At ATTYRE we love clothing with good stories behind them, and our latest Upcycle Idol is Brooklyn Based Erin Blank, who crafts from repurposed, reclaimed fabrics. Her label Erin Elsie was established after her love for thrift store finds and the inheritance of her Grandmother Elsie’s wardrobe led her to leave the corporate fashion world and begin her own creative upcycling project.
Now with a successful online store, Erin is constantly on the search for the perfect vintage fabrics, from a man’s patterned shirt, to a silk dress, old clothing is transformed and given a new lease of life as detailed, modern statement pieces.
“Lovingly handmade pieces with stories that go much beyond the design.”
What’s special is the mix of old with the new, how she experiments with ageing fabrics, but her style of design is also very innovative and contemporary, for example her clutch with a built in grip (shown right) is in keeping with today’s trends.
I love finding fabrics that are really well preserved and bringing them back to life.”
Erin also creates jewellery pieces and accessories, including men’s statement ties and scarves. With an ethics playing an important role in each design, Erin ensures quality craftsmanship that counteracts our age of disposable fast fashion, often using herself as model for the label, representing ‘normal girls’ with realistic and ‘normal’ body types.
With all upcycled fashion, Erin’s work reminds us that clothes aren’t necessarily confined to one look or purpose and once you’re through, discarded in the nearest landfill . If you allow it, they can have a constant cycle through innovative transformation.These are pieces to be valued, with history behind them, and a positive message to take home – that while the next trends come and go, craftsmanship and creativity never go out of style.
‘Beyond the Fabric’ takes us behind the scenes of Erin’s designs and thought processes. Watch the documentary below.