Sustainability, organic production and quality with the possibility of longevity are why Devon’s Drawer were our Pirouette One To Watch Award Winners (Fashion AW18) at Playtime NY back in February this year. Flash forward in the childrenswear calendar and they are ready to launch their exquisite heirloom AW18 collection on-line from the 24th of August.
The pieces are made from beautiful organic fabrics, some featuring gorgeous cotton lining (equally organic). Just make sure to look out for the plaid recycled wool bomber! This is a family business Mother and daughters creating children’s garments to be passed to and from siblings and through generations. Let’s find out more from our award winners Devon’s Drawer…
How many individuals make up Devon’s Drawer and what are your roles?
There are three of us: Cynthia, Meera and Angelica. Cynthia is the family matriarch, and designer for Devon’s Drawer. Angelica and Meera are her daughters. Meera manages social media and the website, styling, and photography. Angelica helps with project management, and helps with styling.
What are your backgrounds? And how did you get into design for the children’s market?
- Cynthia has a BA in Applied Arts specializing in textiles. And she has sewn all of her life (seriously, she started sewing when she was 3 ½!). She has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia where she has been inspired by the traditional fabric arts, particularly in India.
- Meera is a lawyer with a love of art and beautiful things. She has an inspired aesthetic and helps to bring our passions to the world.
- Angelica is in advertising and has a keen eye for style, and organization. She has supported our growth with her project management skills.
What do you believe good children’s design to be…?
We think that the children’s clothing should look great, fit well and feel lovely for the child. We want children to pick our clothing out of their wardrobe first. And for the parents our clothing should wear well, be easy to wash, and last so it can be passed down to other family members.
Where do you find the inspiration for your collections?
Cynthia’s mother (Meera and Angelica’s grandmother) loved dressing up, and dressing her children up. Cynthia’s first memories involve tiny white gloves on Sundays with a little pink beaded purse, and smocked dress (made by her grandmother), frilly socks and patent leather shoes. She grew up with the idea that one should always look “nice”. In the 1970’s, Cynthia travelled extensively through Europe and Asia and discovered beautiful cottons and woolens, and also saw the amazing variety of clothing that people wore around the world. From the simple and elegant clothing worn by Swiss hausfraus, to the amazing fabrics in Milan, to the colorful and richly embroidered clothing from Rajasthan. And finally, we work to be good custodians of mother earth, so of course we are inspired to use organic fabrics and low impact dyes.
What is your company’s ethos?
We are committed to local, ethical, sustainable, slow fashion. We’ve been moving our operations away from the seasonal treadmill and towards being seasonal agnostics. To this end we are moving our favorite items to a core collection, both to slow down our production cycle and to make sure that our favorites will always been available.
In terms of production we are a small local business and work with other small local businesses. All our clothing is made from start to finish in Los Angeles. Our clothing contractors, like us, are working towards a sustainable future. We have a select group of shops that carry our goods, and we work with stores that share our values. We want to make sure our customers are happy with what they have purchased.
Describe your range of products?
We carry a lot of things, from hats to outerwear and everything in-between:
- Overalls and Shorteralls (??)
- Shorts for boys and girls
What are the main materials you use?
We use a lot of organic cotton, organic cotton/hemp blends, and linen. We love hemp, it’s so durable and doesn’t stain. For winter we love wool. We use wool woven at Woolrich Mills in Pennsylvania, which is one of the last remaining wool mills in the United States. We love recycled fabrics; for Fall 2018 we used a beautiful recycled wool, and a recycled polyester/organic cotton blend.
We dye all our fabrics in Los Angeles using low impact dyes. Finally, whenever possible we use fabrics designed and/or woven in the USA.
In how many countries can we find your label?
We have stores that carry our designs in Canada and the US, and we also have a few online shops that carry our clothing. We also have our own web-shop where people can buy our clothing.
Countries of manufacturing?
All our clothing is made in Los Angeles, CA.
Where would you like to take the label in the future?
We would like to expand our reach so that our designs can be found in stores around the world. Particularly, we’d like to find some retailers in the European and Asian markets. We are also working on having a core collection, so that people can come back for their favorite items from season to season.
Any news from when we last spoke?
We are changing the way we look at the traditional seasons. Traditionally, fashion operates on a seasonal basis with new items every season. However, we’ve found this doesn’t work as well both from a sustainability perspective, and for people in different parts of the world who may be in a totally different season than we are currently experiencing. So we are moving towards seasonally agnosticism, in other words having items available year round for cool or warm weather.
3 words to describe your next collection?
I’m not sure if this question is regarding our Fall 2018 collection or our Spring 2019 collection. Three words to describe our Fall 2018 collection are textiles, simplicity, elegance. Three words to describe our Spring 2019 collection are florals, embroidery, textiles.
Finally, where do you keep your Pirouette One to Watch ’Spyglass’ award?
Cynthia has it hanging on the wall sconce next to her sewing machine where she makes samples and dreams up new designs!
Devon’s Drawer AW18
AW18 collection launches on-line 24th August .