originally published September 19, 2023
When you move to the state that prides itself on being “The Way Life Should Be” you expect certain things…. beaches, lighthouses, rocky coastline, trees (so many trees), moose, etc, but you don’t necessarily equate Maine with High Fashion!
Well I am here to tell you this is a state with many high end fashion designers.
One example is a Tony Parrotti, who moved her about a decade ago and brought with him his fly skills as a tailor. He lives and works in a wonderful little town called Damariscotta (just a quick 30 minute drive from me) along the Maine coast. He trained under a bespoke tailor in NYC before moving to our great state, Tony designs men’s shirts- but not typical dress shirts- his are special. Imagine a custom tailored button down blended with Carhartts,
Next on the list is a woman named Julie O’Rourke who designs a womenswear collection named Rudy Jude. The design studio for Rudy Jude is located in Rockland, ME. They stand strongly for sustainability, using eco-friendly fabric, plant based dyes, recycled denim, and organic cotton from sustainable farms. The Rockland community adores having her and her team in their midst.
The last designer I want to shout out is Jill McGowan. She started with a simple line of white shirts for women modeled after a well tailored men’s dress shirt. Her collection has expanded greatly and the quality is wonderful. It’s all sewn here in the USA and their flagship store is located in Portland, ME as is their design studio. In her shop, she offers a buyback program for “vintage” Jill McGowan, which I also plan to offer with K. Becker in the future.
So as you can see there are many amazing designers in the state of Maine. I haven’t gotten to all of them, but believe me they are here and enjoying life in the Pine Tree State.