Capsule

An Interview with Wol Hide Designer Leah D'Ambrosio

January 22, 2016 BY WATM STAFF

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Launched by designer Leah D'Ambrosio in 2014, Wol Hide is a minimal, clean knitwear line with a focus on relaxed silhouettes and soft knits that offer a cozy yet chic alternative to cold weather clothing. The entire collection is crafted in the USA, hand-loomed from yarn blends that are naturally colored and free of chemical processing.

We talked to D'Ambrosio about her love of the sweater and where she draws her inspirations:

(capsule) What is it about knit wear specifically that appeals to you?

LD: I really enjoy creating the fabric while you are creating a garment, it's an interesting structural process to go from yarn to garment. I studied textile design so I usually start with the fabric design and build from there.

(capsule): Do you have any distinct memories of iconic sweaters that have stuck with you over time?

LD: I can't think of one specific sweater, but I have a lot of vintage sweaters that I love. I'm always attracted to ones that you can tell are hand made, where you can see small imperfections or details like hand stitching, or embroidery. I recently bought one that has a hill landscape knit around the bottom and an interesting Swiss darning type of embroidery of trees and small details.

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(capsule): What are some unusual or unexpected placed you draw inspiration from?

LD: I get inspiration from a lot of places. Nature is constantly inspiring, so getting out and seeing new landscapes is always refreshing. I'm usually attracted to things in nature that might not be the obvious beauty. Vintage pieces are always inspiring. Besides being attracted to handmade sweaters or sweaters with crazy structure details, I'm also interested old military knits, undergarments or thermals - the practicality of those is interesting to me. I like to see how people solved problems in making a garment, how they decided to put it together. I'm also always inspired by the daily interaction of clothes on bodies, how they wear, how the fabric covers, how they make you feel, and this idea of clothes fitting into your world comfortably, they become sort of a second skin, warm cover.

(capsule): If you had to pick a film or song that best encapsulates your Fall 2016 collection, what song would it be and why?

LD: I like to listen to kind of moody music when I'm working, like Beach House, Wild Nothing, Animal Collective. So maybe I'd compare it to the Beach House Bloom album, it's kind of quiet and moody but also bright and pretty.

(capsule): What kind of girl wears Wol Hide?

LD: I hope that a lot of different types of girls will wear Wol Hide, but I guess I typically see it for girls who want clothes in beautiful fabrics that will last for years through trends. Girls who like to be comfortable but still show their style, appreciate art, travel, good food.

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(capsule): What person, living, dead, or imaginary, would you love to see wearing your clothes?

LD: I think I'd be most excited to see someone who I admire for their individual style but also for the work they do. Someone like Kim Gordon, Sophia Coppola, Miranda July, or Leandra Medine. Honestly, I'm excited when anyone wears my clothes, and has a connection with it.

(capsule): What’s coming up for Wol Hide in the future?

LD: I'm very process oriented and interested in both high tech and low tech processes. I'd love to spend more time with different industrial production in the USA, as well as smaller handmade production. I like working with small farms for different yarns, so I'd like to grow those relationships and make more.

See more of Wol Hide at Capsule New York.

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