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Not everyone has a lineage that’s destined them for vintage greatness, but Dani Des Roches—whose mother is an entrepreneur and professional thrifter—launched upcycled brand Picnicwear in the summer of 2020 with a catalog of knowledge. Roches had been in the corporate knitwear grind working for brands like Urban Outfitters and Express, but was feeling generally dissatisfied with the fashion industry. What began as a pandemic side project—a stable of hand-dyed vintage pieces she sold on Etsy—would eventually become a full-blown nod to her mom’s generation.
Roches works with her mom to source vintage materials—mostly hand-loomed towels from decades past in addition to mens shirts and pre-shrunken flannels—and reconstructs them into upcycled bags, bucket hats, and other distinctive pieces that feel optimistic and trend-agnostic, something that’s vital to Picnicwear’s DNA. “Design integrity and longevity is such a huge part of our ethos, so the word ’trend’ is something I have a hard time with,” says Roches.
The brand’s accompanying brand pillar isn’t design-focused, but rather, centers around reimagining industry standards: In addition to paying her team of highly skilled NYC-based seamstresses beyond a living wage, she’s committed to using materials that already exist. ““My ethos, ‘Future Vintage over future garbage,’ sums up a lot of things that are integral to my brand and what I create, but making items that won't go in-and-out of trend, but still reflect someone's personal style and spark excitement when worn is certainly top priority. I want people to feel that when they find a Picnicwear piece they love.”
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