This knitwear designer dresses Brooklyn cool girls and all your favorite drag queens
Caitlin Farradas, founder of Farradas Knits, is living life post-Parsons. She’s posted up in a studio slash workspace in Greenpoint, Brooklyn by way of Miami. On any given day, she’s likely knitting her weight in sweaters, bralets, hats, snoods (yes, snoods) — you name it.
Quite frankly, she’s the perfect example of someone you should show to your parents if they’re giving you a hard time about wanting to go to art school.
Brooklyn is home to many independent designers: and Farradas loves this. She’s content when surrounded by other art, and artists (if she weren’t, Parsons probably wouldn’t have the best time, lol). But Farradas Knits stands apart in a sea of independent design work: for starters, the brand is both a literal and figurative reflection of its owner.
If you know Caitlin or if you’ve seen her around the City or on IG, a couple of words likely come to mind: pink, glitter, or eyeliner, to name a few.
This same femininity is a common thread throughout the brand, and the clothes themselves.
And in case it’s not glaringly obvious as of yet, for all of its unapologetic femininity, the brand is equal parts badass. When talking to Caitlin about making it through Parsons and staying true to herself the entire time, she says it stems from a history of rejection and criticism.
She was an outcast in high school, who was often told her vision was too strange or too “out there”. Well, now she makes clothes for outcasts who are now way cooler than everyone they went to school with.
We asked Farradas about her effortessly cool brand, her time at Parsons, and how she’s navigating NYC as an independent artist.
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Where are you from?
I’m a first gen Miami-Cuban (laughs). I think The 305 will always have its mark on me.
Right now though, I have a home and studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: I love it here so much, because there are tons of weird kitschy windows and old Polish stores.
Why come to New York?
Not to be that corny person, but when I first came to NYC at like 12 years old, I felt like I’d been here before. I knew I’d find my way back here eventually. Once I got into Parsons I got here with no intention of ever living in Miami again (laughs).
How was your time at Parsons? What were your main takeaways?
I learned a lot during Parsons, it really shaped my love of textile because it was the first time I had really focused on that in my work. I think it also shaped what I wanted my brand to be, and what I didn’t want it to be.
When did you start Farradas Knits? Where did the inspo for the name come from?
I started doing fairs and sort of testing the waters with Farradas Knits right out of school with my thesis (going to like Renegade Craft Fair, Unique LA, BUSTcraftacular etc.) but I technically (legally) opened the business this year! The name is pretty simple, Farradas is my last name and I make knitwear so Farradas Knits!
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Has design always been your passion?
I’d say so, I was always drawing as a kid and mostly like magical fairy/mermaid/princess type figures. The older I got the more i focused on their garments haha. Then one day at like 10 years old I saw this documentary on Betsey Johnson and her life in NYC, her Muñceas collection and like pink covered everything clicked, I finally had a name for the career I wanted.
Who do you design for?
I design for people who want whimsy, femininity, kitschiness, and sex appeal! Appreciation for handmade garment craft also a plus (laughs).
In what way is your brand a reflection of you?
I think every collection really speaks to a moment in my life that’s inspired me, plus the fact that each stitch is a reflection of how much I enjoy doing this. Also, I’m pretty sure that my whole life I was told, “your work looks like you!” It seems I have a pretty clear hand.
How did you find a place for yourself within the fashion industry?
I don’t know if I’ve “found my place” yet as a growing independent brand.
But, I’m certainly grateful for my place within the Brooklyn queer scene: they’ve really opened their hearts to me and provided me with opportunities to show and sell my work (shout out to Ickarus and Hannah Lou of the Tanlines BK crew, and Mackswell of MOVES who was one of the first people who hosted Farradas Knits at his sale for independent design Multitask).
Who are some of the favorite clients you’ve dressed?
UNTITLED QUEEN! She is the sweetest, most incredible person and such a joy to work with. It also helps that I feel like we majorly feed off each other’s creative energy, which always makes for an awesome product.
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What are the challenges and benefits of running your own business? Any advice for young/aspiring business owners?
The benefits are that you get to do what you love and thats obviously is awesome — you can put your vision into action. The challenge (for me) is remembering to give myself working hours so I don’t just work myself to a pulp/shell of a human.
Everything takes time though, and making money takes time too. You HAVE to have a vision to follow: that you believe in with every ounce of your being. You also have to remember that you’re human. Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t go well or as planned.
Caitlin Farradas *HBIC at Farradas Knits*
Photography and Styling: Sarah Torkornoo
Clothing: Farradas Knits
Makeup: Caitlin Farradas
Models: Leah Freeman, Tashie Jane
CLICK HERE TO SHOP MORE FARRADAS KNITS.