Born and bred in Pretoria, South Africa, Albertus Swanepoel moved from Johannesburg to New York City after a seven year career as a critically acclaimed fashion designer under his Quartus Manna label. In 1987 he won the Coty Award as top designer in his country.
In New York, Albertus trained as a milliner under Janine Galimard, who worked for Balenciaga in Paris in the 50's and 60's.
He assisted the well-known hat designer, Lola, for several years on a freelance basis. He also worked with theatrical milliner, Lynne Mackey, where he constructed hats for Broadway shows such as Kiss me Kate and Mamma Mia, as well as several operas and ballets.
In 2000, he briefly acted as Style Editor for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.
In 2004, Albertus began collaborating with several New York designers for their runway presentations. He has since become known as the milliner to seek out during New York Fashion Week. He has worked with such designers as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, Carolina Herrera, Peter Som, Erin Fetherston, Rodarte, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Nathan Jenden, Costello Tagliapietra, Narciso Rodriquez, Richard Chai, Derek Lam, Suno, Bill Blass, DKNY, and Araks.
In 2006, he formed his own company, Albertus Swanepoel LLC, which designs and produces handmade hats for a select number of stores in the US and internationally. Albertus has received a number of honors, including being named as one of two runners-up for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2008, a 2009 nomination for Swarovski CFDA Accessory Award, a 2010 WGSN Award nomination for Best Accessory Designer, and was named Accessory Designer of the Year during the 2010 African Fashion Week International. Additionally, Swanepoel’s work was featured in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s 2009 exhibit, “Hats: An Anthology.”
Kenlynn Wilson hand produces each piece of knitwear for her line, ONE OF Collection, on non-mechanized knitting looms. The goal is to design beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces that are sustainably made and of impeccable quality.
All yarns are carefully sourced: organic alpaca from Pennsylvania, organic cotton from California, and wool/silk and organic wool yarns from one of the oldest remaining textile mills in the United States. The hunt for responsibly-harvested cashmere brought Kenlynn to Mongolia where she hand selected cashmere and camel yarn processed after direct collection from nomadic families.
In addition to ONE OF Collection, Kenlynn founded Embodies, a boutique in Marin, California, dedicated to showcasing fellow designers who have a sustainability story and produce their products in the USA. Her background is diverse: professional ballet dancer, industrial design student at RISD, textile student of traditional handicraft and practitioner of integrative body mechanics. It all shows through in her knitwear.
MAKESHIFT @ The Standard Talks
Thank you to everyone who braved the rain and came out last night for MAKESHIFT at the Standard Talks. On behalf of myself and all of the panelists, we appreciate everyone’s enthusiastic response to MAKING.
It was a beautiful evening. As a group, we crafted a song and sang together , finger-knitted, and shared our ‘worn stories.’ Throughout the day, we will share some of our MAKESHIFT moments here.
Andrew Wagner, our charismatic MC, led the discussion at The Standard Talks. His team at Krrb created an accompanying video of the participants, which played throughout the evening as we discussed our work and how MAKING is an integral part of all creative, design, and fashion industries.
Check back today as we continue to recap the night.
Comment with your ideas and thoughts, and use #MAKESHIFT2012 across social media platforms to continue the conversation.
Again, thank you to all of our panelists and guests. Look for much more to come from MAKESHIFT this week!