New Bedford — The longtime New York tailor who has worked with brands like Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs and The Children’s Place shares his upcycling and fashion expertise within Kilburn Mill. I’m here.
“I want people to know that handmade is good. If it’s made by locals, think a little bit about how you shop,” says Claudia De Sousa, owner of the Bushwood Tailors Opportunity Shop (also known as the Opp Shop). – said Baptista.
“I want you to appreciate artistic and creative things and rethink what is useless, what is garbage, and what is garbage. Is it really garbage?”
Sousa-Baptista calls the Opp Shop “experimental slow fashion.” The entire store showcases the work of multiple artists with different views and interpretations of trendy fashion.
The daughter of immigrants from the Azores, Sousa Baptista was born and raised in Boston before moving to Taunton. She fell in love with fashion at an early age when her aunt took her and her brother to a cloth store.
“I was the only one who walked around and touched everything. While all the other kids were waiting by the door,” she said.
Sousa-Baptista said she’s always interested in what she wears and follows all the “What’s In; What’s Out” trends. At 14, she learned to sew.
Study at Fashion Institute of Technology
After graduating from Taunton High School, Sousa-Baptista attended Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.
From there, she worked as a tailor in several big box stores, learning about the industry and how it really worked so she could do the same for herself. opened the apparel company Cubika in Brooklyn.
“It was an amazing experience. It was very difficult, but it was still great,” she said.
Sousa-Baptista says she started feeling burned out after 9/11. She closed her shop and worked as a freelance tailor instead. Her friends who worked as her designers on her sets introduced her to the world of custom alterations for photo shoots, commercials, fashion her shows and events.
“I started remodeling her like Prada and Gucci, and I like all these really great things,” said Sousa Baptista.
He has worked on advertising campaigns for companies such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, The Children’s Place, Macy’s, J.Crew, LL Bean and Club Monaco.
in love with new bedford
In 2012, she and her husband, Danny Baptista, founded Bushwood Tailors, a tailor agency with the highest talent for onsite tailoring in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. Agency clients include Alexander Wang, Anne Taylor, Coach, Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade, Old Navy, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Vogue.
In 2017 my parents moved to New Bedford. While visiting the area, Sousa-Baptista said she fell in love with the city.
“After 24 years, oh my god, I don’t want to go back anymore,” she said.
Sousa Baptista, who runs Bushwood Tailors and is a mother of two, said she had no plans to open another store until she was inspired by upcycling fashion during the pandemic.
“I was ready to do something creative again,” she said. “On social media, I’ve started to see interest in crafts and upcycling. I also have a deep interest in the environment.”
Sousa-Baptista said that even during the pandemic, many companies in the fashion industry were finally exposed to terrible practices such as complete opacity in their garment factories and supply chains.
Inside the Opp Shop at Kilburn Mill
Sousa-Baptista said the idea was to slow down and let people know what it actually takes to make a quality garment and how long it actually takes.
“I wanted to do something different against injustice in the fashion industry,” she added.
Inside Sousa Baptista’s Opp Shop, dubbed a ‘thrift store’ by Australians, you’ll find a wide variety of clothing and accessories designed by different artists, who use recycled materials to make new items.
The shop is decorated with light fixtures made from old baskets, colorful egg crates on the walls and vintage rugs.
Sousa-Baptista worked with PlayWood, a furniture and woodworking shop with modular DIY fixtures, to design the shop to be easily swappable with new pieces that need to be displayed. She also has a changing room.
Sousa-Baptista, who also offers tailoring and repair services, caters to clients who may have a piece or piece of clothing they love, but the size doesn’t fit and they want to work with her to upcycle it. To do.
“It’s one of my favorite things to do at this store, and one of the main reasons I opened it,” she said.
“We are breathing new life into things.”
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ Chitwood Report. Support your local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard Times today.