NYC day 1, part 1

Get ready for the big NYC brain-dump! This was basically a research trip for me, carefully planned with Chad to coincide with the Affordable Art Fair (more on that tomorrow). So I had two days to myself, wandering around Brooklyn & SoHo, meeting new friends and gorging myself on a non-stop culture binge. Stop-the-first: the Pratt Design Incubator which houses textile and fashion designers of every stripe. I was there to purchase the Dargelos TransPorter bag, designed and sewn by hand by the lovely Audrey Robinson.

I rarely fall so hard for an item online. I actually often find it easy to escape impulse-buys on the internets because I can’t physically connect with the pieces. So what made this unique? Those amazing straps. They allow the bag to function as a backpack and tote bag. And pretty bicycle-friendly totes are almost non-existent. And the fact that I could purchase the bag in person while getting a chance to admire Audrey’s space and the rest of her bicycle-themed duds. Done, done and done.

We had a wonderful chat about many things, surprising for two people with only an email or two to go on. My biggest takeaway from the visit was a renewed understand of how worthwhile it is to buy local and handmade when it comes to fashion. After seeing how much goes into the process and how it’s nearly impossible for independent fashion designers to compete with any mass-produced apparel…Plus all the industry’s accompanying bullshit (child labor, extensive pollution, waste, etc.) it’s hard not to feel gross about shopping at J. Crew. Vintage, thrifted, re-fashioned, handmade is now my way to go.*

And the TransPorter itself? How kind of you to ask! It’s so brilliantly simple I’m in awe. Perfect for the casual bike ride, or an afternoon of Brooklyn wandering. And thanks to the thoughtful addition of waxed canvas, my crap stayed dry even in Friday’s heavy rains. Giant thumbs up. Thanks, Dargelos!

*Or not at all. If I can’t afford to purchase mindfully made clothing (because of course local/handmade clothing will always more expensive than fall-apart threads from H&M, and that won’t change anytime soon) then I am just as happy to go without. I have no interest in fashion as a status symbol.

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