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Get Outta Town

Check Out Chiyome’s So-Cool Long Island City HQ

Get Outta Town BY alisha prakash 08/15/2013

Chiyome—Anna Lynett Moss’s line of so-sleek, New York-made totes, pouches, and backpacks—sure looks good. But it does good, too. “If we can build this company to be anything that we want, why wouldn’t we push the boundaries and see if we can have a profound effect in our community?” she says. Case in point: Chiyome recently hired survivors of human trafficking as creative collaborators in the manufacturing process. “We plan to integrate their thoughts as the designs evolve—many of them have an interest in being designers or working for fashion brands. At this time, the focus is on perfecting sewing skills and thinking about design from the ground-up,” Anna explains. “It’s about actualizing a future freedom for some of the city’s most under-served residents.” So where does all of Chiyome’s magic happen? At 5Pointz, a 200,000-square-foot warehouse-cum-artist’s paradise in Long Island City that’s dressed in graffiti from head-to-toe. Yah, pretty much everything about this line’s mind-blowing. 

 

 

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"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of Chiyome

 

 

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“I’m not a morning person, but the morning light in our space is really perfect. We face south, but somehow it’s never too harsh. The glass panel on the lower right helps us chart orders, stay on track, and monitor collaborations. Because we have so many people for such a small space, it’s important to coordinate schedules so we’re not all on top of each other.”

 

 

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“Here are a few samples in our showroom space from our Hover collection. We love having visitors and have received great feedback from the customers we have been lucky enough to meet in person.”

 

 

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“We recently instituted a new policy called ‘Don’t talk to the sewer.’ The level of concentration required to stitch leather perfectly is critically important. This Singer is from the seventies, and we bought it from a charming retiree in Astoria. She had a quiet nostalgia and seemed quite reluctant to let it go, but I told her I would take care of it and that she could come see its new home if she wanted.”

 

 

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“This is the workshop side of the space. At the beginning of the summer, it was just me in studio, but since then, we’ve added a COO, a director of social impact, an intern, and four collaborators in design and production. We’ve worked to cultivate a community that celebrates honesty, critical thought, and commitment to craft. Chiyome has the opportunity to subvert conventional power structures through including our collaborators in the design and decision-making process. It’s a transformative experience for us all to share roles and find community in our dialogue.”

 

 

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“In December, we launch the first capsule collection created solely by the hands of our newest collaborative partners. In this image, you can see two early prototypes. We chose Lucid as the title of this early body of work. Lucid has clear vinyl and frosted acrylic, and shows the play between opacity and translucency in the bags.”

 

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