In the "big fashion" industry, there are so very many steps from designer to customer. For me, because of this, the connection to and appreciation for the item often gets lost. I guess that is one of the elements I adore most about the independent artists that we represent in our shop -- when I touch an item that was so painstakingly thought out, designed, and crafted by hand, I feel the human connection. That work was not made in a far-off land, supporting and perpetuating questionable morals. Instead it was made by a rad person, who like you, enjoys lovely things and has dedicated their life to making them for others to enjoy. In the end, that is what I want to surround myself with: clothing, accessories, and jewelry with soul.
In writing this post, it hit me that it is not very often that one gets to speak with the Creative behind their most treasured possessions. As Mari and Dave's clothing are some of my favorite that I have ever encountered, you are very likely to find me at the betsy & iya brick and mortar gushing over their designs to customers, and most likely wearing them myself. So without further ado, here is a chance for you to fall in love with their work as much as I have. Everyone say hello to half of this dynamic duo, Mari.
Name: Uzi, Dave Ball and Mari Gustafson.
Describe your personal style: duchamp!
Favorite Food & Why: Eggs, cause I'm a vegetarian that hates vegetables.
Best Stress Reliever: sleep.
Favorite Hobbies: dreams.
Favorite Getaway: Manhattan.
When and Why did you start UZI?: We started in 1993 cause we couldn't find anything cool to wear.
What inspires you/your designs?: (the future indigenous people of america now.) & our cat Missy. We do everything for her.
Most rewarding part of your job: seeing strangers wearing our stuff.
Hardest part of your job: long hours since it's just two of us doing all the work.
Favorite materials to work with: natural fibers like wool, cotton, and silk.
"If I wasn't making clothing, I'd be a(n):" Revolutionary.
Favorite b&i piece: brooklyn bridge bracelet.
Mari! You are bold, effortless, and unique, just like the designs that you and Dave create. Cheers to many more coveted garments to come!
***Song of the Moment: Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths***
All photos are courtesy of Mari and Dave, from their website.