KOKOON’s founder and designer Laine Sou Weinberg started her label in 1987, selling to major retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, White House/Black Market, to name a few, plus over 1600 boutiques. Preferring to connect directly to clients, KOKOON now sells nationally through independent stylists and online. Laine Sou designs with a mission to provide comfortably feminine style inspired by reality and ethically made in the USA. Laine Sou is the proud mother of two talented grown children, Sam and Tess, and is married to the love of her life, co-founder and business partner Richard. Twitter and instagram @kokoonfashion
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Gina Mount grew up in beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2004, she moved to Chicago where she attended DePaul University and studied Psychology and Anthropology. At this time she began taking metalsmithing classes at Lillstreet Art Center. She combined these three fields to better study how humans relate to objects and most importantly their jewelry. After six years of classes at Lillstreet and receiving a degree in Psychology and Anthropology, Gina moved back to Minneapolis. She has been working in the Carriage House of the Casket Building, located in the lovely Northeast Arts District. Her focus is on very personal, beautiful wearable art that is handmade and one-of-a kind.
Mandy Toomey was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She attended the University of Kansas, majoring in Metalsmithing and Art History. Growing up in Minneapolis constantly being surrounded by the juxtaposition of city life and nature has influenced her work, finding inspiration everywhere from the structural design of Minneapolis bridges to the stillness of the water beneath them and the patterns in the leaves on the trees. Mandy Toomey started mandybymandy jewelry in 2015. She transforms sheet and wire into one-of-a-kind wearable art using soldering, piercing and hammering techniques. Mandy fabricates each piece by hand in her home studio in uptown.
Scott J Lehmann is a brand built on the philosophy of balance and dualism. This is the first collection we will be able to offer to our menswear seekers and we are so excited! Drawing inspiration from the juxtaposition of opposites, he blurs the lines between masculine and feminine, simplicity and the complex, the unique and common, the individual and the masses. He aims to find the exception to the rule in an effort to examine and break down stereotypes… and have fun in the process. Each piece is designed and made by Scott in his Minneapolis studio.
Belle Isle Design
“Statement pieces aren’t just for big occasions”
Belle Isle Design Co is designed and fabricated by Minneapolis-based designer Tess Weinberg. Tess strives to create unique, eye-catching, modern pieces for everyday wear and practices the belief that statement pieces aren’t just for big occasions. Her collections are made up of sterling silver, brass, copper and stunning gemstones.
Karen Morris Millinery
Karen Morris is an accomplished milliner. She is proud to have her work featured in fashion magazines such as Elle and Vogue, and on the runway around the globe. Karen was born in Hong Kong, a cultural crossroads of exuberance, fashion and character. She was trained by top milliners in Britain, Australia and the States.
Karen applies her artistic skill and contemporary style to hat pieces for her haute couture label as well as ready-to-wear pieces for her Obsession label. Each of hat is a one-of-a-kind creation, handmade of exotic materials sourced from around the world. She also accepts commissioned orders. And she enjoys tutoring as well to introduce millinery to the America. Watch her on MN Original here.
Sophisticated, luxurious, and constantly chic are used to describe pieces in which JoeleenTorvick strives to create. Inspired by the everyday shapes, Joeleen creates unique silhouettes that portray stylish elegance with a little edge. The resulting pieces are both modern and refined and allow women to showcase their confidence and individual style.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Joeleen grew up fantasizing about designing clothes, but always thought she’d pursue more traditional vocations like law or medicine. After deep personal reflection and a leap of faith, Joeleen decided to revisit her childhood dream and make it a reality.
In 2008 she obtained a B.S. in Apparel Design and Development, during that time she studied abroad in London at the London College of Fashion, and worked as an understudy for David Rodriguez in New York. After working in New York, Joeleen brought her life back to Minnesota. In 2010, Joeleen launched her company primarily designing custom pieces, but is now focusing on her brand, Joeleen Torvick.
3 Jäg Design
is hand fabricated jewelry by goldsmith Betty Jäger. Born and raised on the shores of the misty Puget Sound, Betty’s current line of hand made jewelry finds inspiration in the interesting and organic textures of her past. Reflections of the simple curve of a wave, the bark on evergreen trees can be found in her organically crafted jewelry. Ms Jäger’s simplistic shapes with complex textures create an interesting balance in sterling silver, 18 karat, 22 karat and 24 karat gold jewelry. The strength of a hand fabricated piece of jewelry robustly highlighted with the softness of hammered texture and smooth satin finish. These pieces exude the consistency of natural elements, imitating the deep texture and bold, voluminous forms, and finally relayed onto metal.
Every piece of 3 Jäg Design jewelry is hand fabricated, creating an extremely strong form, twice that if it were created through the process of casting. Creating jewelry through hand fabrication is a time consuming, and extremely rewarding process for Ms. Jäger. Fabricating metal is a technique in which you start with flat sheet or wire and manipulate it through fire, hammers, and forging. Through this process you are work hardening the piece of jewelry creating an extremely sound structure and a piece of jewelry that will last longer and wear well for years to come. Hand fabricated jewelry cradles the diamonds and gemstone, and also holds it’s polish better than a cast piece.
Bold expressions in sterling silver, heavy with texture, are Betty’s execution of craft. Using centuries old techniques such as hand fabrication and forging, she creates modern jewelry for the bold at heart. Betty focuses on soft voluminous shapes, which possess heft, texture, and solidity. Each piece of jewelry is meticulously crafted by hand, taking on it’s own personality when introduced to it’s unique owner. Since each piece is fabricated one by one, rather than cast from a mold, every piece of 3 Jäg design jewelry is its own idol.
