If you’re a designer—even an amateur just starting out with sewing machine and a few ideas—then Goodwill can be the best place to look for “raw materials:” take the seams out, cut the buttons off, hem it, line it, bring in the waist. There’s a thousand possibilities the minute you walk in the store. But young women, our main target for this concept, were difficult to reach with traditional advertising (and not as inclined to shop Goodwill as their moms). So Y&L took an editorial approach.
Partnering with PATTERN magazine, we sent six up-and-coming professional designers to Goodwill to find something, anything, then transform it into something beautiful. Some painted; one designer converted men’s wear to women’s. Another was inspired by the style of the court of Marie Antoinette. Recognizing that these designers had essentially created artworks, we involved a curator of the textiles collection at Newfields, who immediately saw connections to pieces from their collection. All of this made for excellent social and editorial content—and PATTERN let Y&L write and design a feature story on the project, to run in their Fall “Art”-themed issue.