Getting Friendly With Fanmail

December 13, 2013 BY MAIA SCHOENFELDER


Fanmail, a new brand to Capsule Show caught our attention with their awesome use of vertical manufacturing. The brand, based and created in Brooklyn's Greenpoint and Bushwich neighborhoods, is getting inspired by Calvin Klein, creating beautiful sustainable clothing for men and using the most silky hemp fabrics. We caught up with Charlie Morris in his studio, to talk about his companies Check out our interview with him, below.

Whats the overall mission of the brand?

Our mission is simple -- to make modern, sustainable wardrobe essentials for guys.

Behind that, though, is our commitment to a new kind of manufacturing: Transparency from Fiber to Finished Garment. It's about opening up our production process to our customers so they know exactly where each Fanmail piece is made and what it's made from.

Whats the inspiration behind the AW14 collection?

80's Calvin Klein is a big reference for Fanmail, especially in the way relaxed cuts can create a sense of intimacy for the wearer. As a line that focuses on wardrobe essentials we also look to the utilitarian qualities of brands like Issey Miyake's Plantation line and Helmut Lang.


What are some key items for AW14?

Fanmail began as a line of knitwear, so our short sleeve sweatshirt tee and silky 100% hemp tee remain at the core of the line. This season my favorite new pieces are an oversized lined denim jacket and a loose organic cotton brushed flannel trouser.

Tell us about the factory you work with

We've partnered with Dynotex in Greenpoint for all of our production. The support systems for small brands who want to manufacture in NYC are still emerging, so like most of Fanmail's suppliers we found our factory through Google. They have one large customer, but with extra capacity they've been able to work with companies like ours. Their production insight and willingness to produce small orders have been essential to our growth as a business.


How did Fanmail get started?

Starting my own business had been on my mind for a couple of years before beginning work on Fanmail in 2012, but until then that "duh" moment hadn't happened. The product range in the men's contemporary market has really flourished over the last five or seven years, but it eventually occurred to me that the "trade" trend and focus on American heritage and manufacture hadn't necessarily brought with it the same care for sustainability.

I felt like I'd hit on something because I was unable to find a versatile, high-quality t-shirt that was made in the US from sustainable materials -- a shirt that felt wearable today, not 100 years ago or 50 years from now.

Favorite holiday treat?

A friend always makes kitchen sink cookies this time of year -- the kind with toffee, currants, dark chocolate, oats, basically the whole kitchen sink -- and they make amazing meal replacers and/or supplements. For any meal. Or between meals.


Current wish list?

My friend Keehnan Konyha has a line of bedding called Safe House USA, and I've been coveting one of his duvet sets in a composition notebook print.

If you could raid someone's closet, fictional or real, who would it be?

Wim Wenders. In Interview he and Yohji Yamamoto talk about all of the Yohji in his closet, how he's had to repair so much of it because he's owned it for so long and actually wears it instead of treating the clothes like museum pieces.

I would absolutely steal from Greg Armas of Assembly New York's closet. A few years ago he opened a vintage store called Everybody's Going to Heaven (unfortunately now closed) on the L.E.S., and you could always find something totally bizarre there that you'd soon be wearing everyday. In addition to designing a fantastic line for Assembly, he has an eye for odd vintage pieces that work their way into your wardrobe and somehow become normal.