Blluemade was founded in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Alex Robins and Lilly Lampe. We were driven by a desire to create garments made of the highest quality textiles and at high ethical standards, and are proud to work with heritage linen mills and family-run businesses and factories in New York City's Historic Garment District. We design the clothing we want to see and wear. Our designs are inspired by vintage apparel across many cultures and areas, particularly farmer clothing and workwear. We also have a small but growing collection of historic textiles which we study to understand how natural fabrics and treatments develop with age. This approach is for the purpose of creating modern, useful, and elegant clothing with an eye to history. These are clothes to be worn in every city in the world.
The Blluemade name references our many influences. “Blue” comes from our love of indigo, denim, and blue-dyed textiles from around the world . “Made” speaks to our commitment to ethical production. The extra “l” in blluemade is for linen, which is central to Blluemade's origins and so much of what we do.
We have nontraditional backgrounds for fashion. We spent years studying art history and philosophy and teaching these subjects at universities. Both of us wrote art criticism. This training and experience gave us an eye for design, form, and color, as well as an appreciation for timeless quality. We became interested in the intersections of fabric with other aspects of our lives, and the connection between natural fabrics like linen with Old Master painting or as wrappings for Egyptian mummies. Linen, we realized, was a platform for so much of what we had appreciated over our lives. In turn, linen became the platform of the clothing we design.
Linen is the oldest textile known to man, a fact which is a constant source of inspiration for us. This sustainable fabric comes from the flax plant, a versatile plant where every part, from seed to stalk, is usable or biodegradable, including finished cloth. The best linen comes from the fields of Flanders (an area encompassing Northern France and Western Belgium), where our 100% linen fabrics are made, dyed, and finished. We primarily work with a carbon-neutral mill that has been family-owned for five generations and oversees every step of the process, from flax farming to the finished bolts of linen. Our linen is made from long staple fibers, meaning the fabric is naturally wrinkle resistant, strong, and never itchy. Our garments are designed in Brooklyn and produced in New York City’s historic Garment District in a factory owned and run by women.
The 100% linen we use is certified by the Masters of Linen, a registered mark of excellence promoting textile companies that produce fabric entirely in Europe, from field to yarn to fabric. Our Belgian linen is always hypoallergenic, naturally wrinkle-resistant, and easy to care for.
Starting in Autumn Winter 2018, we expanded into fabrics from Japan and Belgium which blend linen with other great natural fibers. We use silk-linen blends from the linen mill we work with in Belgium that have a luxurious feel and elegant appearance, as well as wool-linen blends from Japan that are warm yet lightweight, and very hardy, and a cotton-ramie-linen blend "typewriter cloth" canvas from Japan that is light and a little stiff, like a more luxurious canvas, and has a tight weave and gentle slub that makes this fabric extremely distinctive and beautiful to wear. Cotton corduroys and brushed cotton mid-weight flannels entered our repertoire in Autumn Winter 2019 as we continue to bring on and consider ideal natural fabrics for the season.
As we grow, we will continue to experiment with and expand our range of natural fabrics as well as the global inspirations for our designs. American-production, particularly in New York City's historic Garment District, is at the core of our work. With these dual missions, we hope to embody a New American Tradition of garment-making.