You may have seen her face on the cover of Knit Wit. She was named 30 under 30 by Forbes 2015. Her knitwear has been worn by the angels during Victoria Secret's annual fashion show. She taught as a knitwear teacher at my alma mater Parsons and the list goes on and on (the last 3 I've only learned 5 minutes prior to writing this btw). This is our Oct's The Rare One - Lindsay Degen. Though I've never met Lindsay in person, through our email exchanges Lindsay comes across as down to earth and humble as they can be. So frankly it is fitting to say I was surprised to learn what success the young designer has already accumulated thus far. <3
Her work speaks for itself - it's whimsical, colorful and most of all happy. Her creations give me a sense of... everything is going to be all right, and we can all use a bit of that reminder on a daily basis. The respect and admiration I have for Lindsay are up there knowing how hard it is to be making a living let alone build a successful business with our creative minds yet she has made it look all rather effortless. So below we asked her some questions and I hope you'll enjoy them.
The latest collaboration of The Rare Creature LOOP yarn and Lindsay's design
Q. Where are you from? and where do you live now?
From Cincinnati, Ohio and now I live in Providence RI.
Knitwear designer and college teacher
Q. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice that I also try to tell my students is to always be kind to everyone. The number of people who have helped me out---who at the time when I met them were at a lesser stage of their career----is large. When you are kind, people are down to help you.
Q. Goals and dreams?
My goals and dreams change all the time but at the moment I would love to start my own knitwear manufacturing facility in the US. Almost all of the knitwear industry has died and I think its important to bring it back.
Q. Knit or crochet or both? and a fav stitch?
I like to crochet but I'm not in love with the act of crocheting. I am definitely a knitter!! I like short row techniques with colors.
Q. What’s your journey been like as a designer and with the brand of Baby Degen?
I started my line right out of school and I did not know anyone or anything about the industry. Several seasons into doing fashion week in NY with my adult line I realized that I could do better in sales with a baby line because it takes less time for me to make and also is really cute and giftable. I absolutely love doing babyDEGEN in addition to some fine art works because it is super wearable and I love interacting with the babies and parents.
Q. The coolest thing you’ve ever created?
A gift or for self? I tend to like whatever I am currently working on. I am very excited about this scarf I am knitting right now that bulges out and pulls back in- kind of like a beaded necklace. I also get really excited about very technical knitting. I'm not sure to whom I will give (or if I will give) the scarf.
Q. How did knitting happen for you? And why do you do it?
My grandma taught me when I was 3 and I just kept going. I think it has always been great for my nervous energy and excitement about learning. Almost everything new that I create is a challenge even though I am technically an "expert"
Q. Advice and tips on getting started a knitwear designer?
I think it's helpful to know the industry a little bit better than I did when I started but one thing I have really benefitted from is knowing how to make a thing and all the little details that go into it. That way if you are working with a mill you can have a deeper communication about how to build the garments (or whatever it is you are making).