As the fashion designer behind byVINNIK, I am thrilled to share my personal journey of embracing mindful manufacturing in the bustling city of Los Angeles. In a world where fast fashion dominates, I am dedicated to creating garments that not only exude style but also carry a deeper purpose. From the inception of each design to the final product, every step of the manufacturing process at byVINNIK is infused with mindfulness and a strong commitment to our local community. Join me as I share the story behind byVINNIK and our mission for conscious fashion.
Designing for a Sustainable Future:
From the very beginning, mindful manufacturing has been at the heart of my design philosophy. Unlike other brands that are into greenwashing, you will never see me claim that byVINNIK is a "Sustainable Brand" because there is really no truth to it and is simply corporations trying to greenwash. Say it with me, “There is no such thing as sustainable fashion.”Whenever something tangible is produced, there is waste. As an artist, I am creating something I want to last for decades. Maybe I’m full of myself but, I want my name and these products in your wardrobe circulation for years to come. If we want our clothes to last, they must be made of quality materials first and foremost. I've been manufacturing my line here in LA since 2019. I make it my business to know who has the best of the best and make sure to form strong business relationships so my small brand has first access when great textiles enter the market. If I’m walking down 9th, you’ll likely hear people calling my name to show me what they have or wanting to do shots on a random Wednesday afternoon (I do not drink booze from plastic bottles or while working). After many lessons learned in the shady business of fashion, I now source from three suppliers as I know they are trustworthy, have a quality product and are people I genuinely feel good about supporting their business establishments. All of our trims including bias, spaghetti and shirring are made for us locally. The remainder of our trims including buttons, zippers, horsehair, crystals, boning and elastic are purchased from the largest warehouse in the country specializing in deadstock and overruns. There’s something really special about using new old stock Italian 18kt gold plated buttons from the 1970s when most brands are using cheap plastic that breaks. We love to work with textiles that are vintage, deadstock and existing when at all possible. There‘s an abundance of great things that exist without having to make any waste. As a brand that creates for plus sizes and people with curves, we are realistic about the limitations of many natural fibers which often lack stretch. We offer in-house tailoring options a la carte to also ensure the pieces we make are worn and loved by you!
Embracing Local Production:
Los Angeles is a hub of creativity, craftsmanship, and talent, and I firmly believe in nurturing our local community. By keeping our production process local, I have the opportunity to collaborate closely with skilled artisans and closely oversee the manufacturing of our garments. This decision not only ensures that we maintain the highest standards of quality but also allows us to support the growth of our local economy. Seeing the positive impact we create within our community is incredibly rewarding and reinforces the importance of byVINNIK's mission. The majority of our garments are made in a three-generation woman-owned and operated sewing room. There’s something really special about seeing a grandmother, mother and daughter working together to bring my designs to life. While it drives our cutter crazy, we also produce in very limited quantities in a range of different prints. Many are only enough to make one or two pieces. We save all of our jacquard remnants as well. Once a year, we piece them together to create our own rolls of fabric to cut into opera coats, theater jackets, belts and new designs. It is a labor of love and not something most brands would take the time to do in the name of saving scraps from the landfill.
Ethics and Fairness as Core Values:
At byVINNIK, ethical manufacturing practices are non-negotiable. Upholding fairness, providing safe working conditions, and ensuring fair wages for all our employees are integral to our brand's ethos. Creating a positive work environment is paramount to me, as it enables our team to showcase their creativity and dedication to their craft. The pride and satisfaction that come from knowing our garments are created with integrity are immeasurable. Everyone works with discipline to create the best customer experience and satisfaction with our designs. Each piece carries the essence of our commitment to ethical practices, reflecting our belief that fashion should empower and uplift everyone involved in its creation.
Limited Production Runs for Uniqueness:
In a world consumed by mass production and disposable fashion, I made a conscious decision to take a different path. We first began making our garments to order until we realized it wasn’t mentally or physically sustainable when we began getting higher volume orders each month. In 2022, byVINNIK began producing in limited production runs, prioritizing quality over quantity. We manufacture 50-200 pieces of one particular style in each run with many one off prints mixed in. By focusing on smaller, curated collections, we ensure that each garment receives the attention to detail it deserves. This approach not only reduces waste but also allows us to offer our customers unique, timeless pieces that are cherished for years to come. It is my hope that our designs become cherished companions, transcending trends and creating lasting connections with those who wear them.
Transparency: Sharing Our Story:
Transparency is the cornerstone of our brand. I believe in building trust with our customers by providing complete visibility into our supply chain. We document every step of our sourcing and manufacturing processes, allowing our customers to make informed choices which we frequently share on all of our social media channels in short videos and photos. Sharing our story reinforces our commitment to sustainability and enables our customers to feel connected to the values we stand for. I want every individual who wears byVINNIK to have confidence in the garment's origin and know that they are contributing to a brand trying to make a difference in the world.
Designing for byVINNIK has been a transformative journey, fusing my passion for fashion with a profound purpose. Before diving into the world of fashion, I sang opera and classical music throughout the world, which instilled in me a deep appreciation for creativity, artistry, and self-expression. This background has greatly influenced my approach to design, as I strive to create garments that are not only visually stunning but also reflect the essence of individuality and personal style.
I‘ve developed a strong affinity for vintage and ethical fashion long before I started my own brand. Wearing vintage clothing allowed me to embrace unique pieces with a rich history while reducing the impact of fast fashion on the environment. Ethical brands, with their commitment to fair labor practices, became an inspiration for me to create my own fashion label that would make a positive difference.
Together, let us celebrate the power of mindful fashion and embrace garments that not only make us feel beautiful but also contribute to a better world. By choosing byVINNIK, you join a community of individuals who value style, sustainability, and ethical practices. Let us embark on this journey together, creating a future where fashion serves as a medium for positive change and self-expression no matter your age, size or ability.