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OMG Spring 2021

OMG Spring 2021

It's Easter Sunday and I've spent the afternoon updating the site, culling and adding and editing. There's more to come (always) and yet it feels like a bit of clearing the cobwebs has happened. New bits and bobs are trickling in, and that's exciting. I'll soon be adding a bar/bat mitzvah/ sweet sixteen gift collection, because the season is upon us!

Like so many of us, I continue to feel my way through this uncertain time. As such, I urge you to take care of yourself: whatever you're feeling and doing is OKAY. And hey, I made some pretty eye pillows to encourage rest and relaxation

I look forward to being fully vaxxed in just a couple more weeks, and can't wait to venture out into the world more. 

I plan to wake up the Short Story Book Club shortly, so if you want in join the page/group here. The SSBC requires NO prep; we read the story aloud together when we meet, and meeting in a park or beach is an essential part. I think this time we'll incorporate some fantastic local authors, reading and discussing their work.. we're so totally lucky to live among so many brilliant writers!

The NYC Mayoral race is heating up and while I'm sure I'll have a longer screed, and hopefully a Persisticon event to announce, in the meantime; plan to VOTE FOR A WOMAN. There are FANTASTIC candidates (yes, I'm yelling with those all caps.) New York City deserves a fresh start with a visionary Mayor who can and will bring her lived experience to bear on the job. AND because ranked choice voting is in effect, it's a more open field. I love Maya Wiley, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia. They're all electable if you vote for them.

 

Stay safe!

xDiana

magnolia blossoms against a blue sky with a few light clouds

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I made something new!

I made something new!

And I'm in love. I always wanted a singular pearl drop, super simple and luminous and elegant. And lo, I finally made one. It's lovely, truly. I'm pleased.

Available in 14kt rose or yellow gold or sterling silver, suspended from a delicate 18" chain, with stunning Tahitian pearls in deep grey or creamy lustrous white.

Aren't they splendid? :)

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Ok I admit it

Ok I admit it

Ok I admit it

I’ve been feeling kind of blue. Sure, change is inevitable, but this is extreme.
I’ve reverted to reading YA novels and baking pies. I’m reminded of the summer I was 11, when I spent a lot of time killing time. Walking slowly along the two lane highway to the 7-11 half a mile away to peruse the Tiger Beat magazines (Ralph Macchio! Ricky Schroeder! Menudo!!) and buy $2 blue Wet n’ Wild nail polish, and Charleston Chews or Tangy Taffy to put in the freezer for later cracking and eating. That summer was all Madonna Borderline and baking cakes from boxes. And waiting. For what? To grow up? For middle School to start? Something to happen.
I’m more sophisticated now. Maybe. But I find that I’m waiting, again. Now it's that so much is happening, it’s like the ocean is churning up all the nasty bits that have been decaying on the sea floor, and everything feels cloudy and dangerous and strange. Things I’ve taken for granted have crumbled away: casual hugs from friends, summer camp for my kids and visiting family out of state, spontaneous dates for drinks or dinners in lovely air-conditioned restaurants, music festivals in the parks, the yoga studio I frequented for almost a decade.
And the store. My store, the familiarity and rhythms, the air and shapes and warm customers. While I continue to be both relieved and certain that I made the right call under the circumstances, its absence is still strange.
I’ve made our Feminist Gold tee in blue, in a very limited run, though with more coming. It’s beautiful. Some in rose are back too, as are the original oatmeal grey, and the charcoal long sleeve is in in all sizes (hooray!) There are some new and beautiful unisex colors too, with limited sizing options. Supply chains and printing are sluggish and uncertain, but coming back online, like the flickering console on the USS Enterprise.
in-house models earning their keep
While this strange summer continues to unfurl, while I continue to bake, make masks, and obsessively follow the churning upheaval tearing through the country, I am not losing sight of the election looming ahead of us. I imagine we’ve always said each one is “The Most Important” but this time there’s no fucking around.
99 days. Stay engaged. Find a Senate race that speaks to you and phone bank, send postcards, plug in. When you doubt what your one voice, one person can contribute, look at the damage one man has wrought, and dig in.
Summer reading: I'm looking forward to Zadie Smith’s Intimations, a slim volume of essays, written during the first three months of the pandemic; and thoroughly enjoyed reading Calypso, by David Sedaris, which is not new, but he is funny, frank and unblinking about his own foibles and family in mid-life in such a disarming and inspiring way, it was a joy to spend time with. 
Pie, why not? Stress baking continues to be a fruitful outlet for me (sorry. couldn't help it)
Postcards to Voters, because Stacey Abrams said it really really works.
Fortify yourself by listening to this episode of The Daily on the life and legacy of John Lewis.
Keep on keeping on, because even tho the horses are tired and the riders aren’t sure which way to go, we are still the cavalry.
xoDiana
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News: yes, *that* news

News: yes, *that* news

Dear friends,

It is with a full heart and clear eyes that I announce the closing of the brick and mortar incarnation of my business. It has been my deepest pleasure and privilege to have been part of our community for the past 18 years.

