Illustrations: Cardigan By Lynne Hiriak

This is the first in a series featuring illustrations inspired by the works of emerging design talents. These rising stars are among the new guard of fashion and definitely ones to watch.

First up is Lynne Hiriak for Cardigan who I had the pleasure of talking with about her knitwear collection for the those classic fashion items.  After stinting for the likes of Michael Kors and Derek Lam, Hiriak started Cardigan in 2006 to sate her love of knitwear while silmultaneously redefining the category.  I sat down with Hiriak to share a bit about the creative threads that weave the Cardigan collection together.

JCR:  Define your design aesthetic?

LH:   Cardigan is rooted in American sportswear with a European twist. I love Le Coq Sportif, Lacoste and Superga. There is something so charming and sublime about the way Europeans appropriate American sportswear. I’m a collector and I love timeless items like moccasins, clogs, tuxedo shirts, striped men’s shirts, leather sandals… and cardigans of course. Please don’t ask me how many cardigans I have. The line is about taking those archetypal items that every woman needs in her wardrobe and updating them, making them even more relevant and pushing the boundaries of one limitless item.

JCR:  What/who inspires you creatively?

LH:  I’m hugely influenced by the countries I’ve traveled to. I find inspiration in the obvious essence of each country’s identity. For example, I totally appropriate French stripe patterns from French maritime culture. My friends are world travelers as well, so we exchange experiences and ideas. We love to brainstorm over a glass of wine and dream about how to make the world and our lives more beautiful. I also look to classic fashion icons like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, who offer a colorful history and were true masters of inventing classics and then reinventing them.

JCR:  How do you envision the Cardigan line evolving in the future?

LH:  Of course it will be all about cardigans and other sweater products! It’s what I do best and what I love the most. Imagine a world of cardigans filled with socks,leggings,gloves, scarves,hats, pillows,bags, shoes,shorts, sequins, stars,polka dots,anchors, all striped, all color blocked, all graphic and fun. All the things I love, and all the things that are in my world.

This interview was conducted by Shane Ballard

Silver Versaille Sequin Cardi, Marielle Scarf and Gigi Gloves all from Cardigan by Lynne Hiriak.
Click on thumbnail to enlarge images.
All images © Shane Ballard 2010. All rights reserved

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