Trend Union and Philip Fimmano, 2021

Trend Union and Philip Fimmano, 2021

Natalie and Philip Fimmano meet in 2006 and work together on a variety of projects over the following years, from exhibitions and lectures to essays and other publications. 

Today, Philip is a trend analyst, curator, and the Creative Director of Trend Union. Founded by trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, Trend Union shares studied forecasts for coming seasons through uniquely immersive experiences, webinars, and tactile books. This work is deeply inspiring to all of us at Alabama Chanin.  

In 2010, Alabama Chanin exhibits collections at the former East Village home of Trend Union, “The Firehouse.” 

From Philip:

"In 2000, while some of us were still getting our first email addresses and the digital age was in its infancy, words like ‘artisanal,’ ‘repurposed’ and ‘open source’ barely existed in the public lexicon. Yet in New York’s fashion scene, on the chic streets of Paris and underground in Tokyo, a few avant-garde women were already wearing the first iterations of Alabama Chanin– unique and decorative garments sewn entirely by hand using quilting techniques and deadstock jersey. This quiet revolution previewed a future when our craving for tactile emotion would outweigh our desensitized lives online, and when the power of things made by humans would outshine the dangerous onslaught of AI. Sure, we had seen deconstructed couture, unfinished edges and intricate appliqué before; but Natalie’s distinct dresses were a revelation, holding the body tight like a hug, embellishing it in one-of-a-kind beauty.

Serial in production, social in philosophy, circular by design, and faithful to longevity, Natalie's collections signaled that international fashion could break the industry’s seasonal cycle and come from anywhere, even deep in the heart of Alabama where quilt-making became a movement at Gee’s Bend one century before. Local and global while defining a contemporary version of Americana and craft, Alabama Chanin gave work to 22 gifted sewers while telling their stories to the world through the special medium of needle and thread. 21 years on, the brand is all grown up, leading by example, also offering textiles by the yard and patterns that creative consumers can make at home. Embodying the luxury of conscious made-to-pleasure pieces that are better for the planet and soothing for the soul."

—Philip Fimmano, creative director of Trend Union

Learn more about Trend Union here.

Learn more about Philip Fimmano and follow along @philipfimmano.

Slide 1: Rose fabric swatch with whipstitch appliqué, Alabama Chanin Fall/Winter 2007 collection, photograph by Robert Rausch

Slide 2: Tine by Margit Seland and Carved Crow by Mikael Nilsson; Dress from Alabama Chanin’s Revolution collection, Fall/Winter 2008, Crystal Ceramics by Mick Haigh, and wooden basket by Anna Niss from View on Colour: A World of Folk by Li Edelkoort with Mary Miller, 2008, photograph by Robert Rausch (read entries on A World of Folk and Alabama Chanin’s Revolution collection and accompanying exhibition in collaboration with Civil Rights photographer Charles Moore)

Slide 3: “Flags of Hope” essay by Natalie Chanin, published in Talking Textiles, Issue 1 for New York Textile Month, September 2016, photograph by Robert Rausch

Slide 4: Models wearing designs from Alabama Chanin’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection shown at The Firehouse in New York City, photograph by Sarah Lewis

Slide 5: Philip Fimmano, photograph by Thirza Schaap