meet drake and marc jacobs' favorite embroidery artist
Good For Nothing Embroidery designer Marie Sophie Lockhart is leading a handmade revolution.
You know you are part of the right trend revival when Drake and Marc Jacobs are hitting you up via Instagram direct message. Embroidery artist and Parisian designer Marie Sophie Lockhart has been commissioned by both the rapper (on the prayer-hands jacket that he has been sporting) and the designer in the past year, proving that embroidery is having a distinct moment. Unexpected, perhaps, but it also makes perfect sense as an antidote to this era of fast fashion.
"They heard that I had a nice freehand mark style and good direction," says Lockhart of the Marc Jacobs collaboration. "I had freedom to experiment and was able to produce something funky and creative." Her handiwork appeared on one of Marc Jacobs' SS'16 handbags. "In a world of mass-produced junk, people are becoming more interested in one-of-a-kind, handmade, traditional items. The time, imagination and craftsmanship put in each piece makes hand embroidery such a powerful, unique thing," the designer explains.
Weaving rainbows, peace signs, and cannabis leaves into her designs, the work radiates a 60s, carefree, flower-child vibe. Lockhart's love for timeless, classic denim cuts, like Levi's 501 and vintage 70s high-waisted bell-bottoms, are an intrinsic part of her personal style. Her tattoo artist husband, who she says, "is a big inspiration," encouraged her love for the 50s pin-up girl. Those stick-and-poke-style characters quickly became her trademark. Lockhart's themes of humor, irony, sexuality, and religion make her work so identifiable. She says, "I draw inspiration from everyday life: music, art, sex, spirituality, drugs—it's all about not taking ourselves too seriously and sharing and spreading love."
Lockhart got the nickname "Bon à Rien," French for "good for nothing," from her mother, who "thought I was wasting my time by not doing what I studied at university." At the time, she was studying business, and had no connection to fashion, but knew that she wanted a more adventurous life. Lockhart explains, "I was living my life. I wanted to see the world and not be stuck in a 9-5 job. I wanted to see different cultures and speak different languages." Her mother's nickname would become the name of her company, @GoodforNothingEmbroidery.
She came to embroidery somewhat by accident, turning her casual doodles into designs. "It was just another platform for expression for me," she says. "The first patches I made were for my friends. I would trade paintings, art or weed for embroidery."
Currently based in Brooklyn, Lockhart's schedule seems a long way from the carefree flower child channeled in her designs. Over the past year she has been commissioned by the biggest names in pop culture and collaborated with a renowned fashion house. Her hand-embroidered jeans are currently sold at Browns Fashion, and there's an upcoming collab with Stella McCartney. It appears her years of wandering were well suited to her craft, and she seems to be good for something, after all.
Text Zeyna Sy
Photography James Parker