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American nonprofit Closely Crafted launches in bid to preserve craftsmanship

By Rachel Douglass

Jul 5, 2022


Image: Unsplash

A new US nonprofit has been launched by New York designer Gigi Burris O’Hara with the goal of preserving American craftsmanship.

Closely Crafted’s mission, the organisation said on its website, is to revitalise “the legacy of quality Made-in-America” goods, through nurturing artisan equity and creating awareness of crafts, such as millinery, tailoring and pleating.

“Factories and ateliers are closing, and with that decades of knowledge vanish along with them,” Burris O’Hara told Vogue in a report. She added that the preservation of skill sets across generations is critical to continuing the support of the American fashion industry.

Board members for the organisation include the likes of Public School’s Maxwell Osborne and Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill, as well as slow fashion pioneer Natalie Chanin.

According to Vogue, Closely Crafted is set to kick off with a series of activations highlighting brands that already produce in America, alongside a number of stores such as The Webster and McMullen.

Designers included in the first activation consist of Christopher John Rogers, Jonathan Cohen, Brandon Maxwell and Monse, who will each be supported via their artisan production network.

Burris O’Hara told the publication that she also hopes to establish an apprenticeship programme to financially help individuals who want to learn how to make clothing.

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