I am proud of the space I held here, and grateful to all of you for embracing me and this dream that I had had since childhood; I did it.

I opened my doors on April 18th, 2002 on what was an almost desolate stretch of Fifth Avenue. Only two months later I discovered that I was pregnant with my first son, Max. My family and my store grew up together, and I realized my great good fortune to have landed in this spot: a community bursting with smart and caring people, who welcomed both.

We weathered a lot, and have seen many come, and go, along the way. I admit I miss the weird and wonderful places that existed at the beginning; the rents were reasonable enough to take a chance and express one’s self through one’s singular vision, without too much concern about the “market”. Maybe after the tidal waves of C19 subside that ground will become fertile again.

My store has been an expression of me and where I was throughout the years: in the early days I carried pretty lacy things, but they soon gave way to more pragmatic pretty things, looking to outfit the women in our area in both comfort, quality, and beauty. I embraced the burgeoning sustainable-fashion movement from the get-go: was a pioneering outpost for collections like Prairie Underground, Organic by John Patrick, Loomstate and Edun, Katherine Hamnett, Skin; I bought Tom’s first shoe collection, which I couldn’t sell to save my life (ha!) sold hundreds of Sven boots and Dr. Scholl’s sandals; we championed smaller designers, carrying Erica Tanov, Araks, Modaspia, and Europeans like Hartford and Hanro, with textiles to die for. I was always looking for tactile gratification along with fit and form.

Along the way I gave up trying to keep my personal and political lives separate from the store persona. It had become ever clearer that the personal is political and the political is personal. I’ve never regretted it; it opened up so many conversations, and blurred the lines. We are all so much more than our profession or public face.

I am thrilled to have used my space to advocate for women, for artists, for equality, for rich and equal public school opportunities for all of our kids.

I think the why of our closing is obvious, and the what’s next is unknown.

To the nitty-gritty: help me to clear out! Shop! As of now, everything is 25% off, discount applied automatically. There are BEAUTIFUL pieces, and summer is coming. A fresh drop from Hartford landed last week. Xirena dresses are in in bright colors and in all their cotton glory. Velvet tees, and Prairie pants.
And the other stuff too: fixtures and some good furniture. Anyone need a nine foot long butcher block?! It’s pretty awesome. Please feel free to reach out, I'm available for personal shopping and would happily put together items for you to try on. hello@dianakane.com.

My online store will remain open, carrying predominantly my things: jewelry, Feminist Tees, the collaborative Jenny Belin buttons, and any remaining stock. I look forward to putting my resources toward developing new jewelry and new projects. 
 
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Here we are, update 4/20, COVID-19, day 9 million

Here we are, update 4/20, COVID-19, day 9 million

Hi all,

We've been closed for five weeks now. 

What have I been up to? Probably the same as every owner of every business you pass on the street who has been mandated closed: trying to figure out how to save my store.

That and making masks and sourdough, because I'm a pandemic cliche. I'm getting pretty good at both.

Thank you all for the support, the online purchases, the gift certificate purchases and the words of encouragement. Keep it up! It means the world.

I'd be lying if i said what we're facing isn't dire.

Sending big love to all. Stay safe! Stay home! Wear your masks! Shop local.. online

xDiana

PS, if you're local and want sourdough starter, I'm happy to share

Dr Laura Melville

Dr. Laura Melville, Emergency Physician at Methodist and a girlfriend of mine for 17 years, picking up cloth masks to wear on her bike commute

Nobody in my house is wearing real pants, but we are clapping and cheering for essential workers at 7pm each night

Strangest and most tragic Spring in my 25+ years in Brooklyn, but still beautiful

 

 

 

 

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New Year, new store :)

New Year, new store :)

We're up and going, so clean and bright and fresh, and flush with new, and new to us, merch. The lucky finds include pieces from Rebecca Taylor, Tucker, Archerie, Layla, Erica Tanov, Madewell, Matta and so much more. Come take a looksee. Find our buying and selling guide here

Portrait paintings by Jenny Belin

feminist tees and buttons

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It's happening!

It's happening!

Here we go! We'll be closed Tuesday and Wednesday this week while we spruce ourselves up: we're getting a fresh coat of paint, and re-arranging our space to better display our new direction: adding contemporary second hand boutique items. It's time people, climate change is no joke.

New and fabulous pieces are already streaming in..

Come check us out next week.. we're excited!!

xoDiana

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Ch-ch-ch-changes!!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!!

What am I talking about? Bringing second hand clothes (only good stuff!) into the store.

