Sustainable & Made in the USA
1. Designer Name:
2. How did you start Rosina~Mae?
I started Rosina~Mae on my birthday in 2009. I had graduated the year before and decided to go out on my own as a designer. My line consists of edgy swimwear and apparel which is ethically produced in the USA. Rosina~Mae has unique silhouettes and fabrics. The collection consists of wearable staples that mix and match. Many pieces are functional and can be worn in more than one way. Patchwork and fabric layering techniques are my favorites and recur in each new collection.
3. What is your background?
A former competitive gymnast and recreational diver, I grew up wearing spandex garments and was familiar with their fit from a young age. Both my background in sports and love of architecture are evident in my designs.
3. Did you study fashion design?
Yes, I studied fashion at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. As a freshman, I won the Eye Opener Award in 2004 which is presented to the freshman whose design is deemed to be the best. I went on to receive a BA in Fashion Design and Merchandising in 2008. In 2017, I was welcomed back by Dominican and was presented the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” at their annual fashion show in April.
4. How long has Rosina~Mae been around?
I launched my swimwear and apparel line in 2009 and originally it was mostly dresses and separates. Swimwear was a natural fit and we made the switch in 2010.
5. What press have you received?
Right before moving to NYC in 2016, I was interviewed by SPLASH, a Chicago Magazine, and was featured in their “Who To Watch” section, which was a true honor. It was a nice send off and I do have fond memories of Chicago. http://www.chicagosplash.com/2016/05/19/watch-rose-mae-turner
Additionally, a Rosina~Mae bikini was featured in a cover story for the online magazine Story + Rain pictured on supermodel Emily DiDonato. https://storyandrain.com/article/chapter-four
Just this week Rosina~Mae was published in the November 2017 issue of Summers Magazine, which features the best in swimwear photography. Lately I’ve also partnered with various bloggers and influencers. My longtime friend, Leyna Bloom has promoted my brand via social media and walked for my S/S 2016 show in NYFW. Rosina~Mae has also been featured in Puricuties, The Worn Out, Volant, Lucire, Ohn Mintyfresh, Beau Nu, and more. For examples view http://rosinamae.com/press/
6. Where is the brand sold?
7. Tell us how your brand is sustainable?
My business model is pretty unique I think. Rosina~Mae is sustainable in a few ways. We use a recycled polyamide fabric (Carvico/ Vita) which is ethically made in Italy. This was introduced in each of our collections in 2015. Prior to that we were using leotards and the fabrics from discarded stretch spandex. Because of my love of patchwork and color-blocking, the various shapes that appear in each collection are formed using the discarded textiles (and fabric from previous collections) as a way of upcycling. We also save all remnants and ethically source our notions. Everything is currently ethically made In NYC and I know each person that sews a Rosina~Mae garment on a first name basis.
8. What are your thoughts on Fast Fashion? Do you only wear sustainable brands? If so, what are they?
I’m a big sustainability advocate, and I don’t buy a product unless I know it was made ethically. I mostly wear vintage clothing and sustainable brands. Clothing swaps and the idea of renting clothing are very appealing.
Manufacturing is important to me. I won’t support fast fashion and the sweatshop labor that the major brands use. Three of my favorite labels are: Furla, Melissa Shoes, and David Delfin.
9. Impressive that your brand is made in the USA. How did you achieve this?
Originally, I was living in Chicago and manufacturing there. It was really challenging to find manufacturers specializing in swimwear and stretch knits. While I had some really great people, I had been yearning to take my line to the “next level.” I wanted to improve the fit of each garment. Being able to immerse myself within a Garment District really makes it all happen. New York has been game-changing. I currently get vegetable-dyed trims from Shindo, which is located down the street from RCW (where my samples are sewn). RCW is also only a couple blocks away from Star Snaps (where the eyelets are put in). Those are just a few of the various businesses I support and source from. Because NYC is pedestrian friendly, I am also able to walk from place to place.
I also have had a few companies in Brooklyn and Queens produce samples and trims. Shilo Byrd in Brooklyn has sewn some samples. The New York Binding Co. in Queens has made custom spaghetti trim. While, they aren’t technically in The Garment District, they’re still close enough via public transportation.
10. I love your collection. It’s edgy, cool and hip. Most people think of sustainable brands as frumpy looking. How did you maintain the combination of eco-friendly and fashion forward style to your brand?
Thanks so much. I wanted to show that ethical style can be hip and unique. The past couple years I have noticed a surge in sustainable brands actually marketing that they are sustainable, and I started to reach out to ethical fashion bloggers as well.
11. I like that your tops and bottoms mix-match. There are no rules. Why did you decide to do that?
I like having options and think that clothes should travel well and mix/ match with a variety of things. That also makes the item sustainable because it means you can pack fewer things, yet still have enough looks. I also say that it takes you “from the beach, to the street, to the party.” I have many ideas on how certain pieces can be worn and layered.
12. What do you think of your swim collection being featured on Summer Rayne Oakes?
I love that Summer has a green thumb and think that seeing my line on someone quirky and cute like her is relatable. She’s an inspiration and doing a lot of good. I definitely support that. Her pet chicken was also just fabulous!
Model: Summer Rayne Oakes is wearing Rosina-Mae swimwear as a layering piece.
Photography: Kira Bucca @kirabuccaphotography
Fashion Stylist: Alison Hernon @718blonde
Makeup: Joshua Barrett @joshuabeauty
Hair: Damian Monzillo @damianmonzillo
Model: Summer Rayne Oakes @homesteadbrooklyn
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