“Keepin' It Local” Sale Shifts Focus to NYC Manufacturers

Thomas IV, AEA jewelry and illustrator Emily Bartley hosted a stylish shopping soiree to raise awareness about garment district manufacturers.

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Catherine Blair Pfander
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Stylish New York crafters Lia Cinquegrano, Adrienne Alaimo and Emily Barltey peddled their creations at hip LES coffee joint Lost Weekend last night. But it wasn't your typical indie designer sale: "There are so many indie markets," says Cinquegrano, whose handbag collection Thomas IV is pictured above. "We wanted to do something different this time, and shift the focus onto our New York manufacturers."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Asked about the advantage of producing local, Cinquegrano makes the point that small labels can't meet the huge minimums that big manufacturers typically require. "These vendors have small minimums," she says, "which is perfect for us." Here, a look at Thomas IV's new summer zip bags ($28-$50).
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Catherine Blair Pfander
To highlight their vendors, all three designers collaborated on a book of interviews with and stories about the manufacturers, many of whom speak to the difficulty of finding trained workers. "We have difficulties finding employees who have the knowledge and skills required for the job," says Ragip Karamartin of Elite Casting in midtown. "A well trained employee is essential to keeping the product at its highest quality." Here, an elaborated beaded necklace from Adrienne Alamio's label, AEA.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Asked how her manufacturers felt about being in the spotlight, Cinquegrano says they were excited and proud to share their stories. "It's something that just isn't addressed often," she says.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
"It's not like magic, getting these things made," Cinquegrano says. "We're all hard-working girls. We work full time. We're funding these projects ourselves and running around to our factories on our lunch breaks." Here, a look at AEA's sleek geometric baubles.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Certain pieces, like these glitzy stone studs, made their debut that very night, Alaimo informed us.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Of course, Emily Bartley's fashion illustrations aren't "produced" in any manufacturing facility, but her images—often depicting stylish ladies posed against elaborate floral backdrops—set a stylish, shop-ready mood.
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