By Holly Beaton
Bobblehaus is a regenerative, genderless label comprised of a fascinating cosmology, created and led by Abi Lierheimer and Ophelia Chen as creative director and CEO respectively. Their initial offering is intriguing; evoking a major thematic reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a tv show in which the characters have the power of intimate connection and control over the elements of water, earth, fire and air. Basing the Bobblehaus summer 21 collection around each element has seen the first drop as the Water 水 episode of the brand’s story (pun intended?); fluid, comfortable pieces tempered by the symbolism of change and adaptability. This fantastical metaphor shows this brand’s vision as one of an unfolding journey, with a narrative that is nurtured and held by Gen-Z’s with a true vision for the future of fashion.
Sustainability is a key aspect to their work, as Ophelia points out;
“Fashion is a public statement of personality and identity. For our generation, we dress to what we feel or what we want to feel that day. For us, it is important to wear something that not only makes us feel good, but is also good for the environment. That is why Bobblehaus only uses leftover fabric or deadstock. On top of that, we prioritize sourcing fabrics such as globally certified eco-friendly recycled cotton and 100% compostable TENCEL™ from Lenzing. With every item purchased, we donate 10 trees with One Tree Planted. Sustainability means producing without compromising the needs of future generations - we are the future generation and that is why we threw away all the industry 'rules', and will hold ourselves accountable to improve with every step. We know we're not perfect right now, but we are continually making steps to better our carbon footprint and we will not stop at carbon neutral”.
I've always found the concept of element-bending to be a directive intertwined with how we were once so intimately connected to the planet; it captures a sense of super-states when tuning back within Mother Earth, eliciting that sense of child-like wonder for nature.
“Being raised in Colorado is a huge reason why I'm so in tune with the environment and I want to emphasize the 4 elements with these summer capsules. I love Colorado because there are 4 distinct seasons, and there's always activity and sports to do at all times of the year. Outdoor sports are a huge part of how I identify and choose to spend my time outside of the fashion world,” Abi muses in response. I point out that creating a brand identity is one thing, but to create a cosmology for one's work is really rare – it seems so natural to be able to offer more than just a variety of products, but rather invite the community into a shared dream. Abi elaborates on the significance of water;
“For this first summer capsule, Water 水 is the element emblematic of change; water-bending is the hydrokinetic ability to control water in all of its various forms. The fantasy of water-bending comes from both mine and Ophelia’s love of the Avatar series, and the spiritual connection we feel with the elements of the earth. I’m particularly inspired by the movement of water and its many forms. For this concept, I wanted the fluidity of water and shapeshifting to be the main focus. I feel Bobblehaus is just as adaptable to its environment, which makes us so special”
I am intrigued by their favourite pieces from the collection, to which Ophelia states, “The Peacock Recycled Cotton Crewneck and Sweatpants are my favorite pieces and a key set from this capsule. I pretty much live in them. They feel good and are also good for the environment, it's the best feeling”, and Abi remarks “My favorite pieces from the collection are the Plaid 5-pocket Utility Suit Jacket and the Buggin' Out Printed Mesh Shirt.
Water 水 is available online at https://www.bobblehaus.com/ - and at their 4 month New York City summer pop-up store, now open at 138 Ludlow St, NYC.