Author Archive

Celebrating Thirty Years of Avant Toi…

Siblings Fiorella and Mirko Ghignone founded Avant Toi in Genoa in 1994. For the past thirty years, they have developed the brand into a fashion house that has revolutionized the world of knitwear, changing the way cashmere is created and perceived. 

On the Port of Genoa’s hilltops, overlooking the Italian maritime city and its gulf, sits Avant Toi’s production facility. 

Continuing the family tradition begun by their mother Lia Gambetta, Fiorella and Mirko’s team uses experimental tactics while building on decades of knitwear expertise, to create one-of-a-kind cashmere. Today, Avant Toi is one of the world’s most advanced companies in the fabrication of precious yarn manufacturing.

The Genoan spirit is one of innovation, experimentation and exploration. Genoans are also a resilient people — once one of the greatest naval powers on the continent, the Ligurian city was hit hard by the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. However, in the years that followed, Genoese trade not only revived but expanded, growing to encompass the Far East and the Americas. 

In 1947 post-war Genoa, Avant Toi’s matriarch Lia Gambetta took a tremendous chance at just 20 years old, founding a knitwear company that would become Liapull. Working first in mohair and wool and later specializing in cashmere and silk, Genoa’s pure waters supported the rinsing and thickening necessary for the production of the highest quality cashmere. 

Avant Toi’s hallmark is its refusal of the status quo. Like their mother, siblings Fiorella and Mirko are unwilling to produce anything but the highest quality products and maintain the Genoan spirit of pragmatism: leaving nothing to waste even in their threadwork. The two would prefer to respool their yarns, repair their fabrics and redo an entire production system to make it work, prioritizing a culture of care and carefulness, and rejecting throwaway culture with aplomb. 

Enamored by color and action painting, Mirko moves seamlessly from fashion to art, atelier to gallery. “We had just created the Avant Toi brand, but something was missing. Then the idea: to paint cashmere. To inundate with color using an airbrush, like I do with my artworks. To completely rethink it. We wanted to eliminate the boring and bourgeois character that cashmere represented at the time, in order to endow it with a new and unexpected beauty. From there the adventure commenced.” 

Rejecting sartorial canons, Avant Toi cashmere is approached with the intrepid Genoan spirit — the textile is splattered with paint, torn, destroyed and completely reimagined. Using innovative techniques and precise manual processes, Mirko and his team create new ways of wearing and interpreting clothing as pieces of contemporary art. Continuing the rich “Made in Italy” tradition, Avant Toi remains grounded in the solid foundation of the Liapull knitwear factory. 

“Every garment is like a painting,” Fiorella explains. “After 30 years we continue to follow the same idea, though we always manage to develop products that are always different and evolving. For every collection we use new techniques. We can use a paint roller, paint brush, airbrush, color throw and color dripping. We can also create the same effect of clay and plaster left to dry and then peeled off the surface of the garment,” continued Ghignone.

At Avant Toi, Fiorella manages economics, finances and sales. She has grown the brand tenfold by expanding it into international markets, sharing her family’s legacy with the world. “My passion derives from the fact that our dreams, even the most adventurous ones and for this reason the most exciting, can be realized.” 

If Fiorella is the head of Avant Toi, and Mirko its heart, then Lia Giambetta is its soul. Thirty years since Avant Toi’s founding, and 77 years since Liapull began, Lia Giambetta’s resounding impact on her family is palpable. Still, she chooses to pay it forward. “What moves me the most and gives me great happiness is to think of my granddaughter Giulia as the third generation, who will continue our journey, with an enriched knowledge and with our same enthusiasm.”

Honoring Marian Silver

On this Mother’s Day weekend, we would like to take a moment to honor Marian Silver – our dear friend and landlord whom Santa Fe lost late last month. Her life was long and storied, defined by good times, philanthropy, humanitarianism and an impact on the community at large.

Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, Marian “was” the Plaza. She and her husband Abe Silver were the third generation of Pechesky’s to own a store on the plaza, The Guarantee. In fact, Marian’s great grandmother started The White House back in 1906 and bought the Catron Building from Senator Catron in 1927. With a lineage of matriarchs, Marian was a joyful and powerful force as she brought in fashions to Santa Fe with the mantra of no dress alike. 