Why? Because I've been in a store related existential crisis for a while now. Let's welcome this new decade working toward a more sustainable future. Extending the life of our garments by buying and selling amongst ourselves has a huge environmental impact, slowing down the damages incurred in the manufacturing process and also keeping things out of the landfill for longer. Plus, personally, I'd much rather have a new-to-me Hartford shirt than a new-new Old Navy tee. Let's share, and trade, and swap. Let's give ourselves more opportunities to come together. Let's get lucky. Let's get creative. Let's clean out our closets...
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Rachel Nasvik is in the house

Rachel Nasvik is in the house

Rachel Nasvik has been a girl crush and designer crush of mine for a decade now. I met her when our kids were in kindergarten together, but I already knew of her because her classic, beautifully made leather bags were a cult fashion item, and on every downtown NY It-girl's arm. I'm thrilled to have her collection in the store. They're that perfect blend of classic, beautifully made with gorgeous materials, and carry with them the aura of effortless chic. 
Rachel herself embodies the same qualities: she too is effortlessly chic with a lacing of downtown edge.
I recently sent her a few questions.. plumbing the creative process is always a thrill, and Rachel doesn't disappoint! 
How did you get started in handbags and what draws you to them particularly?
While I was in my last year at FIT for Fashion Design, I got inspired to do a small denim wallet.  It had two pockets on the back (like the back of a pair of jeans), and a zipper top.  I found a small factory in the garment district to make 100 pieces for me, which was my very first experience with production.  When they were done, I shopped them around the city and found a few boutiques that agreed to take them on consignment. Around the same time, Lucky Magazine featured the wallets on the back page, and they sold out in a few days!
When I look back on that experience now, it’s easy to see how it changed things for me.  It gave me the confidence to think about starting my own line, and transition into another category.  I had a lot of supportive people around me at the time, which also played a major role.  When I got pregnant with my son shortly after, I decided to go for it and start my own business.    
What I love most about bags….. I love that they become a part of your life.  They travel with you every day - through thick and thin.  Almost like a security blanket, or best friend.  There is a lot of love that goes into a bag, which makes it very personal for me.  

 

What’s your process like? design wise, material selection, manufacturing?
I start each season with a few bag shapes that really excite me.  After that I begin to visualize specific details that can be worked into the bags in different ways. The design process always feels like a journey to me - so much changes from beginning to end!
Regarding material selection, I have a few articles of leather I tend to stick with each season.  The tried and true that I know is going to last.  I’m always a sucker for warm combos like suede, leather and solid brass.    
All of my bags are made in Union City, New Jersey. Keeping things local allows me to be very involved in the sampling and manufacturing process, which is important to me.  It always takes a few tries to get a new style right, so it’s incredibly helpful to work directly with the sample maker.  After that we decide on the best fillers, materials, and construction techniques together.  It’s awesome to get to know the bag inside and out - literally.   
Where do you find your inspiration? 
That’s always a hard question because I feel inspiration can come from anywhere.  What’s going on in my life, places I’ve been, people I’m surrounded by, fashion, colors, leather, seasons, etc.  It all plays into a collection.  However, for specific details I’m most often inspired by mens or women's outerwear.  The pocket on a coat, a seam treatment, or the way a shoulder is pleated.  Those types of details always seem to translate the best.  
Do you have perennial favorite designers? 
It’s kind of a mix, but I really like Elizabeth and James, ALC, Rag and Bone, Rachel Comey, OAK, Vince, Equipment, and Ulla Johnson.  Also a friend of mine introduced me to Apiece Apart recently, which I’m loving as well.   

How would you describe your aesthetic or signature style? 
Classic + built to last. 
You’ve been in NYC for many years now, what drew you, and how has it changed over the years? Got any favorite haunts you’d like to share? 
I first moved here in 1998 to attend the Fashion Design program at FIT.  New York was always on my radar growing up, but I never had a chance to visit and didn’t know what to expect. As the first year went by, I slowly began to realize all the things about New York that make it unique and different.  The little things you become accustomed to - that make you fall in love and want to stay.  Which is exactly what I did.  How has it changed over the past 20 years?  In SO many ways.  But, I’ve changed a lot in that time too.  It has influenced me in ways I never could have imagined, and has given me some of the best experiences of my life. I love that about this city. 

Are there emerging trends that you find particularly exciting? 
One bag trend that I’m really loving is the micro mini.  I’m obsessed.  It’s surprising how liberating it can be to pare down! 
Where do you sell the bags? What types of stores do you sell to?  
Since relaunching my business, I’ve mostly sold the bags through my site and a few select boutiques.  I love being part of Diana Kane because we share similar brand philosophies, and I know the bags are in good company:) 
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The PINK Show is up at DK

The PINK Show is up at DK

The PINK show is up at DK. It is brought to you by the passion and formidable talents of the Pen & Ink Brigade, a cluster of like minded artists who have joined forces to create progressive change.
This show includes contributions from over 80 artists, all women, and is bi-coastal; the sister show is at Industrious Life in San Francisco.
The prompt was "PINK", and while the pieces reflect many interpretations of the word and color, many styles and mediums, they are all the same framed dimensions: 13" x13", and each costs $400.
Come check out the collaborative efforts of artists to make the world a more fair and just place. Proceeds from the show are going to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, working to ensure ALL eligible voters can exercise their rights and that ALL votes count and are counted. It’s awesome to see what we can do when we do things together.
And hey, maybe knock some gifts off your list while you’re saving the world?
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