Who knows if printed leggings are going to be ‘played out’ in the future. Likely, because of the hater nature of (fast) fashion, one could easily predict this. I don’t care really, but rather I am making these because I think they are going to be beautiful. I don’t want them to be trendy, I want them to be respected, and cherished. Buy them because they appeal to something inside you that you cannot define. Buy them because you know yourself, and you know that you’re going to love them forever.
My Mom bought this table cloth for me from an antique store in Thunder Bay. It is 77 hand embroidered medallions held together by doily crochet. The handiwork is masterful, the time it would have taken- likely 300 + hours- is mind boggling in this age of fast fashion, fast everything. My heart hurts when I look at it, for the emotion it contains. It was made by a person, a woman, who was thinking about her life, was being ever so patient hour after hour. She probably fucked up at one point or two and had that frustrating moment that only a sewer knows of having to backtrack and start over. It’s all there.
These leggings are being made locally, here in Toronto. The scanned image will be digitally printed on fabric via sublimation. They won’t be wholesaled- because at a normal pricing scale of Cost (x 2) = Wholesale (x 2) = Retail, they would be retailing in the $200 dollar range. Not sure if women are willing to spend $200 on leggings so I will sell them online only for $90-$110 dollars. If you think that’s expensive- don’t buy them.
Because of the nature of what I make with my line Skinny Sweats, and the fast fashion retailers I am competing with, I will often here a bitchy little line of “why are they so expensive” GAH! really? Because they are not, expensive. They are a quality piece of clothing, and a versatile wardrobe basic. I hear from my customers that they’ve been wearing the same pair for years. But, I underprice my wholesale because people are generally cheapminded, and uneducated about locally made clothing. And I hope one day that my production levels will increase and my costs will drop and my wholesale price will start making sense. Someone gave me that advice long ago- price yourself where you want to be, not where you are right now. I think that is one of the mistakes that a lot of new designers make, the overvaluing of their clothing against the reality of what people will pay for it. Yeah, it’s really unfair. But this is a business. Making clothing in Canada is not easy or cheap. I often feel like I am running a non profit or charity because I pay my suppliers, I pay my contractors, I pay my photographers, my web designer, the label people, the pattern grader, on and on and on. And confession- I don’t pay myself, and have never paid myself.
In light of the recent tragedies in Bangladesh, most people are really upset and frustrated with the fast fashion system. But how long will this backlash last? Will it actually change how people fill their closets? Maybe it’s tacky for me to say, because I am a seller of local fashion but the best way to affect change is with your wallet.
Anyway, I really hope that people see more behind this simple pair of leggings, and they are not lumped into the same category as some shittily made galaxy leggings from Forever 21. Because there is so much more depth behind them than that.
What up! Damn I really dropped the ball on this blogging thing, eh? Not that I was ever that consistent. Oh well.
THE GOOD WORD IS- I’m doing the One of A Kind Show this spring. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVERRRR! Yippee!!
I’ll have my Skinny Sweats line there- all styles, all colours, all sizes. And I’m making some tops and dresses and sweatshirts- and don’t forget- 10 YEARS worth of one offs/last sizes/fashion experiments. It’s going to be great!
I’ll be giving away tickets from my Skinny Sweats page on Facebook- www.facebook.com/skinnysweats. Try to win!
annnd here is a link to purchase discounted $11 tickets! They are normally $12 online in advance, or $14 at the door.
Hope to see you there!
I just applied for something that I was required to submit photos of my workspace for, so I thought I would share them here.
I work in the basement of my home- it’s a great space. I am only showing you half of it as the rest is mostly storage and it’s none of your god damn business. haha.
I love my studio. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Some of the womenswear from my Butikofer line is up for sale on FAB.COM right now! It’s a seven day sale that started yesterday. I am very excited to be selling on FAB. If you’re not familiar- here is a bit about them (in their own words).
We’re a 5 million+ member design-first private retailer. We also happen to be the world’s biggest and fastest growing web store dedicated to design. Nothing is more important to us than bringing smiles to our customer’s faces through good design and a good spirit of fun! Fab’s partnered with over 5000 brands, artists and designers, ranging from Kartell and Kidrobot, Suck UK and Stelton, to Herman Miller and Happy Socks.
We’ve received some exciting press documenting our journey since launching just one year ago: The New York Times wrote that Fab is a pioneer in social retailing; according to Forbes, Fab is the hottest online retailer; and Fast Company explains that, “Fab grabs [shoppers] with a meticulously curated array of neat stuff. Before visitors know it, they’re design junkies.”
They were really great to work with through the extensive process of creating this sale. That is a tightly run ship there, folks!
Check it out! FAB is selling all kinds of cool/fun/interesting/beautiful finds on a daily basis.
Most of the product photography in my sale was done by the talented and fierce Joanna Katchutas. If you’re in the Toronto area and ever need any product or catalog style photography- she’s your girl! I highly recommend her work.
Skinny Sweats has a new stockist on Bowen Island in Beautiful British Columbia!
Please do check out Wren Boutique at 569 Artisan Lane! They’ve got the Basic Skinny Sweats in black and grey!