Alongside Abe, Marian acted as a civic leader in Santa Fe – in addition to receiving the 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, they also received the award of Philanthropists of the Year in 2013 by the Albuquerque Journal and the CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital Foundation. She served through leadership and financial support a long list of Santa Fe Institutions including: the Santa Fe Opera, the United Way, the College of Santa Fe, the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, and the American Cancer Society. The list of her impacts and achievements goes on and on. 

She is remembered as a joyous human being, always the first one to spot in a crowd with her festive spirit and cheer (not to mention her great sense of style). We will miss her greatly and will do all we can to follow in her steps.  

Danny Kaplan: Subtle Ceramics, Modeled After the Simplest of Forms

Inside a former bottling factory in Brooklyn, the artist Danny Kaplan creates hand-thrown lamps and objects that feel at once ancient and modern.

In Danny Kaplan’s Brooklyn studio, works in progress include lamps, small tables and a pendant light. Credit, Emiliano Granado

By Alice Newell-Hanson of the New York Times Style Magazine

Feb. 10, 2021

“With clay, you are always trying to achieve perfection,” says the ceramist Danny Kaplan, seated in his 700-square-foot studio, a serene space with 12-foot-high wood-beamed ceilings inside a building that was once a bottling factory in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. Indeed, behind him, packed closely together on broad steel-frame shelves, are dozens of only slightly different versions of the prehistoric-looking table lamps he has been meticulously sculpting over the past five years, as if searching for an ever-elusive archetype.

Kaplan, 37, who was born in New York but raised in the South of France, came to clay late in life. In 2015, he enrolled, on a whim, in an eight-week course at La Mano Pottery studio in Manhattan. Up until that point, he’d been working as a prop stylist in New York, to which he returned in 2001. But just one year after enrolling in that first class, he launched his own ceramic-lamp and tableware business. Pottery alleviated what Kaplan sees as “the pressure of a more subjective art form like painting.” Creating an object that fulfilled its given purpose was a more straightforward achievement: “If I could make a bowl that functioned as a bowl, then I’d succeeded.” His lamps, which can be custom-ordered and come topped with a white or undyed linen shade, look like primitive art, midcentury abstraction or humble handicraft, depending on their surroundings — a quality that earned the attention of buyers at ABC Carpet & Home in New York and Lawson-Fenning in Los Angeles, where his work is now sold.

Kaplan next to his Wing side table and a pendant designed in collaboration with the New York lighting studio In Common With, which partners with different makers around the world. Credit, Emiliano Granado

In addition to lamps, Kaplan also makes long-necked vases with squat, urnlike bases, shallow-footed dishes and, most recently, furniture, including a stout side table made from stacked parabolic forms that evokes a bowl balanced on an oversize Ming dynasty porcelain pillow. Built partly on the wheel and partly by hand from sculpture clay, all of Kaplan’s creations return again and again to the same elemental forms — orbs, bowls, horns, half moons and convex, lentil-like rounds — and many have a smooth finish, produced by a layer of porcelain slip that is then fired in either a powdery bone white or a soft coal black glaze.

These root forms are the same building blocks, utilitarian and eternally satisfying, that potters have been making and remaking since the craft’s beginnings. “There really aren’t that many shapes,” Kaplan says. “I just use them in different ways.” And though his pottery is informed by his forebears — from the German Modernist ceramist Hans Coper to the ancient Greek and Mayan potters — his work is also subject to the irregular, irreplicable contours of his own hands and history. In fact, it is his childhood home in Aix-en-Provence, an apartment in a shuttered 18th-century building appointed in the minimal style of the 1930s French designer Jean-Michel Frank, that may be the thing that most shaped Kaplan’s aesthetic. “I’ve always tried to recreate it in my pieces,” he says. “Having that sparsity is fundamental.”

Text and Images courtesy of the New York Times Style Magazine

Nika & Her Bunnies

Easter and Spring offer a long overdue opportunity to introduce our community to Nika (and her bunnies, Vanilla Bean and Chuck). Good natured, curious and very busy are traits Nika shares with her two rabbits  – along with a devilish love for greens!

