Natalie Chanin: Bringing Fashion to Her Small Town
"Alabama Chanin, the fashion brand helmed by designer Natalie Chanin, is headquartered in a spacious former textile-manufacturing factory, which includes not just a design and production studio but also event space and a public café. But the most unique aspect of the company’s headquarters are implied in its name: the company is based not in one of the known fashion meccas but in Florence, Alabama, a town boasting a population of around 40,000. Natalie Chanin grew up in Florence but after college headed to New York City where she made a name for herself as a designer and stylist. Having grown up with a deep respect and passion for her community’s tradition of hand-sewing, Chanin eventually found herself heading back home, the perfect place to re-envision her company as a brand rooted in both community and tradition. Alabama Chanin works with independently contracted local seamstresses and tailors, helping to revive the faltering textile industry in the area. Here in her own words, Chanin describes the generosity that pervades the company and why, ultimately, there’s no place like home."