Stepping into Eva Joan is like stepping into a recycled jewelry box. To the left of the door is a display rack filled with acid-washed jeans, flowery dresses, paper-thin nightgowns, and antique quilts, stacked to the ceiling. To the right, trays of ribbons, bowls of buttons, and a frame of pins and embellishments. Everything is displayed with one goal in mind: to transform any garment in any way. No project is too big, and you just have to completely change the way you think about changes.
Bjorn Eva Park, 28, and Emma Villeneuve, 29, opened Eva Joan at a half-address at 22 8th Avenue next to Casa Magazines in the West Village in June 2021. Filled to the brim with fabrics, trimmings, of vintage buttons and embroidery, its goal is to inspire customers to use patches and embroidery to repair their old favorite pieces or create new ones. The duo transformed Hungarian wedding dresses, biker jackets and textile passed down from generation to generation into new designs, re-knitting the ex-boyfriend’s cardigans and embroidering polka dots on damaged areas along the way. . The concept is simple, but great. Save your clothes in the most creative way possible.
“We’re just not hiding the journey of a garment,” adds Park. “A three-time salvaged dress with exposed stitching and your grandfather’s leather patch is a lot more exciting to me than something that looks like it’s never been worn. Hopefully we are telling more truth about what it means to own our own stories. “
Eva Joan’s approach to repairs is undoubtedly linked to the biggest upcycling and sustainability movement in fashion. Park’s experience as a production designer and Villeneuve’s background as a set decorator brought them together after years of painting, quilting and designing intricate backdrops by hand in a pre-pandemic world. . After a trip to Marfa, Texas where the two wondered what it would mean to live more sustainable lives, Eva Joan was born.
The duo mined basements, gas stations and fisherman’s closets in Louisiana to find the accessories that now line their shop, taking the same approach their grandmothers took when they were growing up. So they decided to name the store after Park’s grandmother, Eva, and Villeneuve’s grandmother, Joan. “Eva is the ultimate restorative. There wasn’t one thing about my childhood that wasn’t reinterpreted to have more magic, ”Park explains. “Joan, on the other hand, was obsessed with celebration and personified everything in her life,” says Villeneuve. “She could take a vacation at the grocery store. Joan instilled in me a respect for detail that made it worth spending three months on an eight-year-old’s Halloween costume. Eva and Joan were the original eccentrics.