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Designer Notes

Remembering Kaye – An Ivey Abitz Master Tailor

We have some sad news to share with our dear clients.

Kaye, one of our longtime master tailors and friends, died peacefully in her home last week.

We know most of you were not able to officially meet her in person, but you knew her through her fine sewing. She worked for Ivey Abitz from 2009-2020, and she has sewn thousands of bespoke garments for us. If you have several Ivey Abitz garments in your closet, then you most likely have special one-of-a-kind garments that were sewn by Kaye. 

Our other dear and incredibly talented tailors have also learned from Kaye over the years, and thankfully her legacy carries on through them with their attention to detail and dedication to mastering my challenging and intricate designs. 

I will miss working with Kaye in her impressive Brooklyn sewing studio she dedicated to Ivey Abitz since 2009. I will miss her dozens of calls while she was working on projects for us from her sewing studio and I was in my design studio. Phone calls were her versions of texts and emails — she was proudly “old school.” I’d put her on speaker phone, and we’d go over things together. Our dogs know Kaye by the sound of her voice; they knew her as Auntie Kaye. She knew how to stop Artie from barking. She knew how to turn Harry’s head by singing an impromptu Broadway tune. She knew how to spread love and joy through everything she did — especially through a sewing project. 

Her sudden death has admittedly shaken me to my core, and it will take awhile to process the enormous loss. I truly loved Kaye. She wasn’t just a coworker. She was a friend. She was part of our family. I will miss her quirkiness, talent, and love. But I have to trust, just as she believed, that she isn’t gone—she’s just gone on before. She’s now with her dear dog/daughter Mandy who died in 2009. She mentioned her often, and she missed her so much. The thought of this brings a smile to my face and gives me peace. 

— Cynthia Ivey Abitz 

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Designer Notes

VOTE 2020

VOTE

Eleanor votes in one of the first elections in which women had the right to vote. New York, November 3, 1936. Photograph courtesy FDR Library.
Eleanor Roosevelt votes in one of the first elections in which women had the right to vote. New York, November 3, 1936. Photograph courtesy FDR Library.

A Personal Note from Cynthia

This is a reminder to all of our clients in the United States: if you haven’t done so already in early voting, remember to vote on November 3rd.


Eleanor Roosevelt, along with her friends, worked very hard a hundred years ago so that women could have the vote in the United States. They have passed the torch on to us to make certain EVERYONE is treated with respect and equality.

Cynthia Ivey Abitz stands in line to vote in 2020.
Cynthia stands in line to vote during the pandemic, 100 years after the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote in the United States. New York, October 30, 2020. Photograph courtesy Josh Ivey Abitz.

I thought about Eleanor a lot as Josh and I stood in line together, waiting to vote in the rain and unusual autumn snow squalls yesterday here in New York. For the hour and forty minutes we were in line, there was a sense of reverence from the people waiting. Everyone was masked for the pandemic, respectful and kind while exercising their civic duty. It made me hopeful that a world can continue that honours civility and kindness—one that Eleanor reminds us will only happen if we make it so.

She once wrote, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

An important part of the work is voting, so please remember to vote.

If you plan to wear your Ivey Abitz garments when you vote, please send us photographs of you in action. We’d love to see images of solidarity and hope as we exercise our right to vote.

— Cynthia Ivey Abitz

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Designer Notes

Client Comments about Ivey Abitz Collection no. 63

Read What Clients are Saying

Collection no. 63, c. 2020 – Sartorial Sanctuary

Ivey Abitz clients are wonderful. They are some of the kindest people we’ve ever met, and we’re so grateful for them. Oftentimes, they take the time to write us after receiving an order from us and upon a new collection debut. Here are a few excerpts of our favourites that we have recently received during the new collection, Sartorial Sanctuary. 

— I treasure my Ivey Abitz wardrobe, not only for its versatility and comfort, but also for its sturdiness, and the meticulous craft and care in its design and seamstress-work that go into each and every garment. I know this wardrobe will last me a lifetime, and my first purchases are my favorites to wear, due to the softness and ease that comes with wearing and enjoying them often. They are my Sartorial Sanctuary indeed! 

~

— It is the most stunning collection and photo shoot you have ever done! I leave my booklet out on my table so I can look at it again and again as I wait for my garments to be made. 

Look book cover from the Ivey Abitz bespoke clothing Collection no. 63 - Sartorial Sanctuary.
Cover of the Ivey Abitz Look Book for Collection no. 63, c. 2020 – Sartorial Sanctuary.

