Brooklyn Slow Fashion Designer Rosina~Mae Photo: Courtesy of the designer
"In NYC, the sustainable design scene is thriving!" says Brooklyn based sustainable swimwear designer Rosina~Mae during our zoom call. Having had dozens of calls and texts with the Brooklyn-based slow fashionista over the past six months. This was just the excited response I needed on a day when news that the pandemic has affected retail indie sustainable fashion designers the most.
"Now I've added masks to my collection, it's been important to me they have the same versatile, sustainable and happy vibe as my swimwear line." She says.
Like thousands of designers around the world, the designer has pivoted her brand to include face masks in her design collection, following high demand during the rise of the COVID 19 pandemic.
"At first I sewed masks for a few companies during the height of the pandemic. The companies I worked for provide patterns and fabrics and it felt great helping people get the PPE they so desperately needed. It was more or less volunteer work, but I gained knowledge on the types of patterns that worked and started to research what people liked."
Selection of hand-made sustainable face mask collections all by Rosina~Mae, NYC.
Born in Atlanta, GA, Rosina~Mae grew up in Springfield, IL, and has a BA in Apparel Design and Merchandising from Dominican University. In 2017 she was given the "Distinguished Alumnus Award” for her work in the fashion industry by the University.
Rosina~Mae's collection of sustainable face masks bring colour and vibrancy to the most necessary of accessories. Her collection includes masks of different materials and textures, styled into fitted versions with elastic and toggles. All of the masks are one-of-a-kind and uses end rolls, and up cycled materials that would have ended up as waste if not utilised in this most creative fashion.
However, with now thousands of pop up designed facemark to choose from, what is it that makes her masks unique? The designer explains.
"I use swimsuit material in my work, and I want each mask to have a story and for the consumer to know sustainability is always a part of my designs. I didn’t want to buy new fabric. I now use recycled thread and GOTS certified organic cotton for the line, and researched to make sure my supplies are sustainable. I use smaller scraps, and typically use fabric remnants from spandex leotards, vintage stretch material from goodwill, and reclaimed fabrics from FabScrap. I do save every scrap! I am happy knowing no material is going to waste."
L2R: Rosina~Mae at Fireplace NYFW, With bestie Leyna Bloom, Instagram Collection
WHERE TO BUY? Rosina~Mae is available at: Fireplace in the West Village (Manhattan), Butterfly in the East Village (Manhattan), Willoughby General in BedStuy (Brooklyn), Happy Place in Bushwick (Brooklyn), and Friends NYC in Bushwick (Brooklyn). BESTIES HELP Rosina~Mae's longtime friend @LeynaBloom has worn her pastel two-tone best selling mask. Bloom an activist and actress, is the first trans model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (August 2021).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Upcoming plans for the designer include a small NYFW showcase event in September ( 2021), expanding the Rosina~Mae collection into more ethical boutiques and art galleries and a new collection for the Remake NYC show February 2022. Visit the Rosina~Mae website latest designs, news, stockists and bespoke services www.rosinamae.com