Why Drake LOVES This Brooklyn Designer

Photographed by Erica Gannett.
When Drake direct messages you on Instagram, you answer. And when you create a one-of-a-kind embroidered jacket for him (clad with the praying hands cover art from his latest album), it's bound to go viral. Some might say Parisian-born, Brooklyn-based folk embroidery artist Marie-Sophie Lockhart is #blessed — but really, she's found her niche with creative, unique designs in a world that's dominated by fast-fashion finds everyone seems to have.

When she first opened Good For Nothing Embroidery (the name comes from the French phrase "Bon à rien," which is how her mother felt about her pursuing a career in fashion), Lockhart noticed there was a need for denim pieces that were, in simple terms, not so boring. Pulling inspiration from the things she loves (mostly the '70s and her tattoo-artist husband) and running a company solely through social media, her handmade designs have since garnered the admiration of not just Drake, but two of the industry's biggest players: Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney. Now, thanks to some pull (and posts) from major influencers in a variety of creative realms, Lockhart's tiny business is now booming — and proving that the revolution of embroidered clothing is very much a trend that's slowly infiltrating our closets.

To see the bright, bold, and so boho designs IRL, we headed to Lockhart's Brooklyn studio (which also doubles as her apartment) to talk about hand stitching's renaissance (and all things Drizzy, of course).
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Tell me about how you got your start.
"I started by collecting patches. Then, two years ago, I thought about making my own designs — things that speak to me and to other people. The first patch I made was a Playboy bunny, before its comeback: I was collecting old magazines from the '70s and I thought it would be funny for a girl to rock one, instead of an old, dirty man. I gave it to one of my artist girlfriends and she sewed it on her jacket right away. All of the early patches I made were for my friends; I would trade paintings and other pieces of art for embroidery. Now, I have my own hand embroidery denim line and I'm currently working on my e-shop."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Somewhere over the rainbow...
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Growing up, were you always passionate about art and fashion?
"I grew up in the banlieues of Paris — they're not nice, like American suburbs; they're totally different. There, I was surrounded by people from all over the world, with different cultures wearing different clothes and listening to exotic music. I feel really lucky for it; I think that's why I love to travel so much and to discover new cultures. Living in Paris definitely influenced my aesthetic and interest in fashion — it's one of the fashion capitals of the world, and has been making haute couture since the 18th century. And Paris has cemented its hold on style since then. It's part of our culture."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
A little stitch of this, a little stitch of that.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
"I've worked in fashion for a long time (I worked at Colette in Paris), and I've always been surrounded by talented people whose style challenges me. Traveling around New York every day — just walking down the street or talking to your friends — can lead to an idea. My husband, Chris, is a really talented tattoo artist, which has also been a big source of inspiration.

"I love everything about the late '60s/early '70s. I feel like it was a time where music, love, and art all really flourished. I also really like the psychedelic history of the '70s, because it seemed like people just thought differently. I do try to modernize and update this inspiration, though, and mix different eras together."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
A tropical oasis in the middle of Brooklyn.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Explain your design process.
"I use 100% cotton embroidery floss from Egypt or silk thread for special orders (like my current project with Stella McCartney). All you need is an embroidery hoop, needles, thimble, and scissors, and you are ready to get started."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Playboy, Nepal tea, and the Dalai Lama: Talk about creative inspiration.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Recently, you've blown up on social media for working with Drake. How did that come about?
"It's a funny story, actually. I was on my way home from work when Drake's song, "How About Now," came on. You know when you listen to a song and you become obsessed with it? Well, the next morning I woke up and [made embroidery of the praying hands while listening to his music. I took a picture and tagged him as a joke. I never thought he would see it, like it, or even re-post it on his Instagram.

"I woke up with thousands of new followers, emails, and texts. I sent a direct message to Drake to thank him, and he wrote back shortly after to congratulate me and tell me it was all love — and then he ordered his own pair of customized denim and the praying hands jacket. He told me, 'Do whatever you want to do. I trust you.' [He] gave me total freedom [over the design.] It was so awesome to work with him; he definitely put my work into the 'spotlight,' and I will always be grateful for this. He created an avenue for my art to be seen, which is an invaluable gift to any artist."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
La vie Parisienne wouldn't be complete without a beret.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
And you've worked with Marc Jacobs?
"Working with Marc Jacobs on handbags for his Spring/Summer 2016 show was just amazing. He and his handbag team were looking for an embroidery artist and they heard that I had a nice freehand mark style and good direction. The team decided on the designs, but I had the freedom to experiment and was able to produce something funky and creative.

"Seeing all the little hands getting ready for the show and working with them all day and night was a great experience. I'm really honored [by the opportunity], but it also makes me appreciate my freedom more and being able to work on my own time from my studio. It's way less stress!"
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
There has been a huge resurgence of embroidery in fashion as of late. Why do you think that is?
"There’s something political and powerful about women making stuff again and returning to the traditionally feminine and folkloric practices that they used to do in the 1970s. It’s very human work — it’s imperfect. Plus, people don’t want to wear H&M and Zara anymore. They want something that's made by hand; something that's ethical and not mass-produced; something unique and not the same as everyone else's."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
An American in Paris Parisian in America.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
What's next for you?
"I'm working on a jacket with Stella McCartney for a very special client (Beyoncé!). I'm also making a denim hand-embroidered jacket and jeans for Miley Cyrus."
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