Summer sale happening- now! In my Etsy shop and also at Charlie Boutique on Queen West in Toronto.
HEY HEY! So I guess shooting your lookbook with an iPhone isn’t as acceptable as I had hoped… I thought this was the future!!
I receieved some extensive constructive criticism from an online retailer and decided to reshoot my Skinny Sweats line. Huge thanks to my model/stylist Andrea Leigh and photographer Joanna Katchutas for pulling this together so fast.
We concentrated on finding great poses, then Andrea did her best to repeat them exactly for each style- the overall effect is pretty awesome. I think her body was aching by the end of the day, as she was holding onto the ceiling as she contorted her body just so. Great job, girl!
Check out the new catalog at www.etsy.com/shop/adriennebutikofer.
Two days left in the May sale- 20% off everything with the code LAZYGIRL.
Here I am wearing the basic Skinny Sweat in Navy Blue! I’ve paired them with a colour blocked oversized blouse and royal blue lace camisole. And for footwear- the most amazing shoes ever! The tops are from Winners and the shoes are a Value Village find. I love wearing colour.
If you’re curious about Skinny Sweats sizing- I wear a size Medium. I normally wear an 8 or 10 in clothing and I would buy a size 29 or 30 in denim. They have a pretty high rise on them- not overly high, but definitely not teenage-low. They sit just below the belly button on the front and are higher in the back so there will be no butt crack hanging out when you kneel or bend over. I spent a lot of time over the years perfecting the rise!
I’ve been meaning to start a new blog post series called “THINGS YOU CAN’T WEAR IN THE SUBURBS” with all the poor neglected items in my wardrobe- these shoes being one of them. Sigh. I miss you Toronto.
Skinny Sweats, and everything else I make- on sale for about another week! Use the code LAZYGIRL at checkout on my Etsy store.
lazy, sexy, coooooool.
Notes on Motherhood-
3 years, 9 months and 7 days….
So, I weaned my 15 month old about 10 days ago, it’s pretty safe to say we’re done with breastfeeding. This has been somewhat of an extended journey for me. Since I was pregnant with Loenne, then breastfed her for 13.5 months, stopping when I found out I was pregnant with Evan. . then nursed Evan for these past 15 months since and there you get 1377 days. That is a long time, not the longest, certainly.. . um.. Am I Mom Enough?? A long time nonetheless.
And so here I am, suddenly the sole proprietor of my body. Ach! Who am I? It’s strange to not have to think about breastfeeding when I get dressed in the morning. Can you say, Nursing Bra Burning Party??
My last midwife had told that the best time to wean was between 12 and 15 months- I had that stuck in my head, and it had to happen eventually. But it wasn’t easy to wean Evan, on a personal level. She is so sweet and cozy, and we had whittled our nursing schedule down to just bedtime and part of me was like, we could just do this forever, probably… and denying her the bedtime milk made her upset! :( I am still kind of sad about it, although she has now stopped having a mini cry as my husband rips her from my arms to put her to bed at night. (dramatization) That certainly made me feel like a terrible mother who had made a terrible decision. But I know it’s right for her, and us. As Raffi says, everything grows.
So there is that part of me that is sad, and the other part of me that is like “LET’S GO TO VEGASSS!!” It’s a really strange sensation to think that it’s even possible. I haven’t taken anything stronger than a Tylenol in 1377 days, so there’s another part of me that’s like “LET’S GET SIIIICK!” Not really. I think I’m done with all that pregnancy jazz. I’ve put in my time, paid my dues, we’re happy with our family. Tie the tubes! It will take a while to become familiar with this lack of uncertainty, in this one but important part of our lives.
There is so much contraversy over breastfeeding right at this very moment! Due to that TIME magazine cover of the woman breastfeeding her 3 year old, and the corresponding article about attachment parenting. It’s hard to not have an opinion. I am definitely pro breastfeeding, but that’s because it worked for us. I was really lucky that it came so easily to me and the girls, and that my body was extremely efficient at creating copious amounts of super fatty milk- if you saw my babes when they were little, you know I’m not making this up! However, I am not a breastfeeding extremist- I am not so sure about extended nursing into the three or four year old range. I kind of feel like it is less about child’s need for comfort and attachment as it is an easy way out… because in the end- breastfeeding is a tool! Dudes, as if it isn’t!! There is nothing better for a crying baby or a middle of the night wake up- put a boob in their mouth and voila- instant sleepy calm. It’s so easy, which is awesome. It definitely made for happy babies in our case, of course a baby is happy when they get what they want. But really, it’s a bit of a manipulative strangle hold at three, for both child AND mother, no? And I can only say this because I have a three year old, and I can’t imagine breastfeeding her. I feel like she’s too smart for that. And I would rather comfort her by cuddling and talking about stuff than just indulging her or lulling her into a sleepy coma.
But whatever, really, although I have an opinion- to each his own. I think every Mom should just do her best, in the way that works for her and her family. I know I feel guilty about something irrational a thousand times a day, and I am sure I am not alone in that.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! For all the Mom’s out there, whatever you get up to- hope your day is satisfying and sweet.
Shop Skinny Sweats on OpenSky
Shop Skinny Sweats on Etsy