BreeLayne’s dreamy Spring/Summer 2018 collection was inspired by the shapes of twenties and thirties fashion. Rich fabrics drape romantically on the body, with ruffle accents, flutter sleeves, and ruched details. At the heart of the line, which BreeLayne launched in 2014, is a commitment to sustainability, using only luxury recycled fabrics. For the purchase of each garment, made locally in Los Angeles, a tree is planted with the National Forest Foundation.
Whitewall spoke with the designer about how her personal values and desire for transparency in the fashion industry led to the eponymous brand.
WHITEWALL: You launched BreeLayne in 2014 as a collection made entirely from luxury recycled fabrics. How did you arrive at that choice?
BREELAYNE: It was always a must for me to approach my business this way. If I was going to launch a line, it needed to be representative of my own personal ethos, and using preexisting materials was the best way for me to do so. My goal was to transform attitudes by
literally transforming corporate waste into products.
WW: For each purchase, a tree is planted in association with the National Forest Foundation. How did you become passionate about this organization?
BL: A lot of research went into this. I wanted to give back in a way that would directly nourish our resources, and I came across the National Forest Foundation. It is based in the U.S., so it was a great way to keep things U.S.-focused, since the brand is made locally in Los Angeles. They’re an honest organization, so transparency was never an issue, and I knew that the money given to them would go directly into planting a tree.
WW: When did you first make the connection between environmental responsibility and fashion?
BL: When I discovered Reformation, it was a big moment for me—realizing that a company was making the connection between two huge aspects of my life and blending them so effortlessly. I became really inspired by this, and after I interned for them I knew that this
was something that I felt even stronger about approaching in my own way.
WW: Where do you see the possibilities in sustainable luxury?
BL: Technology can make huge advancements for what’s physically possible. 3-D printers are enabling accessibility to consumers. There are so many exciting new opportunities that I’m learning about every single day and can’t wait to start utilizing.
WW: Who are some of the brands you admire in the sustainable luxury category?
BL: Stella McCartney, Maiyet, Edun, Tome.
WW: How would you describe the fashion industry and community in Los Angeles, where you’re based?
BL: There are a great group of brands based out here now, which helps feel like there’s a sense of community who support one another. I’ve tried to establish my close network of friends in the industry—my philosophy is to always be kind to others, and I feel like that has helped to find people who feel the same.
WW: Can you describe your design process a bit? What’s the starting point for you with each collection?
BL: It really depends on the collection. Sometimes the fabrics will inspire certain pieces, and other times it starts with a sketch of an idea I had. I go to vintage expos and also go through a lot of archives. It’s a very involved process. I always think as a consumer, about what is missing from my wardrobe that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
WW: Tell us the story behind your Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
BL: I really wanted to do something feminine and reminiscent of the twenties and thirties romantic—silhouettes and fabrics but in a modern light. To me, the romanticism of the pieces of that period is so timeless and flattering to a woman’s body. The collection really explores those themes.
WW: How can environmentally conscious consumers do more?
BL: By reaching out to the company and asking questions, making the decision to shop consciously, doing research, and sharing their knowledge with others so that people become more informed on why it’s so important not to support fast fashion. When you’re buying clothes, if you’re investing in a piece that will last forever, you’re also investing in the future of your environment.