ML Dreams: Kit Hunzinger, NYC Fashion Designer, currently residing + working out of a cabin in the middle of the woods in Wisconsin
Kit has what seems to be never-ending energy for her plethora of projects such as sewing a batch of American flags each month, launching a fashion label, biking, running, and in her down time kayaking, as well as painting watercolors of the USA... and world.Kit: I’m calling this my “Bon Iver chapter in life,” running away from NYC to bust out my dream collection and many other pieces in between.
madeLOKAL: Did you formally study art or sewing, or are you self-taught?
Kit: I am self taught in sewing. I began threading a needle at the age of 8, or possibly even sooner, but it was at 8 when I realized my dream was to be a designer, and to create. I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where I further perfected my techniques with a major in Apparel Production and Design. It was there at SCAD, where I also discovered my love for watercolor painting, through my fashion illustrations.
madeLOKAL: You paint and sew...are there any other creative outlets that you dabble in?
Kit: Well, to be honest painting was my true creative outlet, aside from what sewing is. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be doing something that I love so much. My work is my creative outlet (most of the time). I am a fashion designer by trade and actually began painting as my way of journaling, I had no idea that people would even look twice at my watercolors. I love to create, so when I’m not sewing or painting, I’m creating something out of something. I come from a family in Construction, so I love to bust out my tools when I get some solid down time and build something functional for my studio, like bookshelves and tables and such.madeLOKAL: How do you determine whether you paint or sew?
Kit: I typically do both everyday. Sewing is often times my whole work day and painting I do first thing in the morning and late at night. I incorporate painting in with my coffee breaks as a chance to rest my mind as well as my hands.
madeLOKAL: What inspires your work?
Kit: Oh gosh— can I just answer with “life”? Everything. People, experiences, textures,… but I believe the main root to my inspiration is Travel. Whether it be dreaming of a magical land, exploring through the wooded mountains of NY, or up high in the clouds… that feeling of total freedom, the mystery that lies ahead and all the little discoveries along the way. Thats where I find myself pulling from most.
madeLOKAL: You once made your own American flag.
Kit: I did. I do! Once a month I make a large batch of American Flags. They are by far my most time consuming piece. They are hand made; dyed and sewn with natural fibers referencing that of the original created by Betsy Ross. The original flag of mine was inspired by and created for my youngest brother for his promotion within the Marine Corps. That flag is hanging in his home, and the many others I have created hang above mantles or get framed and I have one of the first trials hanging up in my studio. 20% of all profits for the flags are donated to a scholarship fund that is in memory of two of my dear friends who were killed in action in the War in Iraq.
madeLOKAL: How often do you run and how does it impact your life?
Kit: I’m a pretty avid runner- I’ll typically run 4-6 times a week along with my bike commute and Mon. - Sat. I attend a 5am bootcamp class. I’m quite active; I have a lot of energy…and stress. Running, exercise in general, has the most positive impact on my life and my overall outlook. To me a day hasn’t started or isn’t complete without making my bed and chasing some pavement. Ha! Running suppresses my stress, and allows me the personal time I need to work out my schedule, problem solve and work out my construction process. And I just feel stronger throughout the day— If I can run X amount, I can accomplish the rest of my list. Mind over matter.
madeLOKAL: What do you do to unwind?
Kit: To unwind, I kayak. Even if its for a 15 minute breeze across the lake, I’m instantly reset. That has been my favorite part of this cabin studio and my mini-escape from NYC.
images courtesy of Sewkit