We are twin sisters with a single vision. Our shared love of color, pattern, nature, and independence are the foundation of FOAT. We started our business when activewear was unflattering, reconstructed garments were of poor quality, and eco-friendly wedding gowns were not an option. At a time when environmental concerns were negligible, fabric content was progressively synthetic, and style was homogenized, FOAT offered a refreshing alternative. Our mission is to bring ethical practices and craftsmanship back to the fashion world.
Carlos was born in San Lucas, Toliman Guatemala and came to the states in 1992 at the age of 16. Carlos is inspired by tropical ambience and natural elements. When he’s not out dancing on a salsa night he’s designing jewelry–a passion of he’s had for 18 years. Carlos hand selects beads and stones in Guatemala where he produces his work in a fair trade women’s community. The name Ixmukane has a history. It is the Mayan word for “queen of all queens.” This is also the name Carlos gave to his daughter.
Boho chic adornment for those star folks in the sky.
Honors sustainability and freedom in personal style.
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Live Oak Ironworks
I studied photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, so I guess it makes sense that I became a blacksmith. I had every intent of pursuing fine art, but the infinitely delicate nature of it, coupled with the relative inaccessibility of gallery work, caused me to stray. I learned to weld from a job I had during school and was immediately hooked.
Eventually I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, knowing how to weld in a structural way, but little more. Fortunately, that little bit of knowledge was able get me a job at a very high-production forge, where I learned to blacksmith. Furthermore, I found the production of furniture to be very rewarding. The process of creation is fantastic, but the fact that the client interacts with the piece on a daily basis really sealed the deal.
After a number of years in the desert I moved to Minnesota, where I got a fabrication job in St. Paul. There was no furniture involved. No blacksmithing to be done, so I had no choice but to open my own shop.
I named it Live Oak Ironworks after an oak species prevalent in the South, a species with sprawling, gnarled limbs. To me, they are the apex of organic design, simple yet robust. That’s what I try to capture. Well, that, and the client’s wishes, of course. Most of my work is design / build, but it is all custom, so each piece is a reflection of person or place. So, that’s it. I build custom steel furniture and architectural iron, and I love it.
After graduating from the U of M Clothing Design program, Tessa Druley founded Tessa Louise in 2012 as an avenue to create innovative, versatile women’s wear with attention to detail and quality. Tessa Louise is currently focused on offering fashion-forward knitwear that is easily integrated into a large demographic of wardrobes. Druley lives and creates from her Uptown apartment and is working to be part of the progressive fashion scene in Minneapolis. Please feel free to contact Tessa Louise with custom requests or retail opportunities at email@example.com.
With her jewelry line, Vikse, Jeannie Trelles strives to create jewelry that is unique and wearable using semi-precious stones and sterling silver as well as other natural materials such as shells, pearls, and wood. She combines a variety of techniques in her work including crocheting bezels, hand knotting, wire wrapping and stringing beads to showcase the beauty of the natural stones used. She is influenced by her love of travel and nature, and is always looking to combine materials in innovative ways. Jeannie is an artist at many summer art festivals in the Twin Cities area.
Sonelle is a specialty couturier method designer. Each garment she produces is designed and constructed by hand. Each collection features one-of-a-kind or limited-run garments. As a designer, it is her goal to be able to fit, and represent varying body types and sizes. She works with clients through the process of selecting an appropriate design, fabric and color palette. See yourself from a different angle with Sonelle!
Margaret Mousley is an independent fashion designer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Fashion Design. She is a member of Fashion Group International and a previous FGI Board member. She is the owner and designer of Margaret Mousley Designs and GO Travelwear. Margaretʼs simply elegant designs are made of beautiful fabrics. Also she is a partner in GO Athletic Apparel which makes performance clothing. Go Travelwear is a synthesis of Margaret Mousleyʼs design element and the highly technical fabrics of GO athletic clothing. “I didnʼt start out to make travel clothes,” said Margaret, “but after making an outfit out of wicking fabric, I wore it to Mexico and washed it in a sink, then wore it out to lunch in Manhattan. I realized these fabrics are great for travel.” Wicking fabrics with anti microbial yarn technology keeps travelers comfortable in various climates. Durable and washable fabrics combined with versatile styles make traveling easy.
Fashion Flies with Function.
Made in USA
Maal is your catalyst for social responsibility. Ethical and purpose driven pieces that help save the environment.
Amrita started Maal in 2015. The name ‘Maal’ in Hindi means ‘a basket of beautiful goods or things’. Maal’s mantra is to enrich the lives of South Asian artisans living in small towns and villages brimming with creativity by giving them a global platform. Her sustainable line features small batch statement pieces that are intricately hand woven (fashion, accessories & artisanal wares) with a simple yet arresting and sensual aesthetic. For the fierce, independent and authentic woman.
Amrita lives in Minneapolis and is the proud mother of a teenage girl and a pre-tween boy.
Meg Smith is a former graduate of Parsons School of Design. She has a myriad of work history and experience in fashion design, illustration, jewelry making, murals, and home accessories. She founded Cosette Designs in honor of her grandmother who instilled i
n her that ‘with humble tenaciousness anything can be accomplished’.
She creates original art from the things she loves the most: brooches created using 1940’s cotton millinery flowers and rare vintage crystals. Bracelets and chokers hand sewn using various vintage Czech and Swarovski crystals. Vintage French ombre and hand dyed silk ribbon and tubing, 1950’s stretch velvet, and vintage millinery findings, many of which originated from pre-war Japan, Germany, and France. Her drop earrings are comprised of vintage Czech and Swarovski crystals, vintage pre-war glass, and vintage brass.
All of her hand made creations are designed to pay homage to vintage and utilize her passion for color, historical fashion and combine a variety of interesting textures and materials. Her passion is bringing to life unique one-of-a-kind pieces.