M. Patmos, like its sister label, Leroy & Perry, has honed a reputation for its luxurious yet utilitarian designs. Built to last, Patmos’s garments transcend seasons and defy trends, much like the woman she designs for. “In my mind she’s a gallery owner or someone artistic,” she tells Ecouterre.
Patmos favors discontinued and mill-end leftovers, which are typically discarded by their manufacturers for their odd yardages.
Her fibers of choice include lightweight woven linens, silk-cotton blends, and domestically milled cottons, most of which she finds locally in New York’s fabled Garment District. She also favors discontinued and mill-end leftovers, which are typically discarded by their manufacturers for their odd or insufficient yardages.
To save even more waste, Patmos has been working with Shima Seiki in New Jersey to knit her sweaters using Wholegarment machines, which create a single, seamless garment with no need for post-production finishing.
Patmos insists on using earth-friendly materials and techniques as much as she can—no small feat, considering that sustainable garments often cost 20 to 40 percent more to make. Materials don’t make the design, however, and Patmos knows this better than anyone. “I think it just has to be there in a way that people buy [a garment] because they like it or not,” she says.
Patmos insists on using earth-friendly materials whenever she can—no small feat, considering they often cost 20 to 40 percent more.
Case in point? Her capsule collection of sandals for Manolo Blahnik, the luxury shoemaker frequently name-dropped on Sex and the City. Constructed from discarded tilapia skins, cork, and raffia, the two styles—a double-strap flat and an open-toed pump—are sophisticated enough for the likes of Carrie Bradshaw and the high-society circles she runs in.
For Patmos, sustainability means accounting for every aspect of one’s supply chain, from raw materials to packaging and distribution. Customer use, which can account for 60 percent of a garment’s impact, is another important consideration that’s frequently overlooked. Several M.Patmos pieces feature convertible or reversible designs that provide multiple options within a single garment.
Several M.Patmo pieces feature convertible or reversible designs that provide multiple options within a single garment.
Beyond environmental concerns, Patmos also values social consciousness. Over the years, the designer has worked with artisan cooperatives in Nepal, Uruguay, Peru, and Bolivia to source grass-fed, pesticide-free merino and alpaca wool for her knitwear.
Proving that no detail is too small, even her business cards and hangtags are designed with an eye for the environment. They’re made from wind-powered recycled paper and soy inks.