About

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.