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  • ARTE.M Association

Unveiling the Artistry of Upcycled Fashion: A Journey with "AFTER ALWAYS" by Zack

Drawing Inspiration from Nature:

For Zack, inspiration is a breath of fresh air—literally. Nature's vast canvas serves as a wellspring of creativity, beckoning him to venture outdoors whenever the muse falters. Whether it's a brisk run through wooded trails or a leisurely hike amidst towering pines, the allure of nature fuels his imagination, infusing each design with organic vitality.

Themes and Styles in Upcycled Fashion:

In the realm of upcycled fashion, the possibilities are as boundless as the imagination. Zack believes that second-hand materials harbor endless potential, transcending conventional themes and styles. His aesthetic gravitates towards comfort and realism, a nod to his roots in snowboarding—a world where functionality reigns supreme, and self-expression thrives in the marriage of comfort and style.

Balancing Functionality and Artistry:

Functionality forms the cornerstone of Zachary's creations, with each piece meticulously crafted to marry form and function seamlessly. Rather than reinventing the wheel, he lets the materials dictate the narrative, employing innovative cutting and stitching techniques to infuse artistic flair into everyday wear.

Functionality is very important to me and my process. As stated before, realistic fashion is my main focus. With that in mind I really let the materials do the talking. For instance, I know that a hoodie is great the way it is and does not need to be “re-invented”. The artistic expression comes through with how I cut out, lay, and stitch my pieces together. 

Cultural and Historical Inspirations:

Growing up immersed in the world of rap and hip-hop, Zack developed a keen appreciation for fashion as a form of self-expression. However, it was the allure of sustainable fashion that truly captivated him—a bridge connecting disparate worlds and democratizing the realm of high fashion. Through recycled materials, he pays homage to a rich tapestry of cultural and historical narratives, infusing each creation with newfound significance.

While many artists infuse their work with personal narratives, Zack embraces the enigmatic allure of second-hand materials. Each piece carries with it a sense of mystery, inviting the wearer to become part of its unfolding story. In this narrative dance between past and present, he finds beauty in the unknown, allowing his creations to transcend individual tales and embrace a collective narrative.

From transitioning from bags to clothing to ensuring the durability of his creations, Zachary Thoeny has encountered his fair share of challenges along the way. Yet, it is his unwavering passion and dedication to his craft that propels him forward, transforming obstacles into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Born in Oregon, raised in Colorado, and now calling South Dakota home, Zachary Thoeny's journey is one of self-discovery and reinvention. What began as a quest to unearth his true passions blossomed into a full-fledged career in upcycled fashion. Through perseverance and a willingness to embrace the unknown, he has carved out a niche in the competitive world of fashion, proving that true artistry knows no bounds.

In a world where sustainability meets style, Zachary Thoeny stands as a beacon of creativity and innovation. His creations transcend mere garments, embodying a philosophy that artistry knows no limits when guided by passion and purpose. As he continues to weave tales from thrifted treasures, one thing remains certain—Zachary Thoeny's journey is far from over, with each stitch marking a new chapter in his remarkable story.



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