Creatures of the Wind Are Big in Japan

Mickey Boardman
Creatures of the Wind is the clothing line designed by Chicago-based Shane Gabier and Chris Peters. They held a presentation last week during New York Fashion Week in Bob Dylan's old apartment in the Chelsea Hotel and I caught up with them to discuss their collection, available at Ikram in Chicago.

You took a more couture approach to this collection. What prompted that?
It's what we always want to do, really.  These are the sort of materials that make this exciting to us. There's something about following that sort of high-end construction technique that we really nerd out on.

How do you do all the hand work involved here?
We work with offices in NYC that rep all of these amazing mills in France. They show us samples and options, and together we develop the materials. As for the hand work on all of the knits, that's all done via Skype meetings. Our knitter lives in Antwerp; she sends us samples and then we video conference and show each other sketches and work out
the details.

You've had a great response from Japanese stores. Why do you think that is?
In part, we think it might have something to do with the collection now being sold at Dover Street Market. Also, our visibility in the= press has gone up dramatically, so now people in Japan might know the collection a little bit.

You're based in Chicago but show in New York. Is that difficult?

In some ways, yes; all of our sample makers, production and fabric offices are in NYC, so we are traveling back and forth all the time. But we have a really high quality of life in Chicago that would be impossible to maintain in New York and it's a great city for riding bikes. I (Shane) have a teaching position at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, which supports us and allows the collection to grow at it's natural pace.

You collaborated on shoes with Tabitha Simmons. How did that come about and what was the experience like?
We've been looking for a shoe collaborator for a couple of seasons, and our friend Ikram showed us Tabitha's shoes and suggested that we get in touch with her.  We sent her some sketches, and she was really excited about them. We did just a couple of colorways of one style this time, but we're meeting with Tabitha in Paris in next week to work on next season, which will be a fuller range.

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