Vanilla Bean is a 5 year-old Broken Chocolate Mini Lop with a sweet and calm personality, while Chuck is a 6 year-old Holland Lop who is as feisty and independent as can be. They are an inseparable pair who have been together for 4 years now and enjoy playing in the garden and with their many wicker toys. They free-roam in their home, which is more of a personal bunny estate that the bunnies allow Nika and her partner to live in also.

Nika hails from a very close-knit family of globetrotting filmmakers based in Durango, CO. While her parents’ work took them all over the world, her heart always stayed in the American Southwest – where she now lives with her partner and two bunnies. Though her background is in classical illustration and printmaking, Nika has found an intellectual home in the artistry of fashion and maker culture across the globe. Flexible and always up for a challenge, she learned about everything our business had to offer in the tumult that was 2020. In the new year, she finds herself working in departments across our company – from working with customers in store to answering calls on the web to writing text for our emails.

Shooting the rabbits at the studio was a hoot. They came in for work and joined our team in a pen set up under a web office desk. There, they happily crunched their way through several wooden toys between frequent snoozes. Many water bowls were tipped over in their pursuit for hay and attention. The staff took turns offering them their favorite treats: blueberries, cabbage, broccoli & dill. Truly, from 9-2pm our office was distracted by floppy ears, busy noses and hopping cuteness. During our shoot in the basement studio of Wild Life, our photographer, Tim, sprawled across the floor to get the right angle while the two bunnies hopped across the floor trying to get at even more dill! In the end, they were excellent, curious models and we thank them for taking the time to explore the studio and pose for us! 

The Organic Aesthetics of Akiko Hirai

Hailing from Japan, London-based Akiko Hirai has been repeatedly heralded as one of ceramic’s most unique talents. Though initially she has studied cognitive psychology in Japan, her attention quickly shifted to immersing herself in traditional and nontraditional crafting of pottery and ceramic. She has since earned her degree in the field from Central St Martins and been shortlisted for the prestigious international Loewe Craft Prize in 2019.

Image courtesy of Akiko Hirai

Her ceramics echo the functions of workware while maintaining a shifting balance between primality and delicacy. Rough clay contrasts against translucent glazes in a way that allows both to speak in their own language. Natural elements inform her mutli-faceted designs and come forward in unexpected ways. Dozens of intentional divots overlap each other to mimic the feel of a flower in bloom. Striations run the length of squat white pots that evoke dried seeds. This fascination with the contrasts between the organic and intangible are present in every vessel she creates and carry themselves throughout her body of work. 

Of note are Akiko’s Kohiki ceramics. This technique, modeled after Korean Yi Dynasty Punch’ng wares, utilizes iron-rich clay covered with a white slip and then a translucent glaze. The end result is a finished ceramic with an organic and deeply satisfying surface flecked with white and brown nebulaic patterns.

Dancing with Péro Disco

Acting as a multi-color premonition, India-based Péro has delivered a line of playful and fun garments to lift our spirits through the end of the year. The line shines in sequined details and pops of candy red, blue and purple, complemented signature Péro embroidery and tailoring.

Courtesy of @ilovepero

Péro’s focus highlights the innate playfulness and joy that brings us all together. Their slogan “Time to Love” is both the central tenet of their design philosophy and the way their clothing feels on the body. Handmade in India by a team of skilled artisans and designers, each piece revels in bright colors and sunny prints reminiscent of the high-60s.

For Fall 2020, seemingly disparate elements, like shimmering sequins and classic plaids, meld together to create a whirlwind of play. While some of the garments hug the body, others flair over the form. Tiny details, like embroidered dots along the collar and multicolor stitching over the fabric, are sweet additions to an already thoughtful collection. The pieces are often reversible, giving them a flexible nature to pair with the subtleties in different outfits. Péro’s clothing is centered on connection with others– something sorely missed in a year rife with distanced gatherings and faraway loved ones. In color and joy, Pero reminds us of the importance in community. Here’s to dancing together, and apart, into the end of the year.

Courtesy of Péro

The Modern Home

About Daniela Gregis

With an emphasis on high quality natural materials and exuberant splashes of color, Daniela Gregis marries modern sophistication and artisanal Italian craftsmanship. Her aesthetic is informed by fluidity, poetry and the balance of the natural world; it is a deeply human minimalism, fueled by humility and harmony. In a world where traditional artistry and meaningful human connection are in competition with modernity and technology, Daniela boldly lives and creates in devotion to the former.

