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shauna alterio and stephen loidolt

OF forage

Stephen Loidolt and Shauna Alterio have had quite the history: They met some 13 years ago as undergrads at Kansas City Art Institute before ending up together at grad school at Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, later bopping around a bit, and eventually landing in Philadelphia. The two artists—Stephen’s background is in sculpture, and Shauna’s is in printmaking—have been major influences on each other’s work through the years, and Forage, a bow tie line they launched in the summer of 2010, is a full-blown collaborative effort. Every aspect of each tie—from the fabric-sourcing and hardware-attaching, to the tag-making and boxing—is hand-executed by the duo out of a rehabbed tire factory. Lest you think the ridiculously thoughtful approach might feel like a burden: “When we were first making the bow ties, it almost seemed like Shauna was most excited to be able to package something in these boxes that she had found,” Stephen says.

The name for the line comes from the joy the two take in digging up vintage material, which helps keep the creation process feeling fresh. “For the first collection, we went to New York, and we told ourselves, ‘We better find fabric that we love, or we’re in trouble,’” Shauna explains. “At this antique mall, Stephen found this insane stash of plaids from the forties, and he was like, ‘You mean like this?!’”


Behind The Scenes

  • Profile_tumblr_ljwh65fqsl1qazwkm
    The Forage Origin Story It all started with a cabin in the woods and 150 bow ties.When Stephen Loidolt and Shauna Alterio thought up Forage, they conceived of it as a one-off project—not the full-blown line of upbeat, vintage-inflected bow ties it is today. Thankfully, they documented the process, and Shauna is happy to recount the tale of their beginnings.The worksite“We had a show at the Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco, and they basically told us, ‘Do whatever you want.’ So we were tossing around a bunch of idea... READ MORE »
  • Profile_tumblr_ltxkdfrei21qazwkm
    Forage's His/Her Inspiration The designers break it down so you can see exactly how they meld their diverging aesthetics.Shauna Alterio is Stephen Loidolt’s work wife and real wife. And one of the most fascinating parts of creative coupledom (in our minds, anyway) is how two disparate visions can come together in one cohesive line—in this case, Forage’s assemblage of thoughtfully crafted ties, made from subdued florals, speckled wools, and in-your-face checks. Shauna talks us through a sort of Venn diagram of their influ... READ MORE »
  • Profile_tumblr_ltzhlrjmrj1qazwkm
    The Forage Duo Shapeshifts Who says a bow tie has to be so straightforward?There is nothing cut-and-dry about a bow tie, at least in Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt’s world. The two, who’ve masterminded a line of fresh, high-functioning neckwear out of an industrial Philadelphia studio, are constantly adjusting and reworking their Forage tie shapes, fattening up one style for a thicker knot and tweaking the ends of another to impart some asymmetry. Oh, and: This summer, they introduced a style for the ladies a... READ MORE »