Streetsnaps: Emily Bode
The menswear designer talks sustainability and hands-on craftsmanship.
With nods from both the CFDA and LVMH, Emily Bode’s eponymous clothing brand (pronounced BOH-dee) has quickly proven itself to be one of the New York fashion industry’s rising stars. Though Bode will be heading to Paris for future seasons, the brand is very much based in New York, with plenty of its painstakingly-detailed garments produced in Bode’s very own Chinatown studio.
“As we scale, it’s all about looking at communities we work with,” Bode explains. “We began by making clothing from antique textiles, many of which were the last of their kind. We’re still making everything in New York and New Delhi, and now we’re also creating knitwear in Peru — it’s all about considering the steps we can take to be as sustainable as possible.”
The hands-on artisinal detailing that informs each Bode garment is immediately impactful, but the thoughtfulness behind the designs also speaks to the brand’s inherent appeal. “We do a lot of made-to-order,” she notes, describing how her brand repurposes every scrap of unique fabric to breathe life into heritage silhouettes.
Handwoven Indian khadi appears throughout Bode’s offerings, including the SS20 shirt worn by Bode herself. Her jacket is a vintage Isaac Mizrahi that she picked up as a teenager. Vintage linen trousers from the ’60s and Chanel loafers complement the neutral color scheme, with vintage and heirloom jewelry for demure flair. “I found the bag at a tiny little antique store in Delhi,” she laughs. “I actually had seen it a year before I bought it. They originally offered me this crazy price, but when I went back in I had to haggle a bit.”
The storytelling that informs Bode’s both personal wardrobe and her brand’s output is key to investing in more thoughtful garments as well. “I think it’s about building your wardrobe the way you can collect objects for your home,” Bode explains.
“People see things as utility for things in life: ‘Oh, I need this dress or suit for this one wedding.’ But then that’s it. It’s important to be considerate when buying goods, to buy for longevity but also to inspire the way you shop for other things,” she adds. “Personally, I curate my home, studio, wardrobe around certain things that I fell in love with, like ‘My god, this plate is beautiful, I need to rearrange my kitchen around it.’ I’d love to help people take another look at this culture of shopping, consumer culture, and just shop with intent.” We couldn’t agree more.