This Pioneering Streetwear Designer Is Making One-of-a-Kind “Outfits for Chairs” | Architectural Digest

Gerard Ortiz

When Camella Ehlke started her garments label 555 Soul in 1989 out of a beat-up storefront in Manhattan’s Reduce East Facet, the time period streetwear didn’t genuinely exist—and at the time, it definitely was not a global $185-billion sector. The designer started out stitching pieces manufactured from dead inventory fabrics, blending the vibrant types of New York hip-hop and California surf into a person covetable downtown glimpse. Her ahead-hunting streetwise garments have been embraced by the city’s hippest dressers: Rappers, DJs, skaters, taggers, artists, and the like. In advance of lengthy, 555 Soul was stocked across the world, and the label was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars of outfits a yr.

Camella would go on to go away the label in 2004 just after clashing with her company spouse, and 555 Soul would gradually but absolutely fade absent. Now, the designer is back with an totally new project: Bringing her upcycled fashion ethos to the entire world of home furnishings. Hey What’s Up? was a job kick-began by a chat with the late barrier-breaking vogue designer Virgil Abloh, a longtime supporter of 555 Soul, who shipped containers of unused cloth from Milan to Brooklyn for Camella to use.

“I in fact had this dialogue with Virgil through the pandemic where I was like, Very well, I really do not want to get cloth. I do not want to get started a brand, I just want to begin stitching and to make stuff,” Camella recalls. “So, he transported me all of this dead stock. He was the very first person I spoke to about functioning with overstock, and he was the very first to say sure.”

A nod to Camella’s hoodie slipcover from 2001, this time built with Off-White sweatshirts.

Picture: Cynthia Edorh

Then, in November of last yr, Virgil died at the age of 41 immediately after privately fighting a exceptional type of cancer. Throughout his illustrious job, he was identified as a relentless collaborator, a determine who jumped at the chance to function with all those he admired. That was not lost on Camella. With yards and yards of cloth from his Off-White label in hand, she acquired to get the job done.

Camella’s desire in decor led her to develop a quirky selection of chairs that includes “wearables” manufactured from overstock fabrics and recycled garments. Much like 555 Soul, the pieces combine and match daring styles in a way that instructions a 2nd appear. In accomplishing so, Camella has flipped the antiquated slipcover on its head, refreshing the strategy with a jolt of new strength and substantial-grade fashion. She jokingly shudders at the phrase slipcover, preferring to feel of the collection as “one-of-a-type outfits for chairs.”

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