Branding / Business Development / Creative Direction / Garment Engineering / Local Manufacturing / Product Design / Market Research / Strategy / Sustainability & Circularity

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Role: Creative Director, Founder
Dates: 2014-2021

Visit:  Website  |   Instagram

From a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I led creative teams to translate a conceptual vision into wearable goods and experiences across multiple product categories.

Launched in 2014, the brands mission is rooted in inclusivity, self-expression, artistic collaboration, and design practice as a collective process. Along with designing and manufacturing womenswear clothing collections, I art-directed photoshoots, launched e-commerce, scripted video content, pitched campaigns, and produced fashion shows during NYFW. 

KAHLE has been featured in internationally recognized publications including Vogue, WWD, The New York Times, and Interview Magazine.

What is KAHLE?
A clothing brand developing styles ahead of trends – with a direct pulse on emerging consumer interests in the fashion capitol of NYC, I would often draw inspiration from the people that I might encounter on a typical subway ride or from avant-garde music events and art shows.

"Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you." – Grace Coddington, Vogue

Clothing shapes our image – the true purpose of fashion is to project, enhance, or subvert the human experience and emotion. How we choose to express ourselves through external means is essential to our individual nature.

Focus on Responsible & Sustainable SLOW Fashion
With the knowledge that the business of fashion is inherently un-sustainable, I approached the design, sourcing, and manufacturing of clothing from the perspective of ‘responsible’ making, what is good for both people and planet.

Utilizing dead-stock and upcycled fabrics, repurposed trims, and clothing designed/ engineered to optimize and reduce wasted materials. I purposefully sourced ethical materials and partnered with small-scale local factories in New York City's Garment District, supporting the hyper-local manufacturing network.

The design process begins with deeply researched concepts that connect modern ideas to historical and cultural references, and pairing those with consumer insights. Through research and storytelling I conceptualize new worlds in wearable form.

At the Local Level
KAHLE collections are designed and made in the US by trusted manufacturers. Working with skilled local artisans and craftspeople allows for innovative manufacturing techniques and construction.

All fabric scraps and waste yardage was donated to FabScrap and Materials for the Arts where they can be reused and given new life.

© Mary Kahle, 2024