MISSBISH Danielle Cathari Reconstructs The New Streetwear Uniform

Author: Ali DiEmidio

The VFiles runway show is always one of the hottest tickets in town during NYFW, and the FW17 season introduced an incredible new streetwear designer to the world - Danielle Cathari. In only her third year at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Cathari has made some serious waves in the fashion world with her custom reconstructed adidas track suits. The budding designer was named one of only three winners to show at VFiles Runway 8 and whose collections walked the runway in between performances by artists like Joey Purp and 21 Savage.

"They announced me as one of the three winning designers via Skype, and I couldn’t believe it at first!” Cathari tells us in an interview. “When I knew I was selected for the show, I worked my ass off late nights to expand my collection of deconstructed track suits and wool coats. I’m still feeling super blessed.”

The suits were originally designed last summer for Cathari's Honors Program at AMFI, and have acted as the basis upon which she built her Fall/Winter 2017 debut. While the suits have been featured in a handful of smaller publications (including a shoot with artist M.I.A.), the VFiles show was her first big break in the industry.

Fashion has always had Cathari's interest, with the idea for her stellar reconstructed pieces coming straight from her hobbies growing up as a teen. Always wanting to do something creative after high school graduation, she would sketch ideas of outfits in a little notebook she carried, containing simple sketches and small, collected swatches of fabric. After digesting a few handy YouTube tutorials and receiving “lots of help” from her mother, Cathari was able to construct her designs but admits that she still had no clue about pattern drawing, and would simply tear old clothes apart and create patterns out of them.

“VFiles announced me as one of the three winning designers via Skype, and I couldn’t believe it at first!"

“Most of the time, I'd like to get inspiration from 'ugly' things – often non-fashion related stuff," she says. "In my creative process, I always try to get lost in research about random topics or stories that I find interesting, and from there I create the concept and translate it into silhouettes, color palettes, etc. ”

Her inspiration for the deconstructed track suit concept came from her desire to find a balance between thinking rationally and emotionally, which she translated into her designs through contrasting styles and fabrics. This contrast is representative of her full debut collection: on one hand, a more strict and tailored design in an authentic fabric like wool with feminine ruffles; on the other hand, the use of vintage adidas track suit pieces deconstructed into new silhouettes.

In addition to designing, the recent London transplant is also the co-founder of her own company, Mad by Day, in collaboration with fellow creative Yavez S.E. Antonio. Most of the company's projects center around photography (Cathari and Antonio are also a photography duo), but they occasionally take on select design projects as well. With Antonio working as an art director by day and Cathari as a fashion designer, the combination of their backgrounds and skills works well and allows them to succeed with different yet similar visions.

Press for Cathari following the VFiles show was positive, with Office Magazine even calling the track suits “an embodiment of the new streetwear uniform.” Cathari was named "New Designer to Watch" by T the New York Times Style Magazine, and says that she has nothing but great memories of being able to bring her sketches to life for the first time at NYFW.

“The moment of the show itself I definitely won’t forget," she recalls. "To see the models coming up the catwalk, the music and everything around the show… but also all the prepping backstage. There was some serious backstage madness going on, but I loved it either way!”

2017 is looking bright for the young designer. Cathari still carries a notebook with her, and while the Holland native may be missing some of her favorite Amsterdam spots (like Taka Ramen), she’s currently in London for the time being and prepping for an upcoming trip to Iceland. What else should we look out for from her this year? Cathari plans to take it day by day, working on a new collection and even hinting at the possibility of a collaborative release. We also wouldn't be surprised to see her track suits begin to pop up on street style celebs in the months to come, and she says she's hoping it's Pharrell Williams.

”He has such a positive vibe around him," she says. "I think the colored tracksuits would be a great match with that vibe!"

We agree. But if there are track suits to go around, where we can get our hands on one, we ask? Cathari laughs and tells us that they’re currently not for sale, “but who knows what the future will bring!” We'll definitely stay tuned.

Who's your MISSBISH?
“My MISSBISH would be my mom – we’re really close and very much alike. She inspires me to just do what I really want to do, helps me wherever she can, and always supports me!”

Photographer: Nas Abraham

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