Inspired by the timelessness and quality of life in Bergamo, Italy, where her studio is located, Daniela Gregis’ look embraces an updated artisanal country feel. Designing for close to 30 years, Daniela creates everyday clothing that is both intellectual and soulful. She is deeply invested in working with traditional techniques and textiles. Many of her pieces feature hand painted fabrics and imaginative embroidery. Her dyeing is made using natural colors with shades that are taken from the most evocative natural landscapes. Daniela focuses on quality and craftsmanship and creates universally relevant silhouettes for all women, regardless of age or body shape. Piously devoted to her materials, not even an inch of the exquisite artisanal fabric is ever wasted. Garments often feature a creative use of the unused fabric: small inlays are delicately sewn on, matching bags and belts are deftly constructed and handkerchiefs and table linens are produced from any remnants.

Daniela expertly navigates the paradoxes between rustic and modern, cozy and minimal and the personal and universal. The garments are light and soft yet have surprising structure. Voluminous shapes are magical in their drape, fabrics and colors are mixed to form artful compositions and flowing layers are feminine and spirited. Her work embodies a desire for a life lived in harmony with each other and the earth, framed in a modern, highly wearable appreciation of beauty. Wear Daniela Gregis with purpose, intention and a little bit of humor.

About Laurie Goldstein

When Laurie Goldstein’s family moved to Israel from New York, she was very concerned that she’d have to speak Hebrew with her kids. Luckily, she was eight years old and still had enough time to learn the language before her kids would be born.

Her childhood experiences include being “the new kid in class” many times, watching her parents adjust to a new country, playing and fighting with her sister, a lot of dance classes, books, an artistic and cultural education from her parents and finally, her own love of making things, always.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in set and costume design at Tel Aviv University, she set off to NYC to do a lot of drawing and ended up in the MFA program for theatre design at New York University. But then something happened that changed the course of events; she took a throwing class and fell in love with clay-completely.
Starry-eyed, she moved to a small town seven hours away from the city, in the snow belt of America, and spent the next two years passionately studying ceramics at Alfred University.
She came back to Israel, set up her own studio, joined “8 Altogether,” a cooperative gallery in Jerusalem and has since participated in many exhibitions. She continues to make functional work and is committed to the ongoing quest of combining function, aesthetics and beauty.

Text Courtesy of Laurie Goldstein Ceramics

About Peter Speliopoulos

Peter Speliopoulos, the founder of Peter Speliopoulos Projects, is a multidisciplinary artist creating ceramics and home objects. His influences are founded in his experience as a fashion designer, creative director, as well as a costume designer for opera and dance.

Speliopoulos’ lifelong fascination with the artistry of color, texture and craft is rooted in a long and successful fashion career, spanning from couture to sportswear, from ethereal to grounded. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Speliopoulos’ passion for melding material and construction led him to Parsons School of Design, where he received his BFA in Fashion Design and was named 1982’s graduating class Designer of the Year.

Europe soon beckoned. Speliopoulos apprenticed in Rome with Laura Biagiotti, and then onto Christian Dior in Paris. Returning to the States in 1985, he began his Seventh Avenue career, first assisting Gloria Sachs to directing design at Carolyne Roehm, and then Donna Karan New York, a senior position he held for four years.

In 1997, Speliopoulos returned to Paris, after being named Creative Director of Cerruti Arte, the Parisian fashion house founded by Nino Cerruti. Speliopoulos’ internationally acclaimed collections with their artistic tensions, juxtaposed masculinity with feminine sensuality, while honoring historic codes.

Called back to Donna Karan International in 2002, Speliopoulos was now Creative Director, leading the Collection brand, and pioneering new initiatives including Modern Icons, Casual Luxe and Cashmere System, creating a 21st century language of dressing, one of international, urban, lifestyle luxury.

