supporting local artist --
I recently copped this INCREDIBLY cozy coat by local Philadelphia designer Cat Pfingst - she made it in 2 fucken hours, the pockets are deep, and I am incredibly cozy. I wanted to have a conversation with her about the process of creating these cozy coats!
bg: Cat! how long have you been making these coats / why did you start making them ?
Cat: The first coat I made was actually as a gift for my roommate and dear friend Jesse—that’s where it all started. She’s been the “OG” through all of this. It was November when I gave her the coat. She started wearing the coat out and about and would rush home excitedly to tell me that people stopped her on the street to ask about it. The more this would happen, the more she would encourage me to make and sell them. All of this really took flight within the past month or so when I finally decided “ok I’ll do it”--- I bought up some fabric and announced that I was taking orders for them. I also am getting the opportunity to sell them at a Proving Ground Pop Up event with Drexel’s entrepreneur school next week
bg: what was the inspiration ? are there any designers specifically that inspire you & your work?
Cat: Well, mostly the shape and size. Generally I wear very oversized things, like 2XL t-shirts and men’s hoodies. These clothes give me freedom—they allow for easy mobility and lots of layering when I need it. Not that silhouettes that are closer to the body aren’t great sometimes too, but I personally find a lot of comfort from sort of “swimming in my clothing” (even though my mom sometimes disapproves). So I started sourcing the fabric I would use and, actually, a lot of the coats are made from blankets that are often found in craft stores or department stores. I like this idea because of its roots in upcycling. It is challenging though to rely on finding these materials – that’s something I’ve been trying to work through. Generally speaking, I’m mostly inspired by designers like Margiela, Rick Owens, Jean Paul Gaultier—the weird and the wonderful. I feel particularly connected to them.
bg: what's been the most challenging part?
Cat: TIME--- time time time, as always. There’s never enough time! I feel like I’m always fighting the clock and my sleeping schedule. That’s always been my hesitation with starting a business while I’m in school. The program is already really demanding, and I like being able to put all my time into my schoolwork. But winter doesn’t last forever, and I thought “if not now, then when?” so I just disregarded the fact that it’s somewhere between midterms and finals week in my work and decided it’s all just balancing act I’ll have to learn. It’s crazy, but I love the crazy.
bg: Can we expect more Cozy Coats ?
Cat: Making these has really been more about the connections for me than the sales. I love interacting and meeting other students, many in the creative industry themselves. I think of it as a way to start growing my customer base and just getting my name out there! As long as people want them for seasons to come, there can be more. But it is getting warmer, in terms of springtime and generally our winters aren’t nearly as cold anymore. So that makes me think I’ll need to reinvent the coats to adapt to this. But I also have a lot of other things I hope to sell in the future, so I see the “cozy coats” as just a beginning.
bg: would you want to expand beyond cozy coats ?
Cat: Oh definitely. I really didn’t even expect these to be too much of a success. When I initially posted about selling them my thoughts were “oh, maybe a few friends would be interested.” But I was shocked by the number of responses I got! It’s so uplifting to see people who want to support young makers/creators.
But with that being said, the coats are a little different than the things I normally produce-- or I guess you could say they’re from a “certain side” of me. I come from loving avant garde and having interest in sort of pushing the boundaries of wearable art and fashion. But at the same time, I want to be able to make things that people can wear every day, especially people like me (like a college student, on the go). So I think the coats come from a place like that, of me learning how to channel different aspects of my designs.
To keep up with Cat check out her instagram @catatdat