~

— Thanks for the kind note and the lovely packaging on my new capsule wardrobe, it really created a festive atmosphere. My daughter, in particular, quite admired the Fairhome Frock and the Wildefield Frock. I am wearing that very outfit now and I am throughly impressed with not only the quality of the construction of the garments but also the extreme comfort, better than sweatpants or pajamas, to my surprise.

~

— I had to take a moment and tell you how amazing you are.  I don’t know how you keep coming out with new designs, new collections, amazing fabric and combinations and just nail it collection after collection with everything going on in the world. The fabrics are so amazing and the designs are delightful and you are magic.

Meet the New Hudson Designs

~

— My dear….we both know I’ve seen a number of look-books during our time together.  However, this collection, these fabrics, your pairings are without question the most astoundingly beautiful notions I’ve seen spring from your brilliant mind.

Every photo is just…silly beautiful.  The back cover ensemble is “transportational.”

Well, well, well done you.

Ivey Abitz Look 43 from Collection no. 63 Sartorial Sanctuary. Bespoke clothing for women.
Featured on the back cover of the Collection no. 63 look book: Montmorency Wrap Jacket in Sandy Embroidered Silk Organza; Wrennie Frock in Watercolour Silk Weave; Fairholme Frock in Peony Washed Plaid Silk; Cilla Slip Frock in Peony Soft Ribbed Knit. Ivey Abitz at Boscobel House and Gardens

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Designer Notes

Mask Project

When we read the first news article about nurses and doctors in the NYC area in short supply of masks, we reached out to our clients in the healthcare profession to see if we could help in some way. They confirmed that the need was great.

Ivey Abitz is donating many yards of our finest and sturdiest natural fiber fabrics to create masks that can be washed and sanitized again and again.

Our dear tailors have each made dozens of masks for the initial surge in our area, and we will donate more as needed.

More masks are being sent out this week, and we will continue to donate masks to healthcare professionals as they need them.

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Designer Notes

New Base Layering Frock for Summer

Limited Edition Blanchefleur Frock is a solid base layer for summer from Ivey Abitz.

Our all-time favourite Blanchefleur Frock, worn by many of our clients for over a decade now, is available this spring and summer as a limited edition frock. It features our Washed Stripe Weaves, available in Gardenia/Sand or Sun/Sand.

Learn more at the Limited Edition Blanchefleur Frock design page.

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Designer Notes

Midsummer 2018 Fabrics Selling Out

Midsummer fabrics are selling out. Here is an updated list so you can plan your next Ivey Abitz bespoke purchase. See the complete fabric palette.

Midsummer 2018 Fabrics

SOLD OUT

Black and White Striped Ponte Knit by Ivey Abitz
Black and White Striped Ponte Knit SOLD OUT 8/27/18

 

Onward Blue Embroidered Voile by Ivey Abitz
Onward Blue Embroidered Voile SOLD OUT 8/27/18

 

Rising Sun Washed Silk Chiffon by Ivey Abitz
Rising Sun Washed Silk Chiffon SOLD OUT 8/26/18

 

Black and White Plaid by Ivey Abitz
Black and White Plaid SOLD OUT 7/9/18

 

Morning Sky Striped Voile by Ivey Abitz
Morning Sky Striped Voile – Sold Out 7/13/18

Morning Sky Washed Linen by Ivey Abitz
Morning Sky Washed Linen– Sold Out 7/23/18

 

Almost Sold Out Fabrics

Onward Blue and White Eyelet

Onward Blue and White Eyelet by Ivey Abitz
Onward Blue and White Eyelet– almost sold out. Order soon if you want a bespoke design made in this fabric.

Onward Blue Puckered Knit

Onward Blue Puckered Knit by Ivey Abitz
Onward Blue Puckered Knit– almost sold out. Order in this fabric soon before it is sold out.

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Designer Notes

Thoughts About The Beauty Suit

Thoughts about The Beauty Suit, a book by Lauren Shields

by Cynthia IveyAbitz

Shields - The Beauty Suit book coverWhen Lauren shared the exciting news with me about the impending release of her new book The Beauty Suit, I was thrilled to learn that someone had given such serious thought to clothing and how it impacts our everyday lives.

The day Lauren’s book arrived to me in the mail, my world stopped, and I read it cover to cover. As an artist that has devoted my life’s work to designing clothing that honours the internal and external self, it was so hopeful to read about Lauren’s journey from wearing the Beauty Suit (the mass-produced, tight clothing, the latest contouring palette, the revealing tops) to studying how different religions determine what is considered appropriate for clothing and why. Their norms have an undeniable impact on the norms of modern mainstream culture, as oftentimes trends are a reaction to them. It was fascinating to read what Lauren learned through her project of shedding the Beauty Suit, covering herself for the first time in her adulthood, and then trying to figure out what to do after her project was finished.