A chance Paris meeting with Director/Choreographer Karole Armitage led Speliopoulos to create costumes for Aristophanes’“the Birds,” at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, Greece, in 2000. More international opera Costume Design opportunities followed. In a creative partnership that has spanned over 30 projects, including Armitage’s most seminal ballets, their work continues today. Speliopoulos enjoys other creative collaborations, including with Luca Veggetti, the Italian Director/Choreographer, with whom he has several upcoming projects.

During a 2011 Greek holiday, Speliopoulos, already a collector of antique and contemporary ceramics, began to study with a local potter and friend, Ritsa Eliou. Finding a natural affinity with clay, Peter continued to pursue this new passion, and in 2015 moved into more formal ceramics studies. Through word of mouth and private sales, a collection was born, which eventually led to the formation of Peter Speliopoulos Projects.

Speliopoulos’ evolution into home objects and accessories handcrafted in leather, suede and shearling, expresses a desire to present a balance between the primitive and the contemporary. With the same guiding principles of tactility and organic form as in the ceramics, Speliopoulos creates pieces to provoke the senses, as they embrace a respect for history with the forward motion of modern life.

Images and text courtesy of Peter’s website,

Lainey Keogh: Fans, Fame & Fortune

Affectionately referred to as a “spinner of dreams”, Lainey Keogh’s dedication to craft and creative philosophy makes her one of the most beloved names in contemporary knitwear. Celebrities and working professionals alike swear by her pieces, with names on the list including Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Onassis, Charlize Theron and Naomi Campbell.

Lainey, the driving force behind her eponymous line of sumptuous cashmere, is the epitome of artisan wear. Since her launch in 1997, she has had an eye on hand-making, hand-knitting, and using only ethically sourced natural fibres and dyes. Each piece is individually made by locals in Ireland using Italian cashmere, preserving the history of traditional Irish weaving with every stitch.

“People are looking for modern romance- we’ve all had it with minimalism- and she provides a very modern way of having romantic clothes.”

Susy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

Her switch early on in her career from lab technician to designer was fortuitous, leading to an inspiring path of revolutionizing contemporary knitwear. Her accolades have been numerous. She is a recipient of the Prix de Coeur by Christian Lacroix in Monte Carlo, was then heralded as the “jewel in the crown” at London’s Fashion Week in 1998 by Vogue‘s Anna Harvey, and has had her most sophisticated hand-crafted textiles featured by Christian Dior haute couture. She has knitted an evening dress and coat ensemble as part of the 1997 Dress of the Year, and her work was featured on a set of Irish postage stamps commemorating contemporary, internationally-renowned Irish designers.

“What’s exciting about Lainey is that she’s always pushing the boundaries on what’s technically possible. She has been able to take knitwear into a new dimension by working with yarns technically as well as creatively.”

Hamish Bowels, US Vogue

A purveyor of the arts, her textile work has been featured in exhibits across the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of Ireland in Bath.

A word that best encapsulates Lainey, her work, and her life is love. It is where she began, and what still drives her.

Our Global Impact

With your help, this year we were able to donate and support the following causes both at home and abroad. We gave to a variety of local and international non-profits, focusing primarily on areas of critical humanitarian need and global sustainability. The entries here followed by a star rating have been vetted and assessed by Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates the transparency, efficacy and impact of non-profits worldwide. Each charity they assess is assigned up to four stars based on the aformentioned criteria.

Food Depot, Food 4 Kids Program – $10,000

One in every three New Mexico children were affected by food insecurity in 2020. Hunger is a growing crisis in our state that Santa Fe’s Food Depot focuses on aiding. Our specific donations go to their Food 4 Kids program, which provides meals to children whose parents are unable to provide food for them at home.

Read more about the Santa Fe Food Depot here.

WildEarth Guardians – $10,000

★★★★ – WildEarth Guardians protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers and health of the American West. Their current priorities include the defense of the Endangered Species Act, improving air quality in Colorado (ranked 46th out of the 50 states), setting controls for the exploitation of public lands for private interest and lobbying to transform our country’s Wildlife Services department which poisons, traps and guns down millions of our nation’s most majestic animals. We have supported Wild Earth Guardians for 5 years through direct donation and auction items.

Read more about WildEarth Guardians here.

Rainforest Trust – $13,000

★★★★ – Rainforest Trust strategically purchases and protects tropical lands vital to the endangered species and indigenous communities that call it home. They specifically target heavily threatened habitats critical to preventing species extinction. Over 30 years, they have saved over 2 million acres of tropical habitat across 53 countries.

