WBM/AUTR – Fashion – Volume 1 – February 2013 

This article is part of a series of excerpts from our first edition digital magazine. Read the full interview HERE.

100% NY is saturated with a passion for ecological responsibility and audacious style. The designs are easily recognizable by their confrontational cut-outs, swept with care, elegance, and skill. The colors of 100% NY alternately burst with fire-lit intensity and hover in bashful tones of pastel.

It is a critical challenge to create desirable clothing while eliminating material waste. Nearly 13.1 million tons of textiles are trashed every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S.A. Chris Anderson, brand manager for 100% NY, admits, “At 100% NY, we never shy away from thinking outside the box.” An innovative determination to overcome the challenges of consumer waste has infused the label with the sense of responsibility that is necessary to direct change.

With designer Daniel Silverstein appearing on NBC’s Fashion Star this March, we will certainly be seeing much more of this unique label. Establishing 100% NY has been an incredible reality for Daniel, as he says, “I get to wake up every day and do what I’ve always wanted to do. What’s not to love about that?” Of course, with all of the whimsy and eclecticism that comes out of the studio, where does the 100% NY team find their creative Muse?

What is the story behind how the company was founded?

After graduating with honors from NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Daniel– and anyone that has ever met him!– knew that it was only a matter of time before he launched his own collection. He had ideas for design that challenged industry norms, specifically those related to fabric waste. Daniel had seen first-hand the piles of landfill-bound fabric that littered fashion factory floors. The thought that this practice was standard in factories around the world bugged the hell out of him. He knew it didn’t have to be this way. So, in 2010, shortly after graduation, Daniel launched 100% NY with the idea that great design doesn’t have to waste fabric.

Tell us about what makes your designs ecofriendly.

At 100% NY, we are one hundred percent committed to making clothes without wasting fabric. According to industry estimates, 15-20% of fabric used in creating a garment is wasted in production. These scraps add to already burdened landfills, and waste the resources used to produce the fabric in the first place. We do our best to keep it zero waste in the studio. When we can’t, only about 2% of the fabric is scrapped. Fortunately, we have a place for these scraps to go! Fellow designer Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda of Balmaseda uses them in her beautiful knitted designs.

Please tease us with an introduction to your Fall 2013 collection, and share with us how you’re preparing for the trade show in March.

DS: This collection is inspired by the idea of influence. We all begin as pure beings, but over time we become curious, doubtful and eventually our purity is lost. Influence can come in the form of an idea, a drug, a feeling, or a higher power, but as you see the colors progress through this collection you will see a loss of innocence, the effects of influence on the mind and body, and eventually a return to virtue. I hope to express that even though we are all different, we all have vices, we all share this journey in life, and though we strive for virtue, when innocence is lost we can never be the same again.