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MEET THE DESIGNER: COOK & GATES

Cook & Gates
Sara Gates SHOP ALL
When Ethan Cook and Sara Gates started their line of hand-dyed bags, they were looking for an outlet. The duo had launched a screen-printing company in 2006 that relied heavily on masterful repetition, but both founders had painting backgrounds that compelled them to make something fresh and different every time. “With screen-printing, I can produce 200 or 1,000 things that are identical,” explains Sara, who studied fine art at Chelsea College of Art & Design and Pratt and now runs the awesome bag operation on her own. “I got into dyeing because you can never produce anything identical.” READ MORE


When Ethan Cook and Sara Gates started their line of hand-dyed bags, they were looking for an outlet. The duo had launched a screen-printing company in 2006 that relied heavily on masterful repetition, but both founders had painting backgrounds that compelled them to make something fresh and different every time. “With screen-printing, I can produce 200 or 1,000 things that are identical,” explains Sara, who studied fine art at Chelsea College of Art & Design and Pratt and now runs the awesome bag operation on her own. “I got into dyeing because you can never produce anything identical.”
The form of the pieces she creates is classic: a basic tote made of high-quality canvas (“As painters, we had both worked with that material for years.”) that allows moody, multi-color designs and ornate bleaching to really shine. “The tote makes it so much more accessible to people. We realized that
we could reach a lot more people doing something simple,” adds Sara, who does the dyeing, screening, and also her sleeping and eating from a loft space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Still, though, there are plenty of ways to grow and evolve the Cook & Gates business without overcomplicating things: Sara is obsessed with how the beautified canvas looks before it’s cut. She wants to create some larger-scale pieces (tapestries, scarves, rugs—we’re down) and is starting to play more with leather. “I think there’s definitely a lot of potential in that material, and I don’t think it has been dyed or printed on as much as other fabric,” she explains. “I think it’s an interesting, different route to go.” —erica

cookandgates.bigcartel.com

BEHIND THE SCENES

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Sara Gates Makes Some Print-Happy Art

She demonstrates that black-and-white can be way impactful.

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Inside Job Sara Gates Shows Off Her Space

She’s adorned it with all kinds of massive printing tools.

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