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  1. #1

    Default Geoffrey B. Small

    I would like to kick of a discussion on a designer who has been quietly working away, doing his own thing, in a very cool way, since the 80’s. He was one of, if not the first to do recycled, and although Margiela also did it very well, I believe that Geoffrey did it in a more honest way. He has been making environmentally concessions clothing since way before it was fashionable and when designers like Yohji and Comme were expanding their production he was shrinking his, so that he had more control over it. He is not just a designer, but a tailor, a pattern cutter and machinist, so he really does understand and have control over the every detail of his clothing. He even works with a local fabric weaver to produce just what he needs for each piece. I understand that the there are many who do this now, but in combination with the fact that he personally oversees and works on pretty much every garment which he produces, I think that this makes him pretty special.

    You may not be into Geoffrey B. Smalls design because, like Poell and Harnden, he designs from his own special place which is not really influenced by the fashion world. He is far more interested in history and socio-political issues, and how they affect the way we cloth ourselves. When I first saw his work, it scared the shit out of me! But after speaking to him in great depth, I began to understand his attention to rapidly disappearing values and to the details which are becoming less and less important in modern clothing, and the journey which had brought him to this place from where he produces his art. To me this involvement is very important.

    Although seen in a very different light he has a lot in common with Altieri and did indeed showed with him in Paris in the very early days of Carpe Diem. Although he never exploded onto the scene, creating the impact that Altieri did, he has been working in a similar way for much longer and has probably, in a far more indirect way, had an equal impact on the way that the likes of Grandma, Luca, and this whole wave of new-school craftspeople who have emerged in the wake of Carpe Diem.

    Ps. when I can post images I will let you see some of my collection of his work.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  2. #2


    Thanks for the thread Hobo
    was also looking at somw more of his work lately, also saw a T-shirt by him on Yoox that I am considering to buy.
    think somone already started a thread on him here, maybe both threads could be merged
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
    .................................................. .......................

    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  3. #3
    Senior Member MikeN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    New York City


    paging fuuma

  4. #4
    Senior Member SHYE_POSER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    North of The River


    Just had a read through his website.
    Rather amazing to say the least! I really appreciate his use of fabric and keeping his work in house so he can overlook everything.
    When i was at university this is how i had imagined for me to work also.
    I found this list of his innovations incredibly interesting
    1. the use of inserts,
    2. the 2-piece recycle twinset
    3. themed recycle collections based upon a particular concept or garment type
    4. inside out,
    5. metamorphosisizing garment types (changing the original use of the garment into a different type or use)
    6. half&half
    7. tape bands
    8. mesh
    9. camouflage
    10. plastic
    11. metal
    12. electronic components (applying solid state computer components into recycled clothing designs)
    13. graffiti tagging
    14. painted leather
    15. painted jeans
    16. zippers
    17. the pinch seam
    18. inside pinch seam
    19. inside exposed overlock seam
    20. laser and silkscreen prints on pants, jackets, button-down shirts, leather and knitwear
    21. chiffon over jersey
    22. holes
    23. label outside
    24. intarsia stitching
    25. convertibles (2-in-1 or 3-in-1 garments that can be changed into bags, backpacks or alternative garments)
    26. slashed knitwear
    27. antique patches
    28. ergonomic cutting and stitching
    29. overdying
    30. denim and khaki
    31. refitting menswear into womenswear
    32. customizing repairs
    33. developing the world's most comprehensive standards and methods for production of recycled clothing.
    For other members here is his website with images of previous collections and much more.
    Well worth spending some time looking and reading everything within it. Incredibly inspiring.
    Cheers Hobo for bringing him back to my attention!
    merz: your look has all the grace of george michael at the tail end of a coke binge.

  5. #5


    aaak, second topic in a few days about GBS with no pictures!

    like discussed in some other thread (shit is so mixed up right now), Geoffrey is a very cool guy and does some very nice stuff. His work really can't be compared to anything else, he has such a different approach to making garments and his style, while utilizing some rather classic styles, is quite a unique combination of different elements. Also, he is probably one of the nicest people I've met.

    There will some more up to date content on him in the near future, which is why I was holding back with the thread start but perhaps I will make a third one soon
    "AVANT GUARDE HIGHEST FASHION. NOW NOW this is it people, these are the brands no one fucking knows and people are like WTF. they do everything by hand in their freaking secret basement and shit."


  6. #6
    Senior Member SHYE_POSER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    North of The River


    There are many pics on his sight, i try and upload a few in the next few days so we have some visuals at hand!

    I sense you are cooking something up mr.lowrey!!!! hmmmm
    merz: your look has all the grace of george michael at the tail end of a coke binge.

  7. #7

    Default Reques to for images from Hobo


    I have received a request from Hobo to provide you with some images of our work.

