Natalie’s business partner introduces her to American design legend Fernando Sanchez in New York City. The two comb his archives for his most beloved styles that he feels will translate to the company’s use of cotton jersey. The chosen patterns are transformed to be cut from upcycled cotton jersey t-shirts—the core of Project Alabama’s work. Embroidered and embellished by the Alabama artisans, additional one-of-a-kind pieces are created using scraps from the Fernando Sanchez design and production studio.
This becomes one of the most beautiful collaborations to date. The Fernando Skirt—still included in the collection 21 years later—is photographed on Shalom Harlow for the June 2003 issue of Vogue Magazine.
Fernando Sanchez passed away on June 28, 2006 at his home in New York City.
Learn more about Fernando Sanchez’s inspiring life and work here.
Slide 2: Fernando Skirt patchwork pattern pieces and cutter’s must from Alabama Chanin’s pattern library, photograph by Robert Rausch; Original Rose Fernando Skirt, Project Alabama, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 3: Polaroids of Fernando Sanchez @ Project Alabama embroidered Corset, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 4: Polaroids documenting design process of Fernando Sanchez @ Project Alabama tank, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 5: Fabric Swatch in Rose Black/Plum/Camel with appliqué, reverse appliqué, and accent beading for Alabama Chanin’s 21 Year Collection, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 6: Variations of the original Fernando Skirt pattern, from left: Rose Fernando Skirt in Black/Plum/Camel with appliqué, reverse appliqué, and accent beading from Alabama Chanin’s 21 Year Collection, photograph by Robert Rausch; Single-layer organic lightweight cotton Hawthorne Skirt in Camel Painted Leaves from Alabama Chanin’s Core Essentials collection, photograph by Robert Rausch; Conner Skirt in Dove beaded Sylvan from Alabama Chanin’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection, photograph by Abraham Rowe
Slide 7: Fernando Sanchez at Project Alabama’s Prom Night show, February 2003, photographed by Billy Farrell