23 january mmxii
A video interview with Dani Griffiths of Clyde
On an unseasonably warm winter afternoon, we were welcomed into the South Williamsburg home of Dani Griffiths, the visionary behind crocheted accessories line Clyde. With cameras of the manual and moving picture variety in tow, we ambled into new territory: our first ever studio visit and video interview. When she’s not diligently crocheting her Clyde collection, Dani works as a model and is also the sales director of Assembly New York’s house collection, all the while wearing many other hats (pun intended). I met Dani a couple of years ago and was introduced to her through our mutual friendioso, Mina Stone. Her collection spoke for itself in its impeccable quality and design, but after Dani shared her process and the concept of slow fashion, I knew we had to carry her pieces in our DOMAHOKA shop.
Mark and I shared a couple of inspiring hours with Dani, going over her current collection, as well as getting a sneak peek of things to come. Mostly known for her soft crochet accessories (namely, the ubiquitous convertible hood), Dani is moving into new materials including leather, shearling, and felted wool. Her husband, David Michael, a self-taught patternmaker and designer, has assisted her in concocting millinery patterns and carving hats out of wool. Dani and David are not only a talented duo with their own labels, but they also jam together in their living room as another creative outlet. This afternoon, she showed us a drum machine she recently acquired; rich clamors and noises reverberated, murmured, and recoiled throughout their light-filled apartment.
As with everything Dani does, Clyde feels like you’re uncovering a secret or hidden treasure. The concept of slow fashion behind Clyde, the subtle details in her gorgeous handwork, its limited distribution. She lives in the quieter quarters of Brooklyn, away from the hustle and bustle of life above Grand Street. The soundtrack for the afternoon was The Cleaners from Venus, obscure English poet Martin Newell’s cassette band from the 80s. Dani embodies her collection; a radiant, natural beauty who envelops integrity, strength, and warmth.
In addition to our video interview, bonus questions and answers below! Thank you for a delightful afternoon (and snack attack), Dani!
Doris: What’s inspiring you right now?
Dani Griffiths: Definitely my friends. I feel very thankful to be surrounded by a group of the brightest stars in the sky! From designers to musicians to writers to straight-up chillers…I draw from the whole melting pot. Music is also a driving force with what I do. It’s all about the in-between feelings and one of the purest ways to transmit creativity.
D: What is your favorite piece from the Clyde collection?
DG: The Flight Hat has been a very personal endeavor, and has directed my gaze towards tailored, sculpted headwear and accessories. Working with leather is much like working with yarn as both are unprocessed fibers.
D: Where can one procure some Clyde treasures?
D: Besides your own knitwear line, what other designers do you wear?
DG: Naturally, Assembly New York and David Michael. But honestly if those two haven’t made it, it’s probably an old thing I’ve found on a scavenge hunt. Can’t forget Christophe Lemaire and A Détacher though.
D: You also do a bit of modeling on the side. What has been your favorite modeling experience?
DG: Recently, my friends Monika Wyndham and Jody Rogac organized a journey (or I guess I should say photo shoot) up to the massive stone sculpture called Opus 40. Opus 40 is a stone labyrinth created by the sculptor Harvey Fite. He strove to spend 40 years of his life building this structure with his bare hands from an old stone quarry he purchased. He got to year 39, but that’s definitely worth a hat tip. It’s beautiful, an ‘elevated’ place indeed. Google it.
D: What are your favorite neighborhood places to eat and visit in New York City?
DG: No matter where in the world I am, I long for the chocolate chip cookie from Marlow & Sons. Fat Cat is awesome for weird winter nights with gospel singers and shuffle board. Boubouki in the Essex Street Market. Tompkins Square and the Tompkins Square farmers market. Doughnut Plant.
D: What is the most magical meal you’ve ever experienced? What was it?
DG: Damn, well I love food so I try to keep eating consistently magical. A friend of mine took me for a birthday dinner at Octopus’ Garden in Vancouver. It’s some of the best Japanese food I’ve ever had. The chef’s name is Sada and he likes to say, “Every day is Sadaday!!”. Kappa House in my hometown of White Rock is a little dream too. A Japanese restaurant created inside of a little, old 50s house. Rice walls, food you don’t want to eat because it’s so beautiful. Then you start to cry and you eat it, and then you want to laugh AND cry.
D: Who/what is your spirit animal?
DG: A bass guitar
D: If you could have lived in a different lifetime, what decade would you pick?
DG: The year 2727!! It’s all about the future! But, if it has to be in the past—the androgynous world of the 70s.
D: If you could only listen to only one album on repeat for the next decade, what would it be?
DG: Brian Eno & Robert Fripp, Evening Star
D: Who/what are five loves of your life?
DG: Family, Hannah Acton, David Hershberger, Plants, Thinkers
D: Hugs, handshakes, or high fives?
DG: Hug Five?
words Doris Ho-Kane
images Doris Ho-Kane
video A film by DOMAHOKA