NYC Together X Line & Label

Internships are often thought of as being for the benefit of the intern, but more and more we’re seeing what effect they can have for the company taking on the intern, too.

When Jerome arrived at Line & Label, Kate O’Riley’s hip Greenpoint boutique, she didn’t know what to expect. She said she partnered with the NYC Together internship program this winter simply because she wanted to pass on what she knows to aspiring designers.

“I always thought it would feel good to mentor or help someone, but never could I have imagined how good it made me feel,” she told us recently in an email. “It was a life changing experience for me. I think the bond that I developed with Jerome will be life long. I am truly thankful for the time that I get to spend with him every week.” 

When Jerome arrived, he loved clothes but he really didn’t know anything about making them, she said. He helped her mostly by taking packages to the post office, picking up sewing and trimming supplies, and doing inventory. She helped him by teaching him some basics in designing, draping, patternmaking, and sewing.

“What I wanted him to learn was first making a simple tote bag,” she explained. “He made the flat pattern, cut and then sewed the bag. I was pretty impressed, he had never made anything like this before from scratch.  Now we are in the process of making a custom fit button up shirt with his measurements.  He is learning that he can take an existing flat pattern, and make the adjustments according to his (or someone else's) measurements.”

Jerome is a senior in high school and hopes to continue his education at a fashion school next fall, where he’ll have some skills when he enters the classroom.

“There were a lot of people in my life who influenced me,” Kate wrote. “I would love to be able to inspire and help someone work toward their goals and dreams.”

Are you a company interested in providing an internship for an NYC Together youth? Contact us here.

Just like this story and want to contribute to the organization doing this work? Donate here.


Behind the Scenes: Making Our Embellished Leather Military Jackets

Fall has officially arrived! Here in Brooklyn, the leaves are turning brilliant colors and the air has suddenly become cool and crisp. Just like you, we're craving a fresh color palette and unique pieces to enhance our favorite go-to wardrobe staples for the season.

The answer? We've created a line of vintage military jackets with embellished leather and suede details. A perfect twist on the fall outerwear basic.  A neutral jacket you can throw on that will go with anything. Designed to stand out and make an elegant and bohochic sartorial statement.

A behind the scenes look:

We've been making our embellished military jackets in the back of the shop.

Our hand drafted pattern pieces for the leather embellishments are pinned onto the studio wall for easy access. The pattern pieces start with a sketch and then are carefully retraced for the embellishment to come to life.

Once the pattern is finalized, we cut each leather pattern piece out by hand.

Pattern pieces are arranged on the center back of the jacket.

The embellishment pieces are then stitched to the jacket. The tricky thing about leather? Once the sewing machine needle goes in, the hole that been made is permanent. No redos allowed here! Have no fear, Kate knows the trick to getting the perfect stitch.

Which one's your fav?






Meet Kate, Owner of Line & Label

What inspired you to open the store?

I had been working for high end clothing designers for the past 13 years - doing mostly design, production and operations.  I really thought it was time to do my own thing!  It was a combination of wanting to work for myself (I don't do well with authority - ha!) and the freedom to be more creative.

How did you come up with the shop name?

Line & Label came from me wanting to design a "Line" of my own for the shop as well as carrying other designers or "Labels".  

What are your favorite pieces to make?

I love the process of making dreamcatchers.  There's not a right or wrong way to make them - it's just what ever feels right, and I like that. But my true love is making leather handbags.  I am really a pretty practical person - and I love that I can make something that I think is so simple and beautiful and useful all at the same time.

What would your ideal "day off" be like?

My ideal day off would start with not setting my alarm (but I'd still be up by 8 I'm sure!) - and having it be a day off for my husband too.  We'd grab brunch at Enid's or Cafe Mogador and ride our bikes over the Pulaski Bridge to PS1.  Then go have a glass of wine or a beer somewhere and talk about what we liked and didn't like.



Favorite date spot?

I'm easily entertained and like going on a date (almost) anywhere!  But a favorite of mine would starting with a cocktail at Hotel Delmano and then crossing the street for dinner at Miranda's.  This is an old standby for us - and I think sentimental too.  We've spent many birthdays and anniversaries there!

What songs are you listening to right now?

Oh god.  I feel like this is the most loaded question.  I listen to Pandora at work and shuffle between The Kinks and The Clash stations.  Right now it's The Clash.  But yesterday it was a lot of Neil Young on The Kinks station...

What brought you to Greenpoint?

I graduated from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2000, and knew I had to move to New York to work in Fashion.  I'd heard from a friend already living here that Wiliamsburg was the neighborhood to live in. We couldn't afford it and Greenpoint was the next best thing at the time.  Now it's obviosly the best and we've lived here ever since!  

What is in your bag?

A little bit of everything - I am overly prepared for anything.  Including jewelry in case I want to switch it up mid day.

What can you not leave home without?

Sunglasses.  If I forgot them at home - I'd buy another pair!