    However, I am having difficulty figuring out how to do so. I am currently in "Reply to Thread" and the message box options only offer "Post Icons", Miscellaneous Options", "Thread Subscription", and "Rate Thread." Nothing for images. If anyone can give me a hand with any instructions or help, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I do not know your forum rules for SZ...whether it is cool or acceptable for a designer to make comments about his own stuff/work. If it is OK, and there is any member interest, I might like to try to respond/comment to some of the member comments in the thread--but again, only if it is OK to do so, and if there is any interest.

    Thanks for your help,

    Best wishes,

    Geoffrey B. Small

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mail-Moth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    In a french middleofnowhere


    Hi Geoffrey,

    When you are on the "reply to thread" box, just look at the small icons above the text you are typing.
    There's one looking like a montain.
    You click on that one, and then you copypast the direct link to your image. It should be okay.
    I can see a hat, I can see a cat,
    I can see a man with a baseball bat.

  9. #9


    This subject is very close to my heart. Fabric quality is something i urge you all to appreciate and i thank Geoffrey for bringing this topic to this thread. Many, especially new or student,designers really don't understand fabrics importance.

  10. #10


    Hello Mr. Small.

    Thank you for all your input here..Such a fascinating read.

    Also, thanks for your details re: Louis Boston, back in the day. Though I rarely visit and/or purchase anything from the store these days, Louis Boston was the very first store that introduced me to designer clothing (by way of Dries) in my early 20's, and for that reason alone, I will always have a soft-spot in my heart for them. I remember them selling Helmut Lang, and also Veronique Branquinho & Balenciaga's menswear (when both of those lines were first developed), but I never knew they once sold Ralph Lauren products.

  11. #11


    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 09-10-2014 at 04:16 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Haiti earthquake help

    Dear SZ'ers,

    Just like to take a quick moment to post-up a choice of links to send a few bucks or more to help the earthquake rescue and recovery efforts in Haiti. Every little bit helps and the need is definitely urgent as I'm sure you all know...

    • AmeriCares:

    • Doctors Without Borders:

    • Oxfam America:

    • Yéle Haiti:

    Thanks for your consideration and help. If you have already done something, please pass this along to others...

    Best wishes,


  13. #13


    Very good idea to post something here. I think we all can afford to spend a small amount of our income on a donation.

    For german members:

    For european members:

  14. #14

    Default Geoffrey B Small

    I have to agree with almost all of what has been posted about Geoffrey. I have nothing but respect for him and his work. He is a SERIOUS designer in every sense of the word. His work is timeless, his aesthetic too sophisticated for the average eye, his ethics unmatched. I was honored to have him write the intro to my book Eco Fashion which recently published by Laurence King in the UK, as well as Logos in Italy. He is a greatly under appreciated designer, and to some extent unknown. So I welcome any discussion that better promotes him and his work. Brava!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hoeller's Garret


    You must also be congratulated on producing such a timely and important book.
    To give a voice and platform to designers committed to issues of sustainability and ethical consumerism and have it available to the wider public is truly a great thing.
    You, and Geoffrey, are making a real difference.

  16. #16




    Henryk Górecki, died Friday Nov 12 aged 76, a Polish composer who achieved immense popularity in Western Europe and America in the 1990s thanks to the ethereal splendour of his Symphony No 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). But he was also an important political voice in Poland, for example, writing his controversial Beatus Vir for Pope John Paul II's return to his homeland after being elected pontiff in 1979. During the dying days of communism Górecki was seen as an agitator by the authorities and was frequently followed and had his phone tapped. He had started his musical life as a pioneer of the Polish avant garde and his work was often dismissed for its violence, both in its sound and in the manner of its performance. Symphony of Sorrowful Songs was originally conceived as a tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. In each of the three movements a soprano sings a Polish text: a 15th-century lament; a message scribbled on the wall of a Gestapo cell; and a Silesian prayer of a mother searching for her missing son. Repression, violence and the subjugation of innocent victims on this planet has far from disappeared. The music and its message, are as relevant today as ever. You can listen to some of it here. RIP Mr. Gorecki and thank you...


  17. #17


    Wow amazing collection with a lot of great wearable pieces that still have an extremely high level of sophistication. Great message as well.

  18. #18


    exclusively for StyleZeist



    (words and images about a jacket and a way of life)

    To start off, I have picked a piece that is futile to explain to you in
    words or images...but just one touch in person with your own real
    hands and you will begin to understand what this piece is all about.

