After years spent living in New York and abroad while working in the fashion industry, designer Natalie Chanin returned to her Southern roots to launch her own company. Christened Alabama Chanin—a reference to the nickname earned by her accent—the business began with a line of deconstructed/reconstructed T-shirts that were hand-sewn by workers in her hometown of Florence, Alabama.
Success came quickly, despite Natalie’s admission that she “didn’t have a grand plan—I just followed my heart.” The company now produces a wide range of bespoke clothing, pillows, quilts, and dinnerware, as well as DIY kits designed for the home seamstress. She’s also penned several books, including Alabama Studio Style and Alabama Stitch Book.
The Antheia skirt from Natalie’s collection exemplifies the singular style that has brought her a devoted following among fashionistas—and anyone who appreciates fine attention to detail. The garment is made from organic cotton jersey and features a hand-embroidered floral motif, embellished with appliqué, sequins, and beads.
A close-up view of Natalie’s products reveals the unique workmanship that goes into each and every one-of-a-kind item. Some pieces feature a double layer of fabric, where the top layer is snipped, folded, and stitched into eye-catching designs.
Natalie has introduced a hybrid machine-and-hand-sewn bridal collection. A bride-to-be can choose from a number of gown silhouettes and a variety of fabrics, which are then assembled into the wedding dress of her dreams.
Heath Ceramics shares Natalie’s philosophy of using local artisans and fostering a friendly working environment, as well as embracing responsible manufacturing and sustainable design. She partnered with them to create a line of hand-etched dinnerware that takes its hues from her home state’s organic palette, such as the red clay of the earth and the soft blue of the sky.
The final step of construction is the application of the Alabama Chanin label—the assurance the customer is receiving an original, top-quality wardrobe staple, designed to last for years to come.
To read more, see “Homegrown Couture” on page 67 of the January/February 2017 issue of Victoria.