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Art to Ware Designer Launch Unveils NYC Hidden Gems

The artists and designers behind Art2Ware launch
The artists + designers behind the clothes, left to right: Googly Eye Cru, A2W founder Lesley Ware, Triple T-shirts, Luminous Mood, Yunk Junk, Ooh Baby, Parron Allen, Cashmere Pop, 717

We discovered Art to Ware last summer and immediately fell in love with the concept: a curated collection of upcycled, wearable art from independent and emerging designers in New York City. With help from Chashama, a non-profit that transforms unused real estate into artist spaces, founder Lesley Ware has set up several pop-up boutiques across Manhattan that give young creatives a platform for sharing their work. So when we heard Art to Ware was hosting a new designer launch at Port Authority last week, we knew we had to go.

Turns out we were right – the launch was a huge success. Ever since Art to Ware first came onto our radar, it’s been a goldmine for discovering exciting new designers, especially those in the repurposing game. The latest endeavor spotlighted the work of nine NYC fashion/art creatives, topped off with a collaboration from hair artist Brieana Spruill, who brought her A-game with an array of upcycled wigs.

ICYMI, we’ve rounded up the featured talent and broken it down artist by artist.

Photos by Stefani Villanueva @studiostefaniv


Luminous Mood wigs by Brieana Spruill at Art2Ware

Luminous Mood

Hair artist and wig master Brieana Spruill’s creations have been featured in print editorials, film and theatre productions, and the runway. She’s now bringing her talents to the boutique, where her impressive assemblage of killer coifs light up the A2W display window. The details woven into these tresses speak of Spruill’s artistry and attention to detail. Each piece is thoughtfully styled, with the most intricate of details setting it apart from your average head of hair. Ranging from chic, blunt and black to flowing rainbow hued braids, these wigs achieve the perfect balance between the fun and the fierce. 

See more great styles by Brieana:

IG: @gottaluv_brie


717

717 is one of the new kids on the A2W block. Brought to us by artist Malik Tricoche, the clothes are inspired by Tricoche’s multi-disciplinary body of work. Whether the garments are hand-painted or crafted from prints drafted from actual paintings (like the Entangled Souls robe, pictured – I’m obsessed), each piece speaks to the power of embracing the fluidity of a more queer understanding of life.

A lifelong lover of fashion, the expansion into fashion seems obvious for Tricoche. His installation work has been featured at past NYFWs and at the Met Gala. With the launch of 717, a brand that’s “all about feeling like you’re in the right place at the right time”, Tricoche grants the chance to experience the glamour once reserved for the fashion elite for those of us who live in the real world. 

IG: maliktricoche


Parron Allen at Art 2 Ware

Parron Allen

Parron Allen’s clothes are the kind that come from a designer who really knows what he’s doing. While each piece is a statement maker, the skill and sophistication with which they are executed make such statements nuanced enough to wear every day. Allen’s capacity for upcycling traces back to well before it was cool – he grew up watching his grandmother make clothes with discarded textiles in his native Mississippi. Clearly, her talent for it has passed on to him, and he’s using it to create authentic expressions of playful practicality.

IG: parron.allen


Ooh Baby Anika Ignozzi at Art 2 Ware

Ooh Baby

Although it’s still a young brand, Ooh Baby founder and designer Anika Ignozzi has already succeeded in developing a signature style. When I saw the hand-painted jackets, I immediately recognized the zany illustrations as hers. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind vintage blazer or her price-accessible painted EDGE jeans, the New York designer is a success story in creating a desirable and distinct aesthetic that is very much hers.

IG: o.o.h.baby


Art 2 Ware originals by Lesley Ware

Art to Ware Originals

When she’s not scouting, spotlighting, and incubating new and exciting design talent, it turns out Art to Ware founder Lesley has a creative side – no surprise there. Art To Ware originals make use of thrifted finds and out-of-circulation inventory from Nuuly rentals to reimagine these cheerful, unique styles.

IG: @arttoware
@creativecookie


Cashmere Pop collection at Art 2 Ware

Cashmere Pop

Another label who are treating their upcycling movement as an opportunity for art as much as fashion is Cashmere Pop, but there’s a luxurious twist here. The whimsical collection is comprised exclusively of reworked cashmere items. All are one of a kind artworks as much as they are wearable clothes, with the added perk of being insanely cozy and just the right amount of lavish.

IG: @cashmere_pop


Triple T-shirts at Art 2 Ware

Triple T Shirts

Triple T-shirts, TTT for short, operates on a system where they sew at least three used T-shirts into one seamless, dynamic garment that can be worn in a number of ways. The graphic element serves as a basis for celebratory narratives, and themes cover everything from pop culture to social justice. Creativity, shape shifting silhouettes, and an unwavering commitment to telling it like it is makes these tees anything but basic.

IG: @triple_tshirts


Yunk Junk at Art 2 Ware

Yunk Junk

Amid the upcycling movement, we’re seeing a lot of patchwork. So much so that it’s on the verge of being overdone. Or so I thought before being introduced to Yunk’s work. The artist has a skillful command over these fabrics and constructs them together in ways we’re not used to seeing. The harmonious textile choices and attentive placement of these fabric discards bring an elegance to the garments that’s rare in this style of sewing.

IG: @yunk.junk


Smow Milk at Art 2 Ware

Snow Milk

Brooklyn designer Doobie Duke Smith has always loved thrifting, and started making his own clothes in 2018. After four years of honing his craft, he launched Snow Milk in 2022. The collection experiments with printing, using techniques like silkscreen to bring new life into the used garments. While still pretty new, Snow Milk is garnering a lot of attention for his innovative street style garments – most recently his label was spotted at the Grammy Awards.

IG: @realsnowmilk


Googly Eye Cru

`For over two decades, Googly Eye Cru has been adorning the streets of the world with their now iconic googly eye stickers. Fire hydrants and post boxes have transformed from boring urban infrastructure to chuckle-inducing street decor from Toronto to Tokyo. Now, a line of super cute beanies, totes, accessories etc featuring the trademark eye rolls means we can stare right back at those hydrants. Seriously – keep your eyes open for these cute city stickers, they’re everywhere.

IG: @googlyeyecru

-Steph Lawson


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