From the loving way Amira Marion approaches vintage textiles, you’d think the fabrics raised her or something. And, well, they kind of did: Thanks to her parents’ travel bug, her entire Michigan home was decked out in wall hangings from Guatemala—but that’s not something Amira really appreciated until she went off to college, studying clothing design at Parsons. “I got really into it when I was in school,” she explains. “I loved discovering textiles from other countries. When I wanted to start this textile project, Guatemala was naturally the first place to start.”
But she didn’t dive into a label of her own immediately following graduation. Instead, Amira worked in accessories at Madewell and then headed to Paris. There, she learned the language, met her bonafide-Frenchman husband, and decided it was time to do her own thing business-wise. “It was while I was in France that I started thinking about the project and making some contacts in Guatemala, before finally moving back here and launching,” says Amira of developing her so-good pillow line, Archive New York, and returning to its namesake city.
Since Archive’s February 2014 launch, Amira has been focused on really nailing her wondrous, two-prong approach to fabric-production. After sourcing vintage textiles in small Guatemalan villages, she either a) replicating them, snazzy embroidery and all, with some modern updates or 2) scans the patterns, manipulates them, and prints them on silk. “You just have to keep telling yourself that it’s okay to start small,” she explains. “Do what you can. Do everything you can.” —maura brannigan
BEHIND THE SCENES
If you didn’t want to go before…
They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.