Monday, September 20, 2010

Featured Crafter: Ono Mangano {Sew Ono}

What led you to pursue design?

When I was starting college, a department chair asked me what I wanted to major in and I responded “phys ed” at which he looked me over, grinned, and said “no you don’t.” Since I was apparently really bad at hiding who I was I became an artist.

What materials do you prefer and why?

I will work with most textiles and found objects as long as they have all been pre-loved. My pieces are recycled right down to the buttons, trims and zippers. When I can obtain quality salvaged thread I will use it but mostly I buy that new, I don’t want a garment to fall apart on a customer because of dry-rotting thread. I have always preferred used materials. There is so much stuff out there and I believe we should be using all of our local resources to provide what we need.

What is your process like?

My process is very similar to what it was when I was a sculptor creating found object assemblages. I find used clothes or rickrack or buttons that appeal to me and I take them home and hope to fit them with other pieces that I have found. It’s amazing to discover that a new acquisition is the exact dye color of a vintage trim craft swapped the year before.

What do you hope to achieve with your work (professionally and personally)?

What I would most like to achieve is a common societal understanding and respect of the sustainable clothing movement. So many people are now coming on board to eat natural and buy local but their sustainable living doesn’t necessarily carry over into what they wear. No one is questioning why the standard mall chains are so cheap or care when the clothes fall apart. When that happens it is a new season anyway and time to buy the newest trends and pitch the old.

What advice would you give to other aspiring designers?

The best advice I can give is to make what you believe in. Don’t create based on fashion or social trends, you won’t be satisfied with what you make or yourself. Others will recognize and be more responsive to your passion and therefore your work.

Do you consider yourself an "indie designer"?

YES. I make recycled one-of-a-kind clothes from used out-of-style ones, by hand, in a studio/guest bedroom/office in my house. You won’t find the fashion industry lurking anywhere near me.

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

Hmmmm, since Fall is upon us, I will admit to loving football and engaging in the highly unfashionable act of wearing a jersey, in public, on game day.

You can see more of Ono's work on her website or at Crafty Bastards on October 2nd, 2010.

All images courtesy of Ono Mangano.

No comments: