The Seattle/LA-based fashion duo FEMAIL has done the unthinkable. They've turned a Black Friday sale into a work of art.
FEMAIL is slashing the prices on two of their garments from past collections, which are really more like wearable sculptures, to celebrate America's worst holiday, Black Friday. But the duo, comprised of Seattle-based Janelle Abbott and LA-based Camilla Carper, isn't just slashing their costs—they're slashing their literal clothes.
"The idea of slashing garments for a sale has been a concept we have been dreaming about for years," FEMAIL told me over email. "It just seemed like a logical way for FEMAIL to have a sale."
A traditional clothing sale format doesn't align well with FEMAIL's Design Philosophy.
FEMAIL creates clothing through a process they call "reactive collaboration," which involves one of them stitching a piece of fabric to another piece of fabric and then mailing it to the other. The recipient then adds or removes fabric and sends it back. And so on until they feel like they've reached a stopping point with the piece. Some garments travel only twice in the mail, while others travel 15 or more times. Anywhere from 2 to 30 hours is spent making each piece. As you can imagine, some of these pieces end up being so heavy they're almost unwearable.
"It’s really difficult to define what it is we are making," the duo told me when I interviewed them recently for their first museum exhibition at Bellevue Arts Museum. "That’s a really sweet spot to be though. We would really love for our clothing to be worn but it sometimes is unbearable, physically, and should just remain hanging."
Camilla and Janelle are both slicing garments, one from LA and one from Seattle, and each will be divided into four pieces. The final four garments from each original will be sold at 75 percent of the original price.
Traditional sale methods wouldn't work for FEMAIL because "the history of the garments is documented through its price," they explained. All of their items are priced according to an incredible pricing formula they created that is both mathematical and emotional. It accounts for the time they've passed the garments back and forth, but also its sentimental value and how many times the piece has been shown in public. Take a look:
T (Time spent as represented through ‘layers’) + $50.00 each
M (Material value) = MS (Sentimental) + MH (Historical)
——MS (Rate emotional connection 1-10 X 10% sum of T)
——MH (Each item valued at $0.50-$20.00)
L (Likability—We would keep it but…) + $50.00* (*individually assessed; sliding scale)
A(AsSeenOn - Appearances, mags, vids, or shows)
**F (Frustration level) + or - 15%* (*individually assessed; sliding scale)
"So in honor of America's favorite holiday," said FEMAIL, "let the slashing begin."