Saturday, December 31, 2011

HIMANE 2011 in Review! Happy Greenly New Year.

This year has been a great and wonderful year and all that is "Thanks" to you.  You have showed how much you care, appreciate the hard work, and how dedicated you are when it comes to recycle and Upcycle.
I came to meet so many wonderful people, received so much support it has just been purely greenly wonderful. You keep me going in this hard and tough economy.
2011 have been a rocking year.

1- I was invited to do a presentation and be a Sustainable speaker at GFA- Green Farm Academy in Westport, CT. The students were awesome (age group range from 6 to 16 years old), the parents were amazing and some of them became clients. Thank you.
Art class 1, products presentation.

In the auditorium with the young ones. They had a lot of questions!

2-  Big Brother, Big sister Sunday workshop at HIMANE studio.
It is a pleasure to gather other artists at the studio so we can teach kids about recycling and sewing.Thank you Guys!

Making your own pencil holder, using magazines cut out and cans.

Teaching about sewing.
How to thread a sewing machine. (Smart girl)

At the end I received a beautiful cut out card, a big "I love you Catherine" and a big Hug. Priceless!

3-  The interview with Tristin and Tyler from Tales in the city. Umbrella Rags to Riches. Thank you guys! 

4I was commissioned to work with the NYC Department of Aging to conduct workshops for women 55 and older on:
How to take care of your clothes naturally in a tough economy and How to Recycle your closet.
5- Special Recognition Award for my INNOVATIVE & EXCEPTIONAL CREATIVITY from  the European Union Women Inventors & Innovators Network (EUWIIN) in Iceland. 

Recognition Award

At the Award Reception Blue lagoon, Reykjavik Iceland

The President of Iceland, welcoming all women from all over. First Day Conference

Two great women I came to meet in Iceland.
The day of the eco Fashion presentation at the New Harpa in Iceland. My outfit was made from men khaki pants and an old blazer.
6-  Film maker Rob Weiss have been working on making a documentary about my work and the HIMANE story which will be released in January 2012. It was a very emotional journey and really amazing. Thank you Rob.

7-  Copywriter-songwriter-performer Mrs. Carla R. Fisher commissioned me to do some upcycle work for her and her family.  The story here if you missed it a couple of weeks ago:   
See also

8-  The interview on Oprah Magazine:

9-  The interview with Global Cristian Post:

10-  For those of you who speak Italian:

11- The supporters.
During the Sustainable speaker series this past Summer to which I was a participant, I was fortunate to meet a great wonderful woman, and a lawyer, Ms. Aliza S. F. This wonderful woman for the past 2 months have been collected umbrellas in the streets of Manhattan while going to work  or on her way home. She was so surprised when I told her that the total of umbrellas so far she had collected and sent to me was 226. Just amazing! Thank you so much one hundred times more for the great support.
Thank you to a young lady, student at John Jay University, Ms. Justyna M. who also collected over 15 umbrellas.
Thank you to two wonderful students from NYU for their package. They collected 25 umbrellas.
Just this week, Tuesday morning I received a phone call from another young woman from Manhattan. She told me how much she appreciate my work and what I am doing with those discarded umbrellas. She also has been collected umbrellas since she came across my work and will be sending a package next week.
Thank you to V. and M. physicians for their support.
Saying THANK YOU to all of you, I feel definitely that it is not enough, offering a bag as a small token to show my appreciation to your devotion  also will never be enough. But nonetheless, I will say it again and again and again "THANK YOU, THANK YOU" from the bottom of my heart.

Funny,  I remember like it was yesterday but really it is almost 7 years now when I first started using discarded umbrellas. I never knew we will be here today.  I so love and appreciate the support from each and everyone of you.

Another Thank you to a wonderful woman, a very good client for over 3 years now, Mrs. Judith L. This beautiful lady have been supporting me since the day her husband surprised her in my studio with the Odray dress (the umbrella cocktail dress). Not only she loves every design of HIMANE, but she also took the time to introduce the products to her entourage, by hosting private sales event at her beautiful home. Thank you, without your help 2011 would have never be the year it was starting by your support to my trip in Iceland. Thank you.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays & Happy Green wrapping!