Read more about Rainforest Trust here.

WildAid – $5,000

★★★★ – WildAid is a tier one “Great Nonprofits of 2020” organization dedicated to reducing demand for illegal wildlife products. Their programs are focused around persuading consumers around the world not to buy illegal or unsustainable animal products such as shark fin soup, ivory and rhino horn and to make better transportation and food choices in order to reduce climate change impacts. We have supported their efforts with about 1/6th of our charitable budget for the last four years.

Read more about WildAid here.

Santa Fe Interfaith Homeless Shelter – $5,000

Also known as Pete’s Place, the Santa Fe Interfaith Homeless Shelter offers a safe and secure place for the homeless as they overcome adversity and stabilize their lives. As the only minimal barrier shelter in Northern New Mexico, they provide a much needed respite for the most vulnerable and oft overlooked members of our community. In addition, they offer a range of support services, such as assistance with SNAP, health care, applying for work and substance abuse counseling.

Read more about the Santa Fe Interfaith Homeless Shelter here.

Global Wildlife Conservation – $3,000

★★★★ – Global Wildlife Conservation protects endangered species and habitats through science-driven field work. They address larger landscape and capacity challenges in addition to focusing on species conservation. Their dedication to endangered species ensures that animals on the verge of extinction are not lost, but instead prosper well into the future. 

Read more about Global Wildlife Conservation here.

Doctors Without Borders – $5,000

★★★★ – Doctors Without Borders is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid to nearly 60 countries. Their primary focus is people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect or catastrophe primarily due to armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics, malnutrition, or lack of healthcare infrastructure.

Read more about Doctors Without Borders here.

RAINN – $10,000

★★★ – RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. It provides best-in-class services for survivors, informs and educates the nation about sexual violence, and improves the public policy and criminal justice response to these crimes. In addition to providing frontline services such as its national hotline, it has invested significantly in curbing violence against women on Native American reservations and is currently tackling the spike in violence against minors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about RAINN here.

CAMFED – $5,000

★★★★ – The Campaign for Female Education is tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed. Their model focuses on inequality and encourages wider social movement in the communities they serve by unlocking the benefits of girl’s education. Over almost 30 years, their education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi have directly supported more than 3.3 million students and provided an improved learning environment for more than 5.7 million children.

Read more about CAMFED here.

The Vera Institute – $2000

VERA challenges racial and economic injustice and is committed to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. They provide legal representation to those who have been illegally convicted, unfairly punished or abused in state jails and prisons. They also provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people and ensure their assimilation back into society is smooth and complete.

Read more about the Vera Institute here.

Gilda’s Ikat Jungle

Deeply creative Gilda Midani is no stranger to all manner of dyeing techniques. They are signature to her brand and infuse every piece with an unstoppable amount of joy. From Indonesian beeswax batik to Japanese Shibori, her techniques are sourced globally and employed in new and exciting ways. With her fondness for exploring twists on traditional craft, it’s no surprise to find the intricacy and depth of Ikat dyeing sprinkled throughout her 2020 collections. 

Ikat, literally “to bind” in the Malay language, is a dyeing technique practiced all over the world where yarns are dyed into a pattern before they are woven together. Because the pattern in these textiles is created using the yarns instead of dyeing the cloth’s surface, both faces of the piece are ornamented.

 Ikat is defined by a characteristic “blurriness” to the design, as a result of extreme difficulty in aligning the pre-dyed yarns when weaving the finished cloth. Although Ikat with little blurriness can be achieved with much care and skill, and is thus more expensive, collectors and admirers alike cherish the “blurriness” of the pattern as a central quality of the technique. 

There is a beautiful earthiness to Gilda’s designs, played up here by both the buzziness of a complex Ikat, richness of the color and the flowy airiness of her silhouettes. The pieces have an incredibly easy wearability, designed with exploration in mind.

Refined Ochre

Issey Miyake | New Arrivals

New pieces from Issey Miyake have arrived in Santa Fe Dry Goods. They will be available online soon!

