“Closely Crafted”, a non-profit organization promoting craftsmanship in American fashion

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The organization, led by accessories designer and milliner Gigi Burris O’Hara, will aim to preserve craftsmanship in American fashion by educating consumers about the importance and quality of American artisans, generating interest in American brands, supporting training and apprenticeship programs and sparking conversations about craftsmanship with its network of creators. Burris O’Hara developed the idea for Closely Crafted in response to the factory closures she witnessed during the pandemic, which included one of her partners – a 30-year-old Bantam leather factory.

“Our goal is to inspire the next generation of creators to follow a path to skilled craftsmanship and support the local production industry in a way that promotes job stability,” said Burris O’ Hara.

The organization’s board and advisors include Tomorrow Group’s Julie Gilhart, public school co-founder Maxwell Osborne, designer Markarian Alexandra O’Neill and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Although based in New York, the organization will promote craftsmanship across the United States and has highlighted Texas’ legacy boot-making community as a potential space for support.

As part of the launch, designer Jonathan Cohen has drawn a new illustration as part of his “Flower Shop” series which will be auctioned off with a portion of the sales going to Closely Crafted. The nonprofit also plans to partner with independent retailers, starting with The Webster, which will promote American brands on social media on July 4.

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