BUSHWICK — Designer Michael Wright has taken style cues from a 78-year-old doll clothes' seamstress in Beverly Hills and from teachers at a Los Angeles technical college.
Now he's looking to his new home for inspiration, naming his men's apparel line for the Bushwick street where he lives — Troutman — and its clothing selections after nearby blocks.
The "Troutman Collection" features yarn-stitched hoodies, jackets, vests and shirts honoring spots in the neighborhood where Wright has lived since he moved from California three years ago.
There's the "Wilson Vest" for Wilson Avenue, the "Jefferson Sweatshirt" for Jefferson Street, the "Dekalb Tee" and "Flushing Tee" for Dekalb and Flushing avenues, and the "Wyckoff Tee" for Wyckoff Avenue.
"A lot of people think of art when they think of Bushwick, but I noticed the fashion all around me," said Wright, 29. "It's modern mixed with vintage...like nice chinos with a cutoff vintage shirt."
Wright, who has been hand stitching yarn on clothes since he studied design at Los Angeles Technical College, said he considers his own style "like bringing your grandmother to the modern day."
"When I first started, I met this young lady — well, she was 78 years old — and she made doll clothing. Everything was crochet," he recalled. "She took me to all the yarn boutiques ... and educated me on the history of yarn."
Wright hopes his apparel, which he sews using material from the Brooklyn Yarn Cafe at the Loom on Flushing Avenue, speaks to multiple generations.
"The great thing is, I can have a conversation with someone from 20 all the way to 90 years old," he said. "Clothing is a conversation."