Organic By John Patrick Trunk Show Is A Natural At J. Seitz
By Jacque Lynn Schiller
Sustainability and transparency are buzzwords often thrown about these days. But for Hudson Valley resident and the namesake behind Organic by John Patrick, fair labor and green awareness shouldn’t be radical ideas but the norm. In fact, he introduced the world’s first certified organic cotton oxford shirt and his business continues be the model of a truly eco-friendly fashion label.
“It is the job of the manufacturer and designer to produce the highest quality product and deliver it to the customer,” the designer says. “They shouldn’t be in the dark. My clients, our friends, trust us because we tell them exactly what it is.”
Patrick’s clients and friends include the beloved J. Seitz shop in New Preston, Conn., where the designer will bring a special grouping of his latest collection at a trunk show on April 30.
After designing hats in the 80s (his first customer was Barney’s) then making ready-to-wear pieces for specialty stores in the 90s, Patrick moved to South America and lived in Peru, working with anthropologist, James Vreeland, who discovered color-grown cotton. Perhaps uncovered is the better word, as the farming phenomena resulting in naturally dyed fibers has been practiced in the Andes for hundreds of years.
“Through James, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about native organic cotton and its certification,” says Patrick. “Not a lot of textiles were being made in organic cotton at that time, but I basically convinced a very large industrial mill in Peru to produce the textiles.”
The Organic by John Patrick slip, camisole and some organic cotton t-shirts were ecstatically welcomed by (“kindly brought into” as he puts it) the fashion industry, resulting in many magazine profiles and recognition from the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America. In other words, this clothing concept with a conscience was swiftly acknowledged as something special.
Now with customers all over the world, Organic by John Patrick has grown into a highly respected, global business without compromising ethics. And while available in discriminating shops and online, on Saturday, April 30, a highly curated selection of incredibly soft, earthy-hued pieces will be available at J. Seitz. Not only can you meet the fascinating man himself — seriously, he can wax rhapsodic on a range of subjects from the cultivation of cotton in the US to the heritage of spinning and weaving in Southern Mexico — but also pick up a few of his favorite things that sometimes don’t make it to retailers. And this: customers will receive a 10-percent discount on Organic purchased during the show. It’s a rare event.
“We do not do trunk shows. Ever. But I love the Seitzes and they have a wonderful mom and pop business,” the designer says. “Joanna [Seitz] asked me to do it. I said absolutely.”
And Joanna holds a similar enthusiasm for Patrick’s work. “John is a wonderfully eccentric and creative spirit,” she shares. “His authentic and beautiful American-made clothing embodies his personal beliefs about sustainability and the environment. He lives his life based on these principles. We’ve been carrying the line for many years and our clients can’t get enough of his soft organic tees and sweaters. Who wants to put chemicals next to their skin when they can chose something organic and chic instead.”
Can’t argue with you there, J. Seitz. Nor with Patrick’s plan while in the area. “When I come over there I’m also going to stop at Guy Wolff (Pottery, in Bantam, Conn.) and pick myself up some pots.”
Like his line, his thumb is green as well.
John Patrick Trunk Show at J. Seitz
Saturday, April 30, 2-5 p.m.
9 East Show Road, New Preston, CT