Getting to Know the Makers with Corinne Collection

Corinne Collection was one of the very first independently designed clothing companies I started incorporating into the shop and will always be a real favorite of mine. The designs are minimal yet unique and the fabrics are both sustainable and comfy. Every single piece of clothing from Corinne Collection is thoughtfully designed and handcrafted by Susan Kim in her small Los Angeles studio.

This week in the 'Getting to Know the Makers' series Susan was kind enough to step away from her busy workload and answer a few questions for us.


1. What inspired you to start Corinne Collection?

I owned a fast-fashion factory before I started Corinne. During this time I saw the industry transform to accommodate consumers wants for cheaper and cheaper products. Manufacturers could only give me prices per piece that were comparable to products made in Mexico and China where laborer's wages were much lower. I knew there had to be people who cared about where their products were made and would pay a little more for an “ethical brand” so I started my small, slow and sustainable clothing line 'Corinne Collection'.

2. When and how did you learn to sew?

I first took an evening sewing class while working full time near a community college. There we worked with home sewing machines which I learned later are entirely different from industrial machines. I learned how to use industrial machines when I owned the factory in Los Angeles because I always wanted to be the kind of owner who knew how to work everything. Single needle machines and overlock machines were fairly easy to understand but it took me about a year to learn how to use a coverstitch machine (even at the fast-fashion factory it was difficult to find a good coverstitch operator because it was a highly valued skill).

3. How has your work evolved with time and what do you see for the future of your shop?

When I first launched my collection, I did a lot of draping and created a hodgepodge of designs I thought might work. Over time, I started to understand who my customer was and the direction I wanted to take Corinne. With every new collection I feel like I evolve as a designer and become more confident. With this growth I started to introduce bolder colors (like the Golden Dust I used for FW17). I’m always thinking of ways to improve the brand and am hoping to create a collection that every female can wear everyday and to eventually introduce styles that don’t have stretch in it — Corinne is currently all knitwear.


4. I can't get over how soft and comfortable your clothing collection is. How do you select the materials you use for your designs?

My one rule of thumb is to find fabrics that are soft because I really dislike wearing itchy things — I believe you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for fashion.

5. Can you define what 'slow fashion' means to you?

In slow fashion clothing can be made anywhere in the world but the company or brand needs to provide good working conditions for its laborers and fabric that isn’t made with harmful chemicals. As a designer, slow fashion means creating styles that are timeless so that consumers can wear them forever or until it’s unwearable because they wore it too much.

Shop our selection of Corinne Collection pieces in the independent + handmade' section of the shop! 

Getting to know the Makers with The Northern Market

For the second posting in the serious of 'Getting to know the Makers' I interview Lindsey Zinno of The Northern Market. Lindsey creates fiber art from cotton rope that is both practical and elegant and specializes in home goods and wearables.  Every piece you receive from The Northern Market is hand made with love by Lindsey personally.

Josh Miller of Matchbox LTD

Josh Miller of Matchbox LTD

1. What inspired you to start The Northern Market (and at such a young age)?

I began The Northern Market when I was seventeen years old. It started when I learned the coiling technique from my aunt. After just making the first basket, I was truly inspired. I grew up with my mother being a very talented sewer,
along with my aunts as well. I traveled with my
mother when she would teach sewing around the country but was never truly connected by that type of sewing. I always loved to create and make. I used to go to different art camps as a child and was drawn to structural art and sculpting as well as batik and felt-making. I am a very visual and hands- on type of learner and felt very connected to the process of creating purposeful, structural vessels. What made me want to begin a business making these pieces includes a couple factors:

  1. Potential for many new designs

  2. Cotton is a comforting, familiar textile

  3. Complete control of the production

  4. Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Josh Miller of Matchbox LTD

Josh Miller of Matchbox LTD

2. How has your work evolved with time and what do you see for the future of your shop?

The first basket I made was a completely different technique and style than what I create now. Rope coiling is not a ~new~ technique in the world of sewing. Many quilters use their fabric scraps to wrap around the rope and to add color tot he rope before sewing it into a basket or bowl. That is exactly how I learned in the beginning. Here is the first basket I ever made (Pictured left). When I started making my first baskets, the tedious process of wrapping and cutting 1” thick pieces of rope was so boring and not very minimalist or cohesive with my own personal style. I finally scrapped the whole idea of making baskets with fabric entirely because the color of the rope itself is beautiful in its own state. My pieces now are white with splashes of color through thread contrasting and has become very popular with other mediums for baskets as well. The process of rope vessel production is quite similar to throwing pottery on a wheel. There are many different techniques that I have learned over time and many positions and angles of the vessel during production all goes into the final result.

After I started to have increased confidence in my baskets and home goods, I decided to begin making handbags and backpacks. I wanted by pieces to provide purpose for any lifestyle and simplicity for type of person. Simple, timeless colors and shapes that allow my pieces to be used for a lifetime that only get better with time. My designs and techniques from all of my wearables were all made within my mind. I did not take any leather classes or asked handbag makers for opinions or help, I did trial and error and made each piece my own. Overtime, my work has increased in quality and confidence in its longevity.

3. How does nature influence you as an artist?

Nature has always been my main influence. I feel so connected to nature and its colors. I have the desire to capture its colors in my work. Whether it be through dying or thread colors, nature is reflected. I have been working a lot more with natural dyes and have fell in love with the color turmeric produces. The bright, vibrant yellow that almost looks artificial, comes from such a beneficial root that I also cook and consume daily for its other purposes. Indigo, hibiscus, onion skins, avocado pits—the inspiration for color is all around us.
I also like to keep cotton in its natural state. Cotton rope is made from the byproduct of
cotton fabric production. The cotton rope I purchase is very raw, and at times has parts of the cotton plant within it. I am so pleased with the opportunity to find such interesting uses for the rope, which has potential to just be cotton straps and waste, but is spun into the 1000 foot spools I use daily.

photo by Lindsey Zinno

photo by Lindsey Zinno

4. What advice would you give a young woman who is just starting out as an artist / entrepreneur?

To be a young woman as an artist/entrepreneur, you need to have confidence and patience— confidence in what you make and pride in what you are doing and patience in finding your market and making a product that others are inspired by. You cannot be desperate for sales, and you have to learn to say no (I still struggle with this one). Your work is beautiful in your eyes and you will come across others that see it, too.

photo by Hannah Breidinger

photo by Hannah Breidinger

Find a few market bags for sale in the 'independent + handmade' section of the shop!

'Inner Life - Outer Style' with Everything Golden

It was such a treat to be featured on Everything Golden's new blog series Inner Life - Outer Style. In it this series Mariah speaks with local women who inspire her both in their contemplative life and expression of self. She discusses style as a way to communicate our essence and connect us to something bigger — whether that’s a spiritual sense of being, or connecting to a community of intentional makers, or cherishing vintage items because of the story they carry. Mariah likes to think of the people who came before us and paved the way.

Mariah and I both share a love for vintage pieces particularly those of the 60's and 70's era, a time of activism and empowerment.

photo by Mariah Golden Palmer of Everything Golden

photo by Mariah Golden Palmer of Everything Golden

I would like to thank Mariah for posing these questions to me to and allowing me to dive deep into my thoughts and allowing me to put my spirit into words. You, you're shop, your blog and your beautiful words are such an inspiration to me.

Click on the link below for the full interview.

Photo by Mariah Golden Palmer of Everything Golden

Photo by Mariah Golden Palmer of Everything Golden