Gallery: Haitian Eco-Designer Upcycles...

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If you’ve ever gazed upon a pretty floral umbrella and thought, “That would make an awesome frock,” then Catherine Charlot is the woman you’re after. Her Brooklyn-based company, Himane, transforms discarded clothing, vintage fabrics, buttons, trim, and even broken umbrellas into retro-inspired dresses that look nothing like their original materials. It’s almost like something out of Cinderella—well, minus the animal helpers and the magic pumpkin.

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RAIN OR SHINE

While making treasure out of trash isn’t a new concept, much of the trashion today can be more “trash” than “fashon.” Not so with Himane, however. The label injects a heavy dose of style, precision tailoring, and visual interest into its upcycled garb, thanks to Charlot’s experience as a professional pattern-maker, as well as the shared expertise of the other seamsters, some of whom have worked for the likes of Marc Jacobs, the Gap, and Macy’s.

Who knew that shiny, black $1 umbrellas could be rendered into such high-style cocktail numbers?

“We aim to exceed people’s expectations of what recycled clothing can be by creating garments that don’t look obviously recycled and that are directional yet wearable,” says Charlot. True to her word, Himane’s dresses are as varied as the hodgepodge of materials they’re made of, and each one-of-a-kind piece is stitched and constructed with impeccable attention to detail.

Who knew that shiny, black $1 umbrellas from Chinatown could be rendered into such high-style, structured cocktail numbers?

Note: To raise money for her native Haiti, Charlot will be holding a fundraiser this evening. Click here for details.

+ Himane

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