Formed by two creative minds of different backgrounds, Austrian and American, we fuse over six years of shared industry experience. Among our past projects are designs and developments for Marine Serre, Christian Wijnants, and Peter Pilotto. With Studio. pelican avenue, we work to preserve and further deepen the knowledge of textile craftsmanship being made in Belgium today. We truly believe that through technical innovation, creative solutions and a shift in consumer behavior, Europe can remain a relevant player in the textile industry.
Innovation is not only found in design, but can also be found in the way a garment is created, often driven by ecological or sustainable motives. At Studio. pelican avenue, we are committed to thinking outside the box to create innovative knitwear. Our hands-on approach pushes the technical limitations in knitwear to find surprising, often unexpected results.
Knitwear is prone to all kinds of experiments as you don’t work with finished fabric, but must design with a combination of yarns and stitches to make the knitted fabric. We use innovation as a starting point for the invention and discovery of new styles to offer our clients. By capturing the feeling of their collection, we freely translate print inspiration across stitch, gauge, color, and yarn. This free association leads to a wide exploration between stitch technique and style development.
As a small independent studio, the costs of recycling and textile innovation can be prohibitive, but we want to think about creating unique pieces that respect the world around us. Our clients are asking more and more for ecologically responsible knitwear. Studio. pelican avenue‘s approach to sustainability isn’t limited to using organic yarns, but breaks down and reinvents the whole process of garment making.
By using upcycled and regenerated materials, we have greater control on the starting point of where materials originate. Each end garment becomes truly unique, as used sweaters are first deconstructed and then patchworked and repurposed into new, contemporary styles. We use innovative knit construction methods to join and unify the upcycled panels into one design. By definition, there is a limit to the number of pieces we can make with upcycled materials. When they are gone, they’re gone, but this also means there is no excess waste made by overproduction.
Our knit laboratory in Antwerp houses many sustainable and organic yarn qualities for our clients to choose from, but lately we are expanding our search for sustainability into using old ‘deadstock’ yarn. Quite a lot of yarn is sitting unused in the back of knit factories that will eventually break down and rot, thus the term ‘deadstock’. A lot of excess happens in the production of new yarn as there are set minimum amounts that must be dyed even if the amount ordered is less. We source a particular quality of deadstock yarn for our clients and propose designs using what’s available. It’s a bit of a puzzle to source and piece together the available yarn with our design ambition, but this challenge is what creates such a successful, exciting end garment.
Studio. pelican avenue was founded by Carolin Lerch and Tess Olson in 2015. Carolin studied at the Antwerp Academy of Fashion and was working in the studio of fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm before founding the fashion label pelican avenue. Tess Olson graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago before moving to Antwerp to join Carolin.