One of a Kind Show


Sartorial Style: Get to Know These One of a Kind Makers

03 . 07 . 2022

No matter your personal style--bold, minimalistic or somewhere in-between--the fashion at the One of a Kind Spring Show is sure to catch your eye. We spoke with four gifted designers about their work, inspiration, and lives as creatives.

Chicago designer Kate VanAsten crafts casual yet elevated clothing for women using luxe eco-friendly materials, She is bringing her dreamy new Spring Collection, inspired by romantic-era poetry and Italian vineyards, to the One of a Kind Spring Show.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Kate: I'm inspired by my fellow makers and entrepreneurs. They balance long hours and multiple jobs with their home lives, always competent, intelligent and conducting themselves with poise. I design clothing that can keep up with them! Pieces that are stylish yet not fussy and are easily washable. Most of my fabrics can be thrown in the washer and dryer over and over.

Tell us more about your eco-friendly approach.

Kate: I'm obsessed with sustainable fashion. I read books on the subject and listen to a never-ending list of podcasts about the latest fabric technology. I choose the most eco-friendly fabrics I can find for my garments.

I started a blog to teach my customer base about the science and nuances of sustainable fashion. I want them to be able to have intelligent conversations about eco-friendly fashion. In my nine years of business I've noticed that as customers become more aware of the issues, fabric manufacturers respond with better, more sustainable fabrics. I use my platform to create caring consumers who can spot greenwashing in the fashion industry!

What are you especially excited to bring to the Spring Show this year?

Kate: My plus-size garments. There are so many women who deserve to look and feel fabulous and the fashion industry has ignored them for too long!

Based in Phoenix, Arizona with roots in Chicago, Angie Consalvo constructs vibrant, boho-street style handbags with new, repurposed and originally designed textiles.

Tell us about your work.

Angie: My studio is in an industrial area of Phoenix. There is space to paint fabric for bags, obsess over my inspiration board, and design fabric for the next season. Recycled denim is also a key ingredient for many designs. All of my bags are made with new, old, or originally designed fabrics in-house. I focus on simple designs with a gutsy pattern on pattern aesthetic.

How did you decide to become an artist?

Angie: When I was 25, I lost a close friend. At that time, I was also unhappy with my career and realized that life can end at any point. So, I decided that I need to create everyday. It's not always easy, but I am happy. People tell me how lucky I am, but I created this life for myself- so can they!

When you're not working on your art, how do you spend your free time?

Angie: I spend so much time working on my bags but when I have a free moment, I love working on my fine art collage paintings. I also love to travel, explore, eat and blend into other cultures. I am obsessed with Orange Theory Fitness, too!

Based in Hudson Valley, New York, Sharon London creates works of wearable fiber art with her husband, Carl.

Tell us a little more about your work.

Sharon: My work focuses on the history of patterns reflecting in nature. Committed to sustainability, Carl and I design, machine knit, shape and sew our knitwear using responsibly grown Egyptian cotton yarn that allows us to create luxurious pieces that are machine washable. We design, hand paint and print our custom dresses and tops using recycled fibers and natural dyes. Our dresses come in different styles to complement the figure and we custom adjust our designs to create the perfect fit to feel comfortable and stylish.

How do you find your inspiration?

Sharon: By immersing ourselves in our extensive vintage textile archive, we extract, discover and uncover patterns, lines, surfaces, textures, repetitions and dimensions. We combine these images in history with the patterns found in nature on our daily walks, finding a balance that is grounding and brings the past to the present.

What handcrafted possession do you most cherish?

Sharon: All of the paintings and artwork we have collected on our travels, plus the beautiful jewelry that we have traded with other artists from shows and markets over the years.

What are you most excited to bring to the Spring Show this year?

Sharon: We are excited to bring our latest knitwear and dresses to Chicago! We are also especially excited about our new individually hand-painted dresses dyed with marigolds and other natural dyes.

Based in Washington, D.C. and founded by Sarah Bayot, Kicheko is a female-owned social impact jewelry brand with designs that center around distinctive mixed media pieces that embody boldness, playfulness and simple elegance. Inspired by balance, geometry and nature, Kicheko's earrings, necklaces and rings are designed with gold-plated brass, metals, wood, fiber, pearls, beads, acetate, natural stone, and lab grown opals.

How did you become a maker?

Sarah: Since college, I've been drawn to interdisciplinary fields and where that became personal for me was the intersection of the creative arts and social impact. I studied in Washington, D.C. and it's a city center for policy, think tanks and legislation. When I decided to make D.C. my home after graduation, I wanted to bring something different to the city and add to its arts culture. I waited a few years before starting my business and becoming a maker full-time because the concept to me was still abstract but the seeds were there. I began taking sewing and jewelry classes. Eventually, I started to design my first collection, signed up for a few shows, and when I received my first large order, I was hooked and knew this is what I wanted to build.

What inspires your designs?

Sarah: My inspiration begins with the design principle to play off existing patterns, shapes and trends. I love mixing materials and shapes while also finding a balance in the piece. The jewelry I make has texture, a pop of color or pattern and imbues boldness, playfulness and simple elegance.

What handcrafted possession that is most special to you?

Sarah: I have a rounded woven basket that was handmade in the Congo by women weavers. It sits between my kitchen and dining room and it's such a simple, beautiful piece that is meaningful to me. It reminds me of my time traveling and volunteering in Congo.

Don't miss these wonderful fashion, accessory, and jewelry designers and more when you visit the One of a Kind Spring Show!