted, thanks to mindful DWIH.

The event from 6-8pm was a fantastic gathering of loving and lovely people, exciting talks, shared values and different approaches to use textiles, crafts and design for good. Victoria’s and Nicole’s work under the name of “craftwork” is exploring the nature of textiles and technology through installations, storytelling, and material-based research. "intertwine arts” is creating and promoting inclusive communities of weavers by partnering with organisations that provide programs and services to people with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities or chronic illness together with their families and caregivers. It was a joy to meet Ria, Maurine and Danaleah and I am so thankful to bring this meaningful woven bag, which fit my outfit perfectly, back to Germany:

We cannot put into words how meaningful this night was for us. Thank you Nicole, Victoria and Julia for inviting us. You are amazing!

On Friday Lukas and I had some meeting across Manhattan and we had some time in-between, so we decided to see New York from the water and took the ferries to get from meeting to meeting. In the evening we had the absolute joy to have dinner with Juliana Cho (professor at FIT) and her husband Craig at ZouZou’s in Manhattan. The food was an amazing fiest of Lebanese food. I completely fell in love with the entire (extensive vegetarian part) of the menu and especially loved the five dip starter (chickpea/black garlic, roasted eggplant/pepper, whipped ricotta/saffron apricots, green tahini/aquafaba/cilantro, hazelnut/pomegranate) and the red cabbage salat. Lukas especially loved the caramelised cabbage - but really it was almost impossible to pick favourites, because food was exceptionally amazing and was only topped by the company of Juliana and Craig.

It was amazing to hear Juliana’s story about founding her own brand with two shops in New York City and throughout her successful career sticking to the concept of producing locally with a small team. In her stores with the local production attached (similar to our shop concept in Berlin) she had the chance of connecting with their costumers and creatives throughout New York until just recently starting her academic career at FIT New York as a full-time professor and lecturer. We ended this truly amazing dinner by heading to the lounge/bar area, where we were all just to full with amazing food to have what would have been a uniquely designed cocktail. 

Thank you so much Juliana and Craig for having us, for the amazing food and insights into New York entrepreneurship in food and fashion. While our entire trip was filled with amazing and memorable moments this dinner was a true highlight at ZouZou's restaurant and bar in Manhattan. And thank you Antara of FCG for making the introduction to Juliana.

Sadly on Saturday we already had to pack our bags and say goodbye not only to New York, but also to our beloved team member Kristina, who left us to go back to Hamburg. At JFK-airport Lukas and I moved on to rent a car for our 16 day road trip, which was about to start.

Best hair of all times at all times thanks to amazing Bastian Casaretto. 

„Nur Kleidungsstücke, die lange und gerne getragen werden, können nachhaltig sein.“