Pret-a-Reporter

The Elder Statesman Launches Kenyan Handwoven Cotton Collection

Courtesy of Elder Statesman
The Elder Statesman's Greg Chait

Fashion that's truly global.

The Elder Statesman and founder/designer Greg Chait might be best known in fashion circles for his incredibly luxurious cashmere knitwear worn by the likes of Jared Leto and Selma Blair, but as his spring 2016 collection proves, he’s not averse to employing more outside-the-box materials.

The Elder Statesman's crop flared pants, wrap dress and Cutter tee.

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The newest range from the Los Angeles-based designer — which hits stores such as A’marees in Newport Beach and Warm in NYC this month — includes four pieces crafted in hand-woven organic Kenyan cotton. The fabric, which has a natural ivory hue, came straight from a collective of skilled weavers in the town of Bondo, Kenya, with the help of Nest, a NYC-based organization that partners with artisans around the world to help them build sustainable businesses and further their craft.

A Kenyan weaver spinning organic cotton in Bondo

Once at his Culver City design studio and private factory (where everything needed for sweaters, beanies and even teddy bears is hand-woven and hand-dyed), it was cut and sewn into the four styles: a wrap dress, circle skirt, crop flared pants and his signature boxy Cutter tee, a piece made each season in a different woven material.

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It’s Chait’s appreciation for the people and processes behind his materials and clothing that first led him to work with Nest, who made the process of scoring the rich, handmade material for this mini collection smooth and seamless. Says the designer, "The fabric is exactly as it is meant to be. The slight inconsistencies actually prove that it is very special." Indeed, fashion is not about perfection.  

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