And Faith: Exploring the Designs of Abi Grafals
Abi Grafals has been a long time friend of ours here at FMF, and we have seen the hard work that has gone into creating his first collection under his brand And Faith. Without any help or design background, Grafals produced a small capsule of some very high-quality garments that were all sourced and made in Los Angeles. Some of our favorite pieces include the " In the Spades" leather jacket which is constructed of thick calf-skin with a buttery silk lining, a cropped fit, and full RIRI hardware. As well as the "Santa Monica" cardigan that features a beautiful red and blue weave and heavy duty button snaps.
And-Faith will be launching their collection right here on Fashion Moves Forward tomorrow (Friday, March 9th) at 12 PM EST. Be sure to check out the editorial and our exclusive interview with designer Abi Grafals below.
For those who are unfamiliar with you and your brand And Faith, what can you tell us about this first collection?
"This was in the works for a while now but it took some time for me to get it done. It was just a passion project of mine I had been wanting to do. Ideas kept growing in my head and I wanted to get them out there. This is a small fraction of them."
Where did the name And Faith originate from?
Some might think it’s a spiritual thing but it’s not meant to be. For me, It’s the finishing touch on achieving what you're out there getting after. You work hard, put everything you have into it, but you also have to have faith that you can do it. My friends had faith in me to get this done. I have faith in them that they will always be there to hold me down. It’s that last special ingredient for success."
Being a New York local, what creative energies have embodied this collection, did your upbringing or experience have any reference?
"There’s definitely reference from just having worked in the fashion industry and hanging at shitty LES bars with friends. I just had ideas for pieces I wanted to wear and made them. I can list a bunch of bands or something but fuck it, man, it’s just clothes and ideas."
What was the most difficult part of starting a brand especially at a cut and sew level?
"I never wanted money to be an excuse as to why I didn’t do this, but goddamn is it expensive to create and produce in the USA. I don’t have a design background, so I didn’t know how to make tech packs etc. I would sketch things out and write all the measurements for every detail. Then sit down with production and explain in detail with a lot of notes. It’s hard to separate your emotions from it when things don’t turn out how u want."
What have been the most rewarding parts of experiencing the entire development of your brand?
"It’s a great feeling when you receive a piece that came out spot on to what you envisioned. This idea that u had in your head is no longer an idea but it’s a real-life piece. Also I didn’t expect how much support I would receive from friends. I don’t take that shit for granted. Certain people who may not even know it played a big role in motivating me with only a few words they might have said. I learned a lot about more than just clothes that way. Our words have a huge effect on people. We should all use that power for good."
What do you hope to contribute to the men's fashion community through And-Faith?
"Haha, honestly I don’t expect to contribute much to fashion, I will leave that to the geniuses and big fashion houses. If anything I just want to tell people if you have an idea just go for it. It might fail, you might not get a trophy or an award or praise, but at least you will know you did it. If I can contribute anything to anyone it’s trying to have a positive outlook. As a person who has made major fuck ups, it’s hard to get back from that sometimes, but we wake up every morning with the opportunity to be better. Use it, stop worrying about how many IG followers someone has and think about how you can help those deserving friends and family. Work hard and be good to people. "
What are some of your favorite pieces in the collection?
"The leather for sure. It’s probably the only piece that came out exactly as planned on the first sample. The cardigan has been one of my go-to pieces, it’s great through winter but will be just as useful for cool beach days."
What can we expect in the future of And-Faith?
"I’m toying with the idea of doing one-off releases here and there. This is kinda a resume for me to see what people think and maybe create other opportunities. Would be great to do releases with retailers too. I’m kinda open to anything."