High Fashion Has Gone Full Arts-And-Crafts

by MR Magazine Staff

Pablo Ramirez runs a small embroidery business called Stitch Me in West Hollywood. He keeps up an Instagram but doesn’t have a website, unless you count a Yelp page with solid reviews. Like any screenprinting and embroidery shop, Ramirez remains in business primarily by making bulk custom orders for corporations—I Survived the ‘17 Company Cookout! That’s about 50 percent of his business, he tells me. In that regard, Ramirez is about as removed from the world of high-fashion as an apparel business can get. But the other half of his business, the stuff on display in the pictures on Yelp, gives a different impression: there, embroidered on denim jackets, are slithering snakes, tigers bellowing in between branches of roses, and butterflies fluttering near a full English garden. You don’t have to look hard to find the comparison: it looks like a Gucci lookbook. That, Ramirez tells me, is the point. “It came from some of the Gucci jackets, as far as the idea,” Ramirez says over the phone from Los Angeles. “We have the customer send over the logo so we could digitize and recreate the tigers you see on the jacket.” Ramirez’s practice is a recent addition to the trickle-down fashion economy. Typically, Gucci establishes a trend and customers who can’t pay Gucci prices wait for a fast-fashion retailer to create something that’s just different enough they won’t get sued. Now, those same customers will commission local embroiderers as their stand-in for Italian ateliers. (Embroidery on a jacket like this one costs $100.) Read more at GQ.