A talk with Lizzie Rosin, founder of Rosin Studios. In conversation with Iro Bournazou.
When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer? Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I vividly remember being 12 years old, in class and just really distracted by the velvet sap green suit and purple shirt my teacher was wearing. That was the first time I remember my passion for fashion being at the forefront of my interests. I thought about clothes a lot, how it could enhance your sense of self and confidence and how what you wear can say so much about you. Anytime I needed a new outfit I always designed it in my mind and then searched for that particular look in the stores. Of course this was an impossible task and so it only made sense to become a designer. I went to university for fashion design, and worked my way up from intern to design director until it was time to start my own house.
What is Rosin Studios’s mission?
Clothes have so much meaning to me, even from that young age. The power they have on your attitude, perception and identity made me want to create a line to share that same positive feeling fashion brings me. Rosin Studios’ mission is to be a brand where the clothes and accessories make you feel strong and confident, to bring out the best in the person wearing it. And I knew if I was going to offer a line of my own, it had to be designed responsibly.
Name 3 most important core values of your brand.
I would say the most important core values all live under the umbrella of being responsibly designed. The collections are released on a seasonless basis without necessarily following the industry’s standard calendar. In this way we can freely offer collections we are passionate about and can avoid the inevitable over development. With that we run small batches of production focusing on selling out of items. Our zero waste practice follows suit where we keep all our scraps and unwearable samples and turn them into textile pieces of ‘Artwear’. Lastly we design and produce locally, creating employment opportunities to the community around us. Also, by keeping the supply chain close by, we are not shipping raw goods to finish products around the globe. This keeps our carbon footprint down. The value of being responsible really encompasses so many components to how the brand operates.
Where do you go to get your inspiration from?
Inspiration for me comes from all around, whether it’s just being out in my neighborhood or traveling to another city. Seeing new things—architecture, art, or really anything—has always influenced my designs. I think for me it’s the newness that keeps my brain active and inspires me to create. Sometimes seeing just the opposite of my aesthetic further reminds me of the aesthetic I have. And I find when it comes down to it I am very much influenced by the wearability and purpose of the items themselves. For Symmetry: Collection it was fully focused around elevated basics, items that have a perennial purpose.
What is something you wish people knew about sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a big statement. There are many components, opportunities, and degrees of measure in which to be sustainable. You have everything from the textiles, the manufacturing, the packaging, the life cycle of the product itself, and even charitable donations as places to be sustainable. I think what I wish people knew about sustainability is that it’s a multifaceted word that has no hard meaning. I would love to see a shift from blanketing brands as sustainable or not and instead we highlight what each company is doing; whether that is through a defined eco-friendly measure or in how they are helping the community or what have you.
Do you adopt minimalism as a lifestyle in general?
For sure, I am a minimalist. Living in NYC it is hard to be anything but. I feel strongly about not having too many things because often it creates clutter and leads to waste which really bums me out. And for me there is nothing better than a really clean and refined space ready to be filled with ideas rather than the noise of all the stuff around you.
Black absorbs all light in the color spectrum. Most of your collections are black. What is your statement behind this aesthetical choice and why?
Wearing black has been something I have done for about 10 years now. It really came from a color theory perspective and how it looked on my complexion. I remember I had 2 of the same exact sweater, 1 in black and 1 in olive. I never ended up wearing the olive one. I told myself if I always wished my items to be in black than I will only buy black items. I love how you can really focus on the fabric textures and the silhouette when you are wearing a monochromatic oubit. Aesthetically and metaphorically black is both quiet and loud, mysterious and obvious. It is romantic and practical, and it is beautiful and jarring. These opposing statements are what make the color black so beautiful to me.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Ever” is hard… but my favorite piece of advice currently is that failure often happens because you quit too soon. Rosin Studios has only been in business for 1 year now so we are very much in that foundational building phase. There is so much I want to accomplish for the line so this mantra keeps me going. I also feel really strongly about not rushing the process and letting things take the time they do. Really good things take time and I only want really good things to come out of RS.
Future plans for Lizzie Rosin?
Right now we have Collection 1 out so we are just going to take one step at a time. Collection 2 is in the pipeline with some fabrics choices made and sketches hitting the pattern table. I am really excited for what is yet to come.
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Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Rosin Studios / @rosinstudios
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ingalavarini
Set assistant: Clara Dell’Acqua / @kengah__
Interview: Iro Bournazou / @irwb
Video soundtrack: Xylo-Ziko – Limiter
Model: Alena at Urbn Milan / @alenlugovtsova @urbnmilan