    You see, the fabric in the picture is not just pure cashmere. It is
    pure Alashan cashmere. From the special region in Mongolia where
    the finest cashmere yarns on the entire planet originate from. There is
    no other like it in the world. And in the hands of the oldest working
    wool making family in the world still in operation today, it becomes an
    almost unreal phenomenon. For over two and half centuries, the
    people at Fratelli Piacenza (founded in 1733) have been making the
    world's best cashmere cloths, and this one is incredible. Pure alashan
    cashmere blazer-weight cloth, at almost 150 euros a meter wholesale,
    an investment in fabric representing almost 400 euros alone for a
    single jacket before a single cut or stitch is put into it.

    And then, we made it even better...

    ...with seven hours of our own secret process of dyeing and fabric
    finishing totally by hand, making it darker, softer and more irregular in
    texture and form. To achieve this requires hard, physical demanding
    work with heat, steel, water, fire, tongs, ladel, brush, sweat and yes,
    stress. Consider that if you botch up a formula or operation, or use too
    much heat or motion at the wrong moment, you can ruin a piece
    worth up to several thousand euros in a second. No, this work is not for
    beginners. And it is not easy. So, all you industrial copiers and so-
    called artisan brands out there--be our guest. Go ahead and try to copy
    these 'till the cows come home. For these are the kind of results that
    can only be achieved if you earn them. There are no shortcuts--no
    special machine, no quick industrial process, no de-skilled-low-wage-
    -throw-away laborers that can even come close to coming anywhere
    near these results (you see you need to take care of your people well
    enough so that they stay with you for many years, a long enough time
    to develop the total mastery of the skills needed to do the job). No
    fellows, keep your shortcuts for those who prefer to wear the
    equivalent of sandpaper at twice the price, they'll be happy as 'pigs
    in ........', and you'll make much more money that way.

    But for these kind of results-
    there is only one way to enter such a narrow gate...

    Do the same work we do. Experience the same toil, pressure and pain
    each time, and yes maybe, if you have the skill and technique, you
    will get the same result. And this is why we do it. Because what you
    get in the end, is fabric so soft, and with so much drape, it resembles a
    liquid in solid form. Touch it, and it will take your breath away. Put it
    on, and it will all but melt over the contours of your body, enveloping
    you in a shroud of soft, warm, peaceful security and comfort that
    redefines the concept of urban body armour in a whole new dimension.
    A combination of nature, human energy, and skill, that represents a
    history, a culture, and way of life that is all but disappeared. It is our history,
    our culture, and our way of life- for a precious few makers, and
    wearers, still intent, to defy the destructive forces of this industrial age
    and the global corporate consumerism we live in, to the very end.

    Live free or die.

    Designed with a priority from the inside, our lining story begins
    with Como, the city on the lake north of Milan that for the past six
    centuries has been the capital of weaving and crafting the best silk and
    fine filament fabrics in the entire world. Here, masters like the people
    at Tessitura Mauri still create linings that blow your mind, each one a
    painting in itself with colors so subtle and balanced like nature that you
    can use them in a myriad of ways--like I chose to do with this one on
    the sleeve linings of the GJ03N (above).

    For the linings of the body, we created an assembly of exquisite
    fabric pieces, also from Como, to create a really personal story that is
    both beautiful and different than what is expected when one opens a
    typical 'designer' jacket. Like old palazzi milanesi, quiet, somber, and
    reserved on the outside- but inside, one can display a warmth and
    heartful personality unlike any advanced and unexpected
    combination that studies contrasts: Bemberg regimentia striped taffeta
    and blacked out pure silk floral printed satin, mixes of hard and soft,
    structural form and liquidity, straight linear lines and soft floral curves,
    all harmoniously working together, pulled partly in synch with the
    watercolor-like wash effects of the very subtle hand dyeing work.

    Can you see them?
    Even with the aid of a 5 megapixel macro lens shot, you still do
    have to concentrate a little--but they're there, dozens of micro hand
    pick stitches in pure silk Bozzolo Reale Milano threads...around the collar
    edges, in other subtle places and even more in the fourteen handsewn
    buttonholes on both left and right fronts, each one taking about ten
    minutes to create, a total of more than 2 and half hours of arduous,
    slow, and totally expert work without a single machine involved.

    Our fanatical approach to buttons is well-known among people
    who know. In fact, many of our pieces can be recognized by the
    unique quality of their button story and selection alone. And this piece
    is no exception. A subtle, remarkable array of shapes, textures and
    forms in handmade leather, horn and bone all created exclusively for
    us in Parma, Italy by Botonificio Fontana, whom we believe to be one
    of, if not the, best buttonmakers in the world today. But many of
    the buttons you see here are not at all as they arrived to us from
    Parma, for we too also added much to their character, applying a
    series of hand dyeing and finishing techniques to get them to their very
    special final state, harmoniously blending and embellishing the form
    and beauty of the jacket in a manner that is undeniably, and uniquely
    ours, and of course, the jacket's prospective owner...

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