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Fashion designer speaks at Brenau

Natalie Chanin will bring sustainability message

POSTED: April 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.
/For Get Out

Natalie Chanin, creator of the Alabama Chanin fashion line, will be speaking about running a sustainable business today at 10:30 a.m. in Brenau University's Hosch Theatre.

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In honor of Earth Day, Brenau University’s Fashion Design Department has arranged a visit from an eco-friendly clothing designer.

Natalie Chanin, creator of the Alabama Chanin fashion line, will be speaking about running a sustainable business today at 10:30 a.m.

Chanin’s company in Florence, Ala., where Chanin lives, specializes in making clothing from "repurposed and locally-sourced materials" and hand-sewn couture garments constructed using quilting and stitching techniques from the rural South. She uses local labor to create her products and strives to run a zero-waste company. Her work is currently featured in a zero-waste fashion exhibit in New Zealand.

Chanin bills herself as "designer, manufacturer, stylist, filmmaker, mother, artisan, cook and collector of stories" — all contributing to the attraction for Brenau, says Lori Gann-Smith, Brenau’s fashion design program director.

"Rarely do business and sustainability interact so fluidly," said Gann-Smith. "And Brenau is proud to host such a fierce talent."

Chanin will be speaking in the university’s Hosch Theatre, 429 Academy St., Gainesville. The lecture is free and open to the public. She will also meet with fashion design and merchandising students in a master class laboratory before a 5 p.m. reception in Lockett-Mitchell Parlour in Yonah Hall, where Chanin will also sign copies of her books, which will be available for purchase at the lecture.

Chanin began her fashion career in New York in 1988, but relocated to Europe in the 90s to work as a fashion stylist and costume designer. She launched Alabama Chanin in 2000.

However, Chanin says her true life’s work began in 2000 with Project Alabama, which produced a collection of 200 one-of-a-kind, T-shirts and the 22-minute documentary film "Stitch" about old-time quilting circles in her community.

Her work is currently featured in a zero-waste fashion exhibit in New Zealand. She has produced a documentary and written three books — "Alabama Stitch Book," "Alabama Studio Style" and "Alabama Studio Design."



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