“One piece of cloth” is the underlying guiding principle of the legacy of Issey Miyake. The brand’s unwavering approach to creation is the freedom to have ideas, unconstrained by any preexisting rules or framework and to be able to make them realities through a tenacious process of research and experimentation. Continually blurring the lines between art and fashion, Issey Miyake’s clothing is equally at home in museum collections as well as personal wardrobes.

Etro | New Arrivals

New pieces from Etro have arrived in Santa Fe Dry Goods. They will be available online and in-store soon!

Sacai | New Arrivals

New pieces from Sacai have arrived in Workshop . They will be available online and in-store soon!

Sacai | New Arrivals

New pieces from Sacai have arrived in Workshop. They will be available online and in-store soon!

Gilda Midani Pre-Fall 2020 | New Arrivals

New pieces from Gilda Midani Pre-Fall 2020 have arrived in Workshop. They will be available online and in-store soon!

Hidden Gems: The Earthiness of Dries Van Noten

How to Wear Magenta

When looking forward to the hot days of summer, we always find ourselves drawn to a palette of color that matches the joy and exuberance we feel internally. In this hunt for joy, deep pinks and magentas spring to the front of our attention.

Magenta specifically is a color that embodies the passion of the spirit. It has often symbolized emotional balance and universal harmony, and is much sought after as a bright and welcoming pop of cheer in a world of neutrals and darks. As an inherently resonant color, it vibrates best when paired with blacks, whites and denim. When worn as a shirt under a layer of white, it evokes the look of a blooming field of flowers. A whole new level of cheeky playfulness can be achieved when worn as a poncho or a jacket and layered over a darker outfit. With a favorite pair of jeans magenta harkens back to a teenage summer, sweet and hopeful. As it is a beautifully bright color, it is always best to let it stand on its own without mixing in too many other hues.

Bursting with energy, Brazilian designer Gilda Midani delights in the most vibrant of magentas for summer. Her hand-dyed pieces drip with joy, distinctly playful in both their rich color and easy wearability. Deep pink, fiery red, and subtle blush all dance across her palette and sink themselves into the breeziest of tees and dresses for the warmer seasons. Using a host of artisanal dyeing techniques and only the highest quality cotton, silk, and linen, Gilda creates clothing designed for a life of unending bliss. 

An Interview with Monica Rusconi

This month we took the time to speak to accomplished Italian designer and part-time poet, Monica Rusconi. Alongside her siblings, Monica began Album di Famiglia in 2000 with the intention of designing a line of easy clothing that facilitates an unmatched joy in living. This year, they celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Your designs are often understated and subtle. What do you find is the most important aspect of the design process?

Monica: When I design a new collection, I usually start from a word, from a concept that I want to express at that moment. For me, a dress is not just a dress. It is a message, a thought, a philosophy… our philosophy. I think fashion should not be simply the production of clothes, but the creation of culture. So, from a few seasons, I’m also showing the collection through books and performances, with the aim of best conveying the philosophy and culture of Album di Famiglia.

Your clothing has a specific feel on the skin. How would you describe this and what is your goal with this part of the collection?

Monica: I fall in love with fabrics! But when I have to make a choice, the fundamental consideration is always the comfort they must ensure. For the summer, my favorite woven is a very light fabric with a paper “crunchy” feel, which allows me to create interesting volumes and shapes. This fabric is made with a high thread count of high quality thin American cotton.

Your clothing’s identity is heavily centered around your family- it is even in the name! What is the importance of family in your work?

Monica: Family and work are closely linked in my life. They are my life! But I also think that clothes develop a strong family identity. I am the second sibling in a family of four brothers. And my mother has always taught us to love our clothes, our toys, our books. A dress is not simply a dress. It’s something to take care of. It is something that is handed down from brother to brother, from sister to sister. It is something that lasts over time. This is how a dress creates a passage, a ritual, a bond.

What are some of your favorite shapes or items in the collection?

Monica: I don’t have a preference for shape. I love geometry itself: its cleanliness, simplicity, and rigorousness. In this sense I study my garments as if they were design objects, where aesthetics and functionality meet.

What is the significance to the repeated circular pattern featured in this collection? 

