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Favorite Quote: “We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” ― Carson McCullers
If you follow any social influencer or clothing brand, you know that the fashion cycle has sped up exponentially over the past few years since the rise of social media. Trends come and go with such aggression that it’s sometimes hard to keep up, and pieces that would have lasted a whole season are now discarded virtually overnight. Emily Bryngelson, founder of Abraham, is a super-stylish young woman helping to redefine gender norms and the fashion industry. One of her goals is to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Her clothing line, Abraham, makes quality-sourced, trend neutral clothing that last longer than a few laundry and fashion cycles.
What is your earliest memory associated with what you do now?
Making fashion drawings when I was 9 or 10 years old and finding them a few years later and realizing how scandalous they were. Basically lingerie.
When did your occupation become real to you?
On the one hand it’s always been real. There is nothing else I can ever remember wanting to do. Design school, move to NY, gain some experience, start a company—it’s all happening according to plan. But on the other hand, I don’t know that it will ever feel “real” because I am the type to never feel quite satisfied with my accomplishments. I guess that’s NY for you: always hustling.
How does Brooklyn/your neighborhood particularly inform your work?
There is a familiarity about Brooklyn that makes it feel like home, yet it still has the energy of NY and is never static: always new. I feel comfortable and ready to create but never bored or lacking. I feel that push to keep designing from everywhere. Brooklyn makes things possible.
What do you feel is most challenging about being where you are now?
There are a lot of days where I am alone for 8 hours or more in my studio, making decisions on things I’ve got no clue about. I am very much an extrovert, so sometimes I can get real weird. I have to keep myself motivated; keep myself entertained. I will find myself listening to top hits radio because I can’t make anymore decisions, then later being like… wtf, who put this on?!
What’s most rewarding?
Every success, no matter how small, is my own. Even if I’ve just managed to file some receipts or take the trash out of my studio—I’m not doing it for anyone else. Interest in my work from others means so much. When people want to collaborate and truly understand the direction of the brand, I feel like “Wow! This is really it!”
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
Starting my company and saying no to all the other stuff.
Who/what inspires you?
Juxtaposition. High and Low. Bucolic midwestern farmland and decrepit urban scenes.
Thinking about the future, where do you see yourself in the next 30 years?Abraham will be established and I can spend my time directing instead of filing receipts and taking out trash. Traveling a lot. Surrounded by geniuses in film/photo/design/etc etc. Producing consistently better work more frequently.
What’s next for you?
The new collection, being released in March, is inspired by my past in rural midwest and the life she’s come to know in New York. It includes products ranging from cashmere sweaters to Japanese cotton jumpsuits to silk cargo pants. It is sustainably sourced and made ethically in Brooklyn.
In preparation of the launch of the collection, a series of short fashion films were created to help tell the story. The films were produced by Milk Studios and filmed in upstate New York. Directed by Lauren Sieczkowski, the collection was brought to life with this incredible, tongue-in-cheek video series. They take the mystery out of stoic fashion look books. View them here: https://vimeo.com/abrahamlabel/videos/