Production Mode is designed in Chicago by Jamie Hayes

Our design philos­o­phy is one of slow fash­ion. Our process starts with the prove­nance, qual­ity, and unique­ness of mate­ri­als and tech­niques. Our pieces are ethi­­cally-made, built to last, and imbued with authen­tic­ity and soul. Accord­ingly, each collec­tion begins with an artist  collab­o­ra­tion to produce custom mate­ri­als which we use to create our collec­tion.
For exam­ple, our inau­gural collec­tion consists of vegetable tanned leather from Chicago’s Horween tannery, a union­ized shop. The vegetable tanning process is completely natural (in contrast to the toxic chrome-tanning process typi­cal in the fash­ion indus­try) and high­lights the vari­a­tions inher­ent in each hide. Horween’s leather is espe­cially prized for its varie­gated highs and lows, its soft hand, and the patina it devel­ops as it ages. The natural colored hides are then embell­ished with a two-color print, designed by artist Paula J. Wilson, and hand-screened printed by artist Nora Renick-Rine­hart. After commis­sion­ing the print, we created a line of garments and acces­sories, inspired to best show­case the mate­ri­als. Jamie cuts each piece by hand, and our stitcher, Klezar, sews each piece in our studio in Chicago’s Logan Square. We choose to produce in-house both to allow greater flex­i­bil­ity and creativ­ity in design, tighter qual­ity control and to ensure that garment work­ers in our supply chain are paid a living wage. In addi­tion, produc­ing in-house allows us to make our collec­tion to order at our Chicago studio, mini­miz­ing ecolog­i­cal and finan­cial waste, and giving us the free­dom to stretch creatively and to make items to measure.
Our showroom/production space, the Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, is open most Fridays from 12–7 pm, and by appoint­ment (contact sales@productionmodechicago.com). Please come by to purchase the collec­tion and tour our space. 


About Jamie: 

Based in Chicago, Jamie Hayes’ inter­ests lie at the inter­sec­tion of fash­ion, art, labor, and iden­tity. Her approach is both collab­o­ra­tive and customized. She believes that clothes should fit one’s body (not the other way around); that people should wear what flat­ters and inter­ests them rather than what some­one else dictates is fash­ion­able; that style is a form of self-expres­­sion; and that every­one in the chain of produc­tion of cloth­ing should be paid a living wage.

She has explored these topics through her acad­e­mic stud­ies, earn­ing a B.A. from Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity in English Liter­a­ture, a B.A. from Colum­bia College in Fash­ion Design, and a Masters in Social Work from the Univer­sity of Chicago. She has worked in the fash­ion indus­try since 1999, and in the field of immi­grant and labor rights since 2009. Her recent work merges these two paths: she has designed for fair trade orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing SERRV, Inter­crafts Peru, and Threads of Yunnan, and has volun­teered as a Campaign Leader for Chicago Fair Trade, help­ing to pass an ordi­nance mandat­ing that apparel procured by the City of Chicago be sweat­shop-free. She is the owner and designer of an ethi­cally made line of cloth­ing for men and women called Produc­tion Mode and also co-designs a line of luxury slow fash­ion lingerie and night­wear, Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties.



With thanks to Damien Thomp­son of Damien Thomp­son Photog­ra­phy for prod­uct photog­ra­phy, and to Damon Locks for the back­ground photog­ra­phy of indus­trial Chicago.