Erin Reitz joined Alabama Chanin’s design team in 2016. Today, she is the Design Director and has collaborated with Natalie on some of our most iconic collections.
“I will never forget when I first saw Project Alabama on the cover of WWD. I had been an intern at a small fashion company for a year...and decided to go back to school to study fashion design. I was so taken with the hand sewn garments using recycled textiles...it was the first time I connected the dots that being a clothing designer could mean more than just designing clothing. I realized through the choices you make in designing you can affect individuals, communities, and the environment. It was a real light bulb moment for me...and made me even more passionate about the industry (and how it needed to be changed). I also then became a lifer fan girl of Natalie!
Many years later my then boyfriend, now husband, invited me out to dinner to meet his friend, Natalie. On the way to dinner he mentioned that she has a clothing company. I could not believe my ears that I was about to have dinner with Natalie Chanin. It was about three glasses of wine into dinner that I admitted to her that I had been a huge fan for years and was struck by meeting her. Natalie and I had a very strong and fast connection. I began to work for the company shortly after that dinner in Seale. She has influenced me in so many ways...she brings inspiration and poetry into my life. Designing with her makes me feel like as a team we can actually have an impact on this world. She and the company bring so much magic and hope into my life.”
—Erin Reitz, design director, Alabama Chanin, The Shelter Collection
Slide 1: The Samantha Joan Dress from Alabama Chanin’s Florence Collection, Fall/Winter 2021, photograph by Rinne Allen; Erin Reitz at work in Alabama Chanin’s design studio at The Factory, 2017, photograph by Abraham Rowe
Slide 2: The Trench in White Gold hand-painted gilded fabric, photograph by Rinne Allen; The Rose Trench in Camel with upcycled organic cotton reverse appliqué from Alabama Chanin’s 21 Year Collection, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 3: Lee fabric swatch in Vetiver and chambray with whipstitch appliqué (inspired by the structural, otherworldly works of artist and sculptor Lee Bontecou), photograph by Abraham Rowe; The Sylvia Dress in Vetiver chambray, photograph by Rinne Allen from Alabama Chanin’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection
Slide 4: The Luda Cape in Beaded Sylvan; The Brenna Cape in Lee with whipstitch appliqué from Alabama Chanin’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection, photographs by Abraham Rowe
Slide 5: Rinne Tunic and Long Fitted Skirt in Pansy negative reverse appliqué, short sleeve Rib Turtleneck, and the Essential Skirt in Soft Rib Knit from Alabama Chanin’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection, photograph by Rinne Allen