Adhesif, a grassroots, community-minded clothing line consisting primarily of designs made of reclaimed textiles, opened its first store last spring. With business booming, the young line is only looking upward and forward.
Melissa Ferreira, founder of Adhesif Clothing and native of Montreal, started her career in the fashion industry as a buyer. Mostly self-taught, save for her mother's sewing experience and a self-employment program, Ferreira developed her knowledge of older textiles during her three years working at True Value Village. Many of the clothes were thrown away and not wanting to see any go to waste, she took plenty home to rework. When she decided to sell her unique designs, the first boutique that carried them sold out the very morning they were placed out. "They called that morning and asked if they could get more. That's when a light bulb went off," she said with a snap of her fingers.
After five years of selling at craft shows, boutiques, and wholesalers, the first Adhesif Clothing store opened last May. Now with a small team of seamstresses, Ferreira works out of the back room where the clothes are hand-made from materials which she appropriately calls "discarded yardage," found on weekly hunts to local vintage shops. Although Ferreira created half a dozen designs this spring, quantity isn't an issue for the line. "There is no need to do 20 to 40 looks because they are all so individual," said Ferreira. "They are one of a kind treasures. they transcend trends." She is also doing reworks for a section in her store that she's dubbed "too cute to cut." "It's a slight makeover [to the garment]. There are new pieces every week, so it's exciting for repeat customers."
Inspired more by street style than fashion trends, Ferreira's designs have been heavily influenced by the asymmetrical styles seen in Japan. With prints like tartan, plaid, argyle, and pinstripe, as well as inspiration from the 20's through the 60's with a general Vivienne Westwood feel, Adhesif contains the conventional eclecticism that parallels downtown Vancouver fashion perfectly. The Spring 2011 line has the most dresses Ferreira has ever done, which is unusual for the androgynous designer: "Growing up with two brothers, I was sort of a tomboy," she said. But it is evident that her style is evolving--with quirky buttons, pockets, and frills, most of her designs are whimsical, flirty, and feminine. It is also quite affordable with price ranges from $20-$80 for accessories and $78 -$170 for clothing. Not only does the eco-friendly line reuse vintage materials, smaller pieces of leftover fabric are sent to local crafters. "We try to create zero waste."
Although the Adhesif store, located at 2202 Main Street, is certainly keeping Ferreira's hands full, she is also working hard at launching a concrete menswear line in the near future. Be sure to check out Nifty for Fifty, an event that Ferreira is putting on at the Heritage Hall on April 3rd from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. where 20 local designers will be selling their creations for $50 or less!
For more information on Adhesif please visit the website at www.adhesifclothing.com.