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Project Alabama  NY Fashion Week Spring 2006

Fashion Ledge - Project Alabama
Project Alabama Spring 2006

The inspiration for Spring 06 is FRESH. Influenced by old-school Hollywood STARLETS, summertime PARTIES and lots of LAUGHTER, the design team has created a collection of compliments and contrasts. In celebration of our newly licensed JEWELRY line, there are many references to classic jewels. Soft luxury is mixed with technical functionality. Clean silhouettes, bright colors, bold graphics and lots of shimmer result in a collection that is both handmade and refined.

Keeping the feel of the collection, this Spring's graffiti airbrush works from Michi are a mix of sugary SWEET and ultra URBAN. Refined jewels meet modern bling and street art to bring a fresh attitude to this portion of the collection. More classic stencils will also resurface for those who love the ROOTS of Project Alabama.

This season's collaboration with Chi Modu incorporates hip-hop photography into the Project Alabama collection. Modu began his photography career in the pioneer days of hip-hop culture photographing the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and Eazy-E in their rise to fame. In the spirit of collaboration, Project Alabama has taken materials and inspiration from the photographs and their subjects and integrated them into the collection. For more information on Chi, please visit his site on the web at

Project Alabama was begun in 2000 by partners Natalie Chanin and Enrico Marone-Cinzano. Natalie was born and raised in Florence, Alabama, a small town which lies on a flat plain between the Appalachian foothills and the Tennessee River. After 22 years of living and working abroad, Natalie returned home and, along with partner Enrico, began building the company that has become Project Alabama.

Now in its fifth year, Project Alabama offers a full range women's fashion collection, a line of men's T-shirts, and Home accessories, all of which are sold at more than 50 stores around the world. At this time, a licensing agreement for a line of custom made jewelry has just been signed and a book project is in the works. Project Alabama has been featured in various magazines such as Vogue and Time, noteworthy newspapers such as The New York Times and The Financial Times and news programs such as CBS Evening News.

Project Alabama uses an innovative, cottage industry based business model that enables contracted artisans, who range in age from early 20's to late 70's, to produce garments from their own homes in the spirit of the traditional "quilting bee". Each collection creates limited-edition custom garments with a modern twist, emphasizing quality of cut, detail, craftsmanship and style. The limited edition garments are a labor of love with each garment being individually numbered and signed by the artisan who stitches it. Project Alabama works with both new and recycled fabrics, relying mainly on cotton jersey as the base for all garments. The techniques we use are age old yet interpreted in a contemporary way, which creates modern design with the added strength of historical context.

The Stitchers of Project Alabama use tried and true embroidery and quilting techniques to create products that are distinctly American. Not only is Project Alabama helping to keep these fading domestic arts alive, but also striving to give them a contemporary context that has a real place in the world of design and fashion.

The company has grown tremendously in its first five years through the continuous and dedicated development of designer Natalie Chanin and her New York-based business partner, Enrico Marone-Cinzano. This development results from the extensive and diverse backgrounds of both partners.

Natalie worked as a designer in the junior sportswear industry before beginning her career as stylist, costume designer and eventually director. She credits her degree in Environmental Design from North Carolina State University as the basis for the beginning of Project Alabama. Bauhaus-based ethics and philosophy surround the work done daily at Project Alabama.

Natalie is the head designer and manages the production office as well as executing future developments. Her conceptual design background, balanced by Enrico's extensive experience in marketing and finance has guided Project Alabama to a unique position in the market today. Project Alabama has truly become a modern American company through its dedication and commitment to product value, integrity, and high standards of quality control.

Recent News -2005 has been a truly rewarding year for Project Alabama. We are proud to announce that we have been selected as one of the three finalists for the 2005 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion. We are also one of ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. We are so grateful for these opportunities and look forward to the new season with great enthusiasm.

6534 County Rd. #200
Florence, AL 35633
Phone: 256.764.8230

Written by: Yvette N. Coleman
Photographed by C.Yohance DeLoatch
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