Because of Clients like you we had a wonderful year at HIMANE. So we would like to say THANK YOU to you all for your dear support.
May 2012 brings us Joy, Health, Love & lot of Success. 


 A little bit of Green/Recycled wrapping tips!

This Holiday Seasons instead of using wrapping papers, use fabric remnants, old scarf, old table cloths that you no longer use by using the beautiful technique of Furoshiki for all gifts. Your family and friends will love you more and you will be doing them a huge favor as they wont need to drag that usual garbage full of papers and wilted bows to the dumpster.

The Furoshiki  technique is a great way for the environment and less garbage in the landfill.
Here some great pictures and on how to use the Furoshiki techniques.

History of Furoshiki

Nara Period (Eighth Century): Starting in the eight century, a square piece of fabric called hokei-fuhaku was used to wrap special items of value, including clothing for Buddhist priests and elaborate minstrel costumes. The wrapping was called tsutsumi, and its main purpose was to protect and carry garments.
Edo Period (1603-1868): As bathhouses increased in popularity, the square wrap became known as furoshiki: furo meaning "bath" and shiki meaning "to spread." Furoshiki were used to carry toiletries and clothing to the bathhouses and were also placed on the floor to act as bathmats. During this period, wealthy families commissioned bridal furoshiki of different sizes, decroated with their family crests and symbols of good luck.
1800s: When cotton was introduced from overseas, furoshiki began to be produced on a larger scale. At the same time, people of Japan were traveling more for pleasure, often selling goods along the way. Furoshiki were used for not only transporting the travelers' belongings but also their goods for sale.
1900s: At the turn of the twentieth century, the advances in textile production — mainly automated looms from overseas — made furoshiki even more accessible to the public. Furoshiki became mass-produced, and the tradition of using cloth to wrap gifts was established. Gifts wrapped with furoshiki would often be presented in person; the person giving the gift would unwrap and reveal the gift, and then keep the cloth to take home. The bridal furoshiki also became commonplace, and the bride used the large cloths for wrapping her belongings and the small cloths for wrapping gifts.
Post-World War II: After World War II, the Japanese became more highly influenced by American culture, resulting in the decline of furoshiki. The invention of the paper bag, followed by the plastic bag and the emergence of supermarkets across Japan in the 1970s, contirbuted to the disappearance of furoshiki. Plastic boxes and bags replaced furoshiki as a means of storage and for carrying goods. By the 1980s, the custom of using furoshiki to wrap gifts had declined almost to obscurity.
1990s - Present: When Japan's economic boom ended in the early 1990s, people began to reflect upon the disadvantages and waste in a disposable society. In 2006, Japan's then Minister of the Environment, Ms. Yuriko Koike, launched a campaign to encourage the use of furoshiki, instead of paper and plastic, and bring back the cultural tradition of wrapping and carryin gitems in fabric. She designed a furoshiki called the "Mottainai Furoshiki," mottainai, translating to "waste not, want not." The result has been a renewed and widespread interest in the tradition of tsutsumi and a flowering of creativity associated with it. Furoshiki are beginning to be seen outside of Japan as people worldwide embrace greener lifestyles and adapt different cultural solutions to their own ways of living.
 The 4-Tie Box Wrap is simple yet elegant. This wrap can hold almost any square box securely, and it works equally well for small or large and light or heavy packages. You can even carry the box from the top, holding it under the knots as a handle. The knots on top of the box give the illusion of a fancy bow.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Upcycled, Unforgettable Thanksmas Q&A

The past few months I have been working on an "Upcycling, Unforgettable Thankmas" project with  a very great and lovely client by the name of Carla Rose Fischer.
Instead of using my words, Carla which is a great writer wrote about her experience while working with me about HIMANE Upcycling and how we met.

December 2, 2011

I first met Catherine in January 2011 at a Style with Glee clothing swap in Brooklyn, and I was immediately taken with the idea of Himane and its upcycling approach to fashion — using discarded items like umbrellas to make useful and fashionable clothing and accessories. But when Catherine mentioned that the skirt she was wearing was made from her late mother's blouse, I knew our paths had crossed for a reason. I had just lost my father to cancer four months earlier, and my mother was having a hard time still seeing my father's clothes in the closet each day. So I told Catherine that I wanted to make gifts for my family out of my father's clothes for the following Christmas. 

