31 January 2014

Designer Highlight: ArinMaya-Made

ArinMaya and I first met in 2011 at a women's empowerment showcase in Bushwick, Brooklyn, organized by songstress and friend, Kat Webb.We exchanged our art- one of my resin acrylic quinoa GEMs for a pair of Arin's bottle cap earrings.

These bottle cap earrings were the key to my heart.

(These are available for purchase in her online shop. Support indie design!)

Created with bottle caps sourced over many years working in lush Brooklyn bars and restaurant venues, these long, tiered and comfortably light earrings have been a signature of ArinMaya-Made, a Brooklyn based accessories company serving fashion aficionados and creatives alike with thoughtfully reconstructed and handmade goodness.

(Photo Credit: ArinMaya-Made's Facebook Page

We sat down many, many moons ago in one of such bar/restaurant venues to discuss life, her work, inspiration, and philosophy on just about everything. What I found most remarkable about Arin's story is that her choice to use bottle caps didn't come with a pre-determined "green business" agenda. She selected these bottle caps for their beautifully rugged, chromatic diversity: the bold colors of their logos and their scintillating metallic sheen.

Similar to acclaimed visual artist, El Anatsui, Arin's decision to use the bottle cap as the foundational medium for her work was an aesthetic choice that nonetheless still holds the power to inspire environmental art and design.

(El Anatsui's Metal Sheets, Photo by ReciclaGEM)

Among Arin's many talents, she is an acclaimed vocalist and poet, knitter, and performer, having recently returned from Paris Fashion Week as one of the models for Rick Owen's renowned Spring 2014 presentation (!!!).

Even if inspired initially by an aesthetic choice, ArinMaya-Made is truly an independent brand that effortlessly embodies the philosophy of "reciclagem," the aesthetics of social recycling, bricolage, and being inspired as much by our physical world as by our social one.

Bottle caps and recycled wearable artistry,

P.s. I wear my ArinMaya-Made all the time, Pictured below rocking it in one year at our workshop in L.A. Also brought her work to a talk I did also many moons ago on ethical and sustainable fashion, hosted by the Sistah Friends Project.

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