With their Couch Collection, eco-streetwear brand Mamersass showed that upcycled “grandma couches” can transform into glamorous fashion.
Sometimes when someone is wearing a gaudy patterned outfit, people joke that they are “wearing a couch.” It’s an easy joke to make, but not many people ever wonder: could you really pull off wearing clothes made from old couches? Eco-streetwear fashion brand Mamersass Reinvented Fashions decided to find out at their first Richmond fashion show, The Couch Collection, which launched on Saturday, February 29.
The launch party was held at the Mamersass store on Broad Street in Richmond’s Arts District. It was free and open to the public, and once doors opened, the space filled quickly with supporters and curious individuals who came out to see the new collection. The show featured contributions from local stylists, designers, photographers, and videographers, as well as fashion design students from VCU. Music was provided by DJ Boygirl, who set the tone from start to finish.
The energy of the show was amazing and full of artistry, diversity, and inclusiveness. The crowd encouraged and cheered on designs and models as they came down the runway. Hot tea was served, and visitors were welcome to shop after the show as well.
Mamersass, pronounced “May-Mer-Sass,” is run by sustainable designers Jamey Brittingham, aka Mamer, and Derek Garrett. Their mission as an eco-streetwear brand is to rescue and reinvent unwanted textiles and vintage clothing, combating textile waste by upcycling used fabric into clothing and accessories. Their love for fashion is second only to their love for the earth and their desire to give back and use fashion for good.
Brittingham wanted to be a fashion designer ever since she was a kid. “My mom taught me the basics of sewing in middle school, then put me in sewing class, where I learned even more,” she said. “I used to paint shoes and make clothes for myself throughout high school.” Mamer said. Along with Garrett, she started Mamersass in 2012, originally on the island of Chincoteague. Though they are new to the Richmond area, this will be their eighth year in business.
According to Brittingham, the inspiration for the Couch Collection derived from the textures and patterns of upholstery fabric, specifically what she calls “floral grandma couches.”
“We used materials that have been rescued from living rooms of the past and recreated into one-of-a-kind garments. No one piece in this collection was constructed from new materials,” she said. “Grandma’s living room to me is warm, inviting, and home-y. This line tells the story. Even the smell of the shop is to remind you of Grandma’s house.”
To stay up to date with Mamersass, you can follow their Instagram @mamersass, or visit their shop, which is located at 420 W Broad St.