BARE recently had the incredible opportunity to interview Myrrhia Resnick, knitwear extraordinaire, about her namesake brand. Myrrhia Fine Knitwear is a brand based in Oakland that creates hi-tech knitwear as well as emphasizes eco-sustainability and ethics. The designer recently launched her Fall 2014 Collection, having been inspired by space and its Interstellar-esque coldness. As a result, the pieces are designed for the collection emphasize function, comfort, and a sleek aesthetic. And the awesome part? They’re all created using a zero-waste process, with the creation and business model clearly geared for long-term sustainability and social responsibility.
Read on to learn more about to learn more about Myrrhia’s unique design philosophy!
Could you elaborate a little on the philosophy behind Myrrhia? What directed you to the direction of eco-sustainability and social responsibility in fashion?
Our philosophy is to create clothes that empower people with a sophisticated, polished silhouette and artistic, unique fabric patterns and textures. As far as sustainability goes, it is a value, along with ethics, that is so deeply important to us, it’s the only way that makes sense for us to conduct our business. We do things in ways that use resources efficiently, including transporting materials and manufacturing.
I remember reading that Myrrhia focuses on creating hi-tech knitwear for women and men – hi-tech how?
We use flat knitting technology to create full fashion knits with no cutting. Each garment panel is knit to shape and finished to the highest standards. This is a zero-waste process.
What is the most challenging aspect of working on Myrrhia? The most rewarding?
The most challenging aspect is bridging the gap between our apparel and other pricier luxury apparel that is made using plastics and exploitative labor practices. Another obstacle is bridging the gap between our apparel and apparel that people have come to expect from major retailers that is cheap and disposable. The most rewarding thing to see is when a customer fall in love with a piece and it being the perfect thing for them.
Tell us more about the vision guiding the Fall 2014 collection.
I was imagining people living on a space station and being very cold! They needed warm layers to stay comfy in space.
What are some of the issues in the fashion industry that you are hoping to address and, more importantly, solve?
The issue we are most concerned about is self-actualization for our workers, the people in our supply chain and through to our customers. We want to make clothes that make people feel good, that will support them in being successful in their lives. We cherish our business relationships. We reject the culture of fast, disposable fashion with stressful schedules, rushing everyone around, pressuring suppliers to drop prices, paying minimum wage to skilled workers. We don’t do those things. Those practices are destructive to people’s lives.
How can you tell if a knitwear piece is good quality or not?
The quality of the fiber, the density of the fabric, the quality of the stitching at the seams, the way it hangs.
Any funny stories with Myrrhia?
No. We are always super serious about everything and only laugh because we are nervous or uncomfortable.
What or who inspires you in the creation of your designs? How about your fashion style in general?
I love the retro 1960’s idea of futuristic. Barbarella, Courreges, Cardin. Simple, strong lines and practicality.
If the perfect piece of knitwear was out there, what would that piece be for you?
Sweater vests. They are so practical, with just the right amount of warmth and no restriction in movement. You wear it over a tailored shirt, and you’ll only need to iron your cuffs and collar. You look put together and cute with a sweater vest. They are also fun to wear over shirt dresses.
Do you have anything you want to say to the readers?
Buy local! It helps the entire economy when you support small businesses.
You can check out more of Myrrhia’s designs here. Myrrhia’s knitwear pieces are available in several locations throughout the Bay Area, so be sure to snap up some pieces before it starts to get really cold up here!
All images courtesy of Myrrhia Fine Knitwear.