Carla Rose Fisher with her lovely father the well-dressed Anthony Arnone, stands with me at an ASCAP performance in NYC in 2001. (Picture, courtesy of Carla Rose Fisher.)
 Months later, I brought three bags of my father's clothes by her workshop, and we put together combinations of slacks and blazers and ties in order to create handbags, wallets and eyeglass cases for 18 members of my family. Catherine worked with me to come up with items that took into consideration the styles and ages of my family members  and the results are stunning. She kept the integrity of the fabrics, using every portion of each source item for the upcycled pieces.

Since I won't be home for Christmas this year, my husband and I surprised my family on Thanksgiving with the gifts. My mother had forgotten that I had wanted the clothes to see whether they could be repurposed. My entire family was overwhelmed, and thrilled. They were so touched by the idea, and especially by Catherine's handiwork. They cherished the items, with my brothers and my father's best friend (who each received wallets) saying that now they can "carry my father in their back pocket every day." My uncle even went so far as to hold one of the items up to his face and kiss it for luck, and he won $300 later that afternoon! That's just a fun story, but having these pieces made us all feel so special. Catherine really made 2011 an unforgettable Thanksgiving for us all.
Pants and Tie Before.
Pants and tie after as a clutch.

Ties before.

 Ties after, as eye glasses holder

Tweed Blazer

Blazer after as a messenger Tote.
Inside Messenger Tote

Messenger Tote

Part of Blazer into a small bag.

Envelope clutch, made of pants and tie.

Tote, made of pants and Tie

Tote made of Pants and Tie


The Ties

Wallets made of Ties.

Wallets made of Ties

Carla Rose Fisher with her lovely Mother. "My mom said these upcycled gifts (hers was a handbag and an eyeglass case) were the most incredible, thoughtful gifts she could imagine."

Carla Rose Fisher with her lovely family during Thanksgiving 2011.

What Upcycle with Himane does is already so admirable  taking something that once was of us and not only recycling it, but also making it better, for both the recipient and the environment. But more so, she has given me something irreplaceable. I'm comforted by these one-of-a-kind items made from the clothes he wore, and to have it be something functional that my family and I can use every day is a huge bonus. Now, a part of my father can travel with me wherever I go, and Catherine has made that possible. Through her hard work and ingenuity, she has given me the greatest holiday season I can imagine  enabling me to give lifelong gifts to those who remember their dad, husband, brother, grandpa, uncle and best friend. For that, along with Catherine's creativity and compassion, I am forever grateful.

Carla Rose Fisher, New York 

Carla Rose Fisher, once again THANK YOU, for your trust and free wheel to let me choose the designs and all the support and kind words. Honestly, I am writing those words with tears in my eyes. I don't think I will be able to express my feelings. While working in your items, I did not consider it as work, it was more like therapy for me. So I, myself will say again Thank you.

You can read Carla Rose Fisher blog here: and to learn about her work as well.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cool Items in our Online Store!

We have some great items in our online store. Take time to browse, contact us if you have a question or would like to request a custom made item by visiting us @

Some of the cool items we have now: a whole collection for your Mac Book, iPad, Laptop made of Recycled Umbrellas, Ties and Leather. 
13" Laptop Sleeve $75.00
13"Laptop Sleeve $70.00

13" Laptop Sleeves

13" Mac Book Pro $55.00

13" Mac Book Pro

iPad Sleeve $35.00
iPad Sleeves

We also have some great bags, you just have to choose from the list. Made from Recycled umbrellas, tarp and organic canvas.

Marmelade  was $150.00, now $120.00

Gelee C-14 was $65.00, now $60.00
Gelee C24 was $65.00, now $60.00

Sotdo UD was $135.00, now $100.00

Free Umbrella Tote

Spend $80.00 and more and you will receive a free Umbrella Tote.
This great deal will end on December 22nd.