A/D/O by MINI | The Break FW19

The Break FW19

Brooklyn company The Break presents its latest collection of vintage apparel, offering a sustainable alternative to fast fashion during New York’s busy show season.

The fashion industry is facing mounting pressure to rethink wasteful product cycles, overproduction and disposability, as concerns for the environment continue to grow. Yet across countless presentations during the biannual New York Fashion Week (not to mention similar events in London, Paris, Milan and more), labels continue to churn out next season’s must-have looks – sparking an energy-intensive effort to create new apparel, and signaling that older items are no longer a la mode. But amid this display of excess, the NYFW presentation by The Break comes as a welcome eco-friendly alternative.

The Brooklyn-based company mainly specializes in vintage garments. Unlike many second-hand clothing stores that rely solely on public donations, The Break’s apparel is carefully sourced and curated into aesthetically cohesive seasonal collections by founder Hannah Richtman and her team. The result is a line that could easily pass for that of a high-end fashion house, but with a much greener footprint.

"Sustainability is a core value of The Break that is reflected in all of our offerings – from our inherently sustainable second-hand pieces to our contemporary assortments from sustainable, women-led brands," Richtman told The Journal.

As fashion week rolls around once again this September, most brands are preparing to showcase their Spring Summer 2020 collections. But The Break, which takes a see-now-buy-now approach to fashion retail, will present its Fall Winter 2019 (FW19) collection – debuting the garments and accessories at a more appropriate time of year for consumers, who can purchase the clothes immediately after its runway show.

The event will take place on the evening of Saturday September 7, 2019, at neighboring A/D/O in Greenpoint. Due to their proximity, as well as their shared values, this will be the fifth time the two organizations have partnered for the fashion week presentation. During the afterparty, guests will have the opportunity to cross the street to The Break’s store, explore the collection more intimately, and shop their favorite pieces from the catwalk.

When it comes to the clothes, The Break’s FW19 theme is Mobility, promising uniquely functional and elegant workwear for New Yorkers on the go. Teaser images for the collection were shot around the city. “The New York uniform serves the mobility of our commute, work, and social life, simultaneously, from day to night,” Richtman said. “This duality of fashion and function is second nature, as our individuality is expressed through our ability to make it work.”

Unlike most fashion shows – which can be considered elitist, private gatherings reserved only for celebrities and industry insiders – The Break’s event welcomes the public, creating a more accessible environment. “We have developed a network of loyal customers and collaborators that enrich our process and the industry at large,” said Richtman. “Break NYFW is a celebration of our network.”

"You can expect a diverse cast of fabulous people, insane energy, chic fashion that’s sustainable and in-season, and the most friendly party of NY fashion week," she continued.

This ethos also extends into this season’s collection theme: “Mobility within the community requires being open and hospitable; celebrating the freedom that accompanies self and social acceptance, as well as the ability to grow and change with experience.”

“We support those that have chosen New York as their home, and believe that we should all be able to move safely and freely within this city,” Richtman added. “Let us explore how this can be an accessible place, both physically and mentally, to not only survive, but to thrive."

It’s not anticipated that the fashion industry will dramatically change the way it operates overnight, but small shifts in the attitudes of both brands and consumers will hopefully lead to improvements in the way we consume clothing. Companies like The Break, which spread a message of exchange, inclusion and sustainability through their community and events, are helping to bring this approach into vogue.

The Break’s FW19 NYFW runway show and afterparty takes place 9pm – 1am, Saturday September 7, 2019, at A/D/O. Tickets are available here.

Text by Dan Howarth.