On any given day from fall through spring, you can find me in a good sweater. Despite my love for it, knitwear is not my expertise. So to bring the pieces of my dreams to life, we partnered with Mandy Kordal - she has a reputation for producing impeccable, considered garments with the most beautiful fibers right at home in New York. Together we’ve developed a collection comprised of my favorite silhouettes, effortless colors, and decadent materials - meant to become those wardrobe mainstays you never, ever want to take off.
Just like our shoe collaboration, we don’t take the act of producing outside our Nashville warehouse lightly, and we have only pursued projects we are confident we can’t do well ourselves, but believe will be valuable and relevant to our customers. This was an exemplary case - Mandy and the team at Kordal took silhouettes and garments we have tried to produce in the past (using knit fabrics and cut and sew techniques) and redeveloped them as fully fashioned knit garments, and the improvement all around is incredible. The difference between cutting garments out of knit fabric and sewing them together vs. knitting the garment with yarn to shape is more significant than you might expect. The finished product is more durable, has significantly more stretch and recovery, an improved fit, features much higher quality construction techniques, and produces zero waste. That’s right - ZERO waste. The flexibility for stitch types and finishes makes for a far more beautiful end product, inside and out.
I met Mandy of Kordal when we had both just started our businesses several years ago - we each had a booth at a Brooklyn craft fair. We became friends and followed along with each other’s growth over the years, and this opportunity to work together was so fun. Her studio and headquarters for Kordal is in Brooklyn, NY, and she works with the production team at the BF+DA to manufacture her knits. That’s where our pieces are being produced as well, so we took a trip up to visit Mandy and see firsthand how our garments are being made and learn a bit about the process.
The BF+DA is a collaborative and inspiring space, making state-of-the-art equipment and techniques available to smaller brands and designers that wouldn’t otherwise have access. Their bright, industrial production space is quiet and focused, with a small knits team handling everything from writing the knitting pattern, threading the machine, seaming and trimming, to hand stitching the tag onto each piece. Our garments are produced on two Shima Seiki machines which are truly top of the line, cutting edge pieces of equipment. They use the digital pattern to knit either a complete, fully finished garment (like our mock-neck sweater), or full panels that are then seamed together (like our rib turtleneck). Watching the machines whir and work, efficiently and precisely creating a garment out of seemingly thin air, was mesmerizing.
I feel strongly about the power of dressing, and sweaters are my personal favorite tool for channeling strength and sanctuary - this collection is truly designed for both the body and soul. I am so grateful that we were able to partner with a brand I admire and trust, and that we were able to bring to life pieces we couldn’t otherwise produce on our own. More to come on the nitty gritty details of how knits are produced, the difference between knits and wovens, and the the inspiration for the collection (plus a fun video of our trip to Brooklyn!).
PRODUCTION ROOM AT THE BF+DA
See a bit more of the production room at the BF+DA below - the two large machines are the Shima Seiki’s - the feel almost like large printers. You can see one of the ladies on the knit’s team seaming together a turtleneck, another working on a digital pattern, and Lisa, the Knitwear Production Manager, showing us how everything works.
The Kordal Studio
After touring the production space, we went to visit Mandy’s studio for Kordal. Tucked away in a Brooklyn warehouse, the space is cozy and inviting - a warm haven filled with yarn, swatches, and samples. Get a peek inside Mandy’s studio below!
SHOP THE KNITS COLLECTION