An up-and-coming fashion designer cuts the ribbon on…
The jacket, a faded denim with a shaggy gray fur collar and cuffs, was understated and one of a kind.
She proclaimed, in her singular style, the essence of MINIPNGwhich officially opened Wednesday at 77 Audubon St. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It is an independent woman-owned, minority-owned clothing and accessories retailer owned and operated by Eiress Hammond, New Haven resident and local entrepreneur,” said Lauren Zucker, Associate Vice President of Yale University for New Haven Affairs and University Properties, who was dressed in the jacket.
“Eiress,” Zucker said, “prides itself on creating pieces to suit the individuality of its customers, and this jacket is just one example.
Mayor Justin Elicker praised Hammond for his apparent calm.
“Starting a new business is so hard because you always have to put out fires,” he said, as Hammond, standing beside him, allowed himself a quiet smile.
In the crowd stood Hammond’s grandmother, Christine Sherwood, who, along with her grandfather, raised her in Middletown. While her granddaughter launched her brand by doodling faces on a tank top in 2019, “Eiress has always been creative, since the age of 2, and she has always loved fashion.
She has also “overcoming adversity to get here,” said Sherwood – most recently, online retail service AliExpress stole his signature design of hand-painted faces “In the City’ tank tops and mass produce them. After exposing their actions on Instagram, Hammond hired an attorney to pro bono represent her in her efforts to remove the fakes from the site.
After praising Hammond’s range of artistic creations, Ward 7 Alder Eli Sabin threw down the gauntlet.
“Watch out, Brooklyn: we’re getting pretty creative here,” he said.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Hammond, who was discreetly dressed in shorts, a black hoodie, a baseball cap and Doc Martens, her only concession to fashion a pair of leggings. in the colors of the rainbow. “I’ve dreamed about it since I was a kid. »
With that, Zucker handed Hammond a pair of scissors. As Handsome Dan watched, Hammond cut the ribbon.
“Let’s go shopping,” someone shouted.
Inside, Mercedes Alicea introduced herself to Hammond.
“My daughters and I are passionate about clothes, making bell bottoms, that sort of thing,” she said, as sunlight streamed into the airy space. “Fashion is an art. This is art.”
Stephanie Felix and Tara von Schmidt of the Town Green Special Services District admired Hammond’s hand-painted t-shirts.
“It’s cool, it’s independent, it’s COP“said Felix of MINIPNG. “Also on Audubon. Not many shops here. The only other is Koffee? with its savings popup. But that’s only Saturday.
Von Schmidt had another take.
“These are really unique pieces that you can’t find online or anywhere else,” she said. “Moreover, these are not just clothes, but intentional works of art.
In the center of the space, Hammond was trading punches with friends.
“I’m just excited to bring something new to New Haven,” she said. “I’m grateful to have found a retail space for my store that works for me and fits my budget, thanks to everyone’s help, especially the folks at Yale. »
Her grandmother, who was standing nearby, intervened.
“People have been so nice,” she said. “Eiress is a good person and people see his honesty and humility and they want to help. It’s a big part of his success.