During a polar vortex that engulfed the island of Manhattan in 2014, most were huddled at home, their only innovative initiatives revolving around ways to avoid the outdoors — but not Banna Nega and Shelby Macklin. The design duo behind fashion and culture studio Glazed attended LIM College, where they met in an entrepreneurship class. Fast forward a few years and they were housebound together in their shared apartment, trying to escape the cold… but wanting to do it in style.
“Glazed NYC was birthed out of necessity as we were huddled in our Brooklyn apartment, looking for a way to stay warm while serving looks,” they tell Highsnobiety. And serve they did — cue ski masks with Swarovski crystal collars and other equally glamorous yet practical cold weather accessories to get them through the colder temps. Just two years later, the pair took their shared affinity for turning a problem into an opportunity and officially launched Glazed NYC.
Glazed NYC has been consistently committed to finding solutions within an industry that faces a wide range of problems, from its disregard to material waste to its failure to recognize externalities and inequities. Nega and Macklin decided to confront these issues head-on and facilitate the changes they want to see within the fashion industry through both their methods and designs. “We made the commitment to creating solutions to the problems we identified and experienced from different vantage points working in fashion.” This passion for problem solving is mirrored in their vision for the ideal customer, who values efficiency and innovation while investing in true personal style rather than the trend-driven mass-consumption that dominates so much of the retail market.
Both Nega and Macklin grew up in families of seamstresses, exposing them to design and piquing their interests from an early age. So it’s only fitting that this June, the pair launched their first-ever ready-to-wear collection. “We deliberated with women in our community to understand what they need so we could provide the framework for folks to create continual and personalized garments they can love for a lifetime.” The new collection of ready-to-wear tailors deadstock and vintage fabrics, resulting in deconstructed basics such as a re-worked button down and a “Skirt Bag” made from leather jackets. Comprising just six pieces, the brand embraces a uniform aesthetic and emphasizes their commitment to practicality, allowing them to “anticipate needs and simplify the process of getting dressed.” Each piece is made to order, eliminating excess and ensuring garments are well-worn and well-loved.
While Nega and Macklin just launched their first Glazed NYC ready-to-wear collection this summer, they have no plans of slowing down. What’s next? “We’re actually digitizing the patterns to our designs and selling them so folks can flip their own garments into the Glazed Collection. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, and this finally feels like a good time with the rise of DIY clothing design and collective understanding that the fashion industry is responsible for a lot of waste that’s polluting the earth.” The pair is also collaborating with boutiques to re-imagine excess inventory into completely new garments; “This gives boutique owners an opportunity to breathe new life into leftover product and create a cultural moment connecting with each other’s audiences. Once we reopen the studio, we’ll be able to offer people the option to customize our designs with their own fabric or items from their closet as well.”
It’s safe to say Glazed NYC has an exciting future, but not without thanks to the past — in regards to both Nega and Macklin’s shared and individual experiences within the industry as well as the pre-loved fabrics and garments that make up their new collection. We’re excited to see what lays ahead for this innovative design duo.