At first glance you might not see the connection between the ethical fashion label Alabama Chanin and the civil rights photographer Charles Moore. Working in two different eras, in totally different mediums, the two seem poles apart.
But, by choosing to align her collection for Fall/Winter 08 with these iconic images taken in the 1960s, the designer Natalie Chanin is placing the work of her fashion label within an important historical context of working towards a fair and ethical society. Moreover the connection between Alabama Chanin and Charles Moore is personal as well as historical as Natalie tells us..."Celebrated photographer Charles Moore is a neighbor and a friend to all of us at Alabama Chanin. His moving and startling documentation of the civil rights movement has been a constant source of inspiration... For this reason, the collection for Fall/Winter 2009 is homage to Charles and all of the people of this nation who stood – and walked - together for change."
During New York Fashion week, at the beginning of February, Alabama Chanin will be showing the F/W 08 collection alongside an exhibition of Charles Moore's photographs and an installation by Henry Beguelin, a design brand originating from the Island of Elba off Italy. Henry Beguelin produces beautiful and unique accessories using recycled materials.
Alabama Chanin is known as the pioneering brand that focuses, not only on sustainable textiles, but also on preserving the traditional crafts techniques of rural America. Working with artisans in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, where the civil rights movement was born, their mission is to create treasured life-long clothing steeped in history, but with a "contemporary design aesthetic".
Natalie Chanin believes that at this point in American History it is important to look back for inspiration, "Our nation is facing times of great change. We have the opportunity to ask some difficult, soul-searching questions about our country, our beliefs, and our ability to care for each other and our environment. It is time for a change. Let this memory of the past inspire us to stand – and walk – together for a better future."
'Revolution' - Alabama Chanin F/W 08/09 Collection and Fabrics
February 2-11, 2008. By appointment only:
213 Park Avenue South
New York City