It’s an honour to know that, post-project and pre-release of Lauren’s book, she found a sartorial home in Ivey Abitz. We enjoy creating for her and getting to know her. We’re also pleased to announce the release of her new book, and we encourage everyone to order a copy and read it. It’s an important read for those that have worn the Beauty Suit or that choose to still wear it. It is, perhaps, an even more important read for those of us that have never felt the pressure to wear the Beauty Suit. Lauren’s book is a window into a world of immense pressure that focuses on sex appeal to stand out and be noticed. I discovered a newfound empathy and understanding of the women that wear the Beauty Suit trends.

To be sure, this book is not an attempt to shame women that choose to wear the Beauty Suit. Rather, I see it as a meditation on how we can transcend the current norms to find something better. We’re pleased that Lauren found that something better for herself in our garments. We know Ivey Abitz garments are not for everyone, and that’s okay. But we are thrilled to be here for Lauren and others that are delving deep into challenging questions, finding answers for themselves, and realizing that it’s a meaningful thing to be set apart from what she sees as demeaning trends. Lauren’s book beckons all of us, men and women, to wear clothing that doesn’t merely focus on our sexual assets and touts our sexual appeal but that celebrates and honours the entire person–body, mind, and spirit.

— Cynthia Ivey Abitz

Did you read The Beauty Suit or do you have a personal experience with it? Leave a thoughtful comment below. All comments are moderated.

Further reading: Lauren Shields interviewed Cynthia Ivey Abitz about her relationship to the Beauty Suit. Read the interview.

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Designer Notes Media and Press Uncategorized Videos

Ivey Abitz on the Red Carpet Emmys 2018

Emmy Winner Carolyn Hennesy wears Ivey Abitz as she hosts the Red Carpet at the 45th Daytime Emmy Awards, 2018. Carolyn’s gown was made just for her.

Carolyn’s Gown

— One hundred percent washed silk, cross-woven with rust and green threads. The weave changes hues in various lighting to look like liquid or a flowing metal. It is a silk weaving technique that was used during the Regency period for royal court gowns, though this silk is new and was woven this year.

— Handmade pin-tucking adorns the waist and handmade pleating adorns the bottom hem of the gown.

— Antique dog brooch, circa early 1900’s, is nestled inside of a hand sculpted brooch that adorns the tie in back.

— Over sixty hand sculpted floral embellishments adorn the bottom hem. Each was sculpted, then hand sewn onto the gown, taking three weeks to finish.

See more images at the Ivey Abitz website.

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Designer Notes Shopping

Fabric Status Page Tracks Sold Out and Nearly Sold Out Weaves

Original Plaster Embroidered Washed Silk - Description: The Spring 2018 piece de resistance, alongside the Lawn Washed Pintuck Silk. A mix of refreshing and calming hues, all in one weave. The variegated striped silk background makes an incredibly unique background for the intricately embroidered floral and vine motif. The vine design cascades across the body, creating a flattering detail within your flattering IA frock.

Introducing the new Fabric Status page at IveyAbitz.com.

We receive many inquiries asking about which fabrics are nearly sold out in the current bespoke collection. Now you can save time and get the answers directly from the Fabric Status page.

Sold Out fabrics are listed at the top, and Nearly Sold Out fabrics are listed next. Keep in mind that sometimes fabrics will sell out before we have a chance to add them to this list. The moral of that story is to order early for best fabric selection.

We will be updating the fabric status page manually as we monitor our fabric stock, so use it as a guide but not a guarantee of availability.

Sometimes we are able to get more of a particular fabric after it is sold out, but this is a rare occasion. It may involve a wait while the fabric is made at the mill, which can take weeks or even months. In this case, we suggest discovering a new fabric to obsess over. Remember, the next collection is always around the corner. And one thing you can depend on is the continuation of the Ivey Abitz aesthetic from season to season.

As always, contact us if you have questions about fabrics. Even with website technology at our disposal, there is no substitute for personal interaction.

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Designer Notes Shopping

First Sold Out Spring Fabric 2018

first sold out ivey abitz fabric of 2018 spring

SOLD OUT – It went fast, and we don’t blame you for sweeping it up while it lasted. Original Plaster Embroidered Washed Silk is the first fabric of Spring to sell out. As always, order early for best selection. Find another favourite spring fabric at the Spring Fabric Palette page.

Spring Look 1, Ivey Abitz BespokeIvey Abitz Look 1, Original Plaster Embroidered Washed Silk sold out, Ivey Abitz bespoke clothingOriginal Plaster Embroidered Washed Silk was the first sold out spring fabric in 2018 from Ivey Abitz bespoke clothing