Monica: Kinya Shimizu, Japanese artist and dear friend, represented the Moon for us with different techniques. They are the [featured] circles of the latest collection: full moon, black, waning, crescent. The moon is circular and the circle is a very important figure for me. My life is a continuous search in an attempt to connect all the things I love. Just like a big circle. 

You have dedicated your Spring collection to your mother and her love for the moon. Can you tell us more about that love? How has your mother influenced this collection? 

Monica: It is a winter evening. And I’m returning from work. My son Pietro, six months old, is at home with my mother. When I arrive, they’re not there. I search all over the house, but I can’t find them. So I go out. The Moon is high in the sky. It is a giant white balloon. And they are there: my mother with my son in her arms, wrapped in a scarf. “We wanted to see the moon,” said my mother. 

It is always evening. But this time it’s spring. I’m going to the hospital to see my mother. There is silence in the bedroom. She looks out of the large window. “Look what a beautiful moon!” she says. This is the last sentence I remember from her. 

When it is evening, I often look at the Moon. And it is as if she was looking at me too. The Moon, my mother… 

Do you design for any specific person in mind? 

Monica: When I design my clothes, I design shapes and volumes that I would like to wear myself. But my main goal is always to valorize, and therefore, I try to create clothing that feels good for anyone who wears them. 

Our thoughts have been with you and all our designers in Italy for the past several months. What has it been like to live and work there during this time? 

Monica: I am an introverted person. So, I haven’t suffered from these months of lockdown. The most difficult thing was to work, knowing that there was a lot of suffering, fear, and uncertainty in the world. To the sadness, I reacted by looking for new solutions and new ideas to continue doing what I love, aware that clothes are not a primary necessity, but also aware that Album di Famiglia gives work to many people every day. And work is a fundamental necessity. 

What is your dream for design in the future? 

Monica: I think recent events offer us a real opportunity to query ourselves, to see our errors, to change, to evolve. I dream for pure and essential design, and recovering the rhythm of the seasons. 

In my search for simple, sober, and qualitative clothing, I will put a more significant commitment to ethical and sustainable projects. Even if we never throw anything away and, we always try to enhance the value of what we have. Examples are the “Simply, clothes” of our e-shop and the new [Up]cycled collection project, that we are showing soon! 

What would you like others to know about Album di Famiglia? 

Monica: This year ADF turns 20 … but the ADF story begins a long time ago, from my dolls’ clothes, which I still keep and one day I would like to show you! 

Why do you think the collection is so successful for Workshop clients who live and visit Santa Fe? 

Monica: I like to think that Workshop clients are people who share our philosophy and values, despite the geographical distance that separates Italy and New Mexico. People who appreciate the simplicity, quality, and comfort of our shapes and materials. Free-thinking people, who shy away from fashion homologation, and prefer clothes in which to feel good and live at ease rather than clothes to appear. 

Wild Life Now Open

We are so pleased to announce the reopening of Wild Life on the plaza. Our doors will be open on an abbreviated schedule: 11am-5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Through the rest of the week, Wild Life will be available for private access through our Santa Fe Dry Goods and Workshop storefronts.

Please join us in store as we celebrate reuniting with the plaza with the freshest perspectives on globally-sourced goods. New for the season is Bertozzi ceramics and linens and Studio Xaquixe glassware in a delightful array of bright summer colors.

For any questions about our re-opening, please contact 505-982-6192 or email us at

Astier de Villatte: Porte des Lilas

As if awakening from a dream, Astier de Villatte’s scents evoke the haziest of memories through their complex perfuming and design. Astier’s candles are the result of a fruitful collaboration between renowned designers and the best of the perfuming world. Using the finest ingredients, Astier de Villatte has created a series of candles and incense that elicit a specific yearning in their aroma and transport the mind to another place in time. 

Astier de Villatte
Astier de Villatte Candles in Atelier de Balthus and Porte de Lilas

Porte des Lilas

The coarse texture of cobblestone shifts underneath the soles of your soft leather shoes as you make your way out of the Paris Metro station. You are greeted with the sweet smell of ylang ylang and rose, underscored by something deep and sweet. Thousands of lilac blooms overflow from neat garden fences, gracing the storied alleyway with their delicate perfume. The familiar spice of Italian bergamot meanders through the air for a note of citrus that awakens the senses. 

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