The Inspiration Behind Helen the Brand & the First Collection


We are so excited to launch our very first Helen the Brand Collection, and here’s why!

I have to tell you guys, this has been a long time dream of mine since I was a little girl and I can’t believe it has finally come to life. I’m so excited for the official launch next Friday and I hope you’re super stoked too!

This Spring we’ve brought together some of the best quality vintage we could curate for you as well as reworked and redesigned vintage pieces that with the help of my handy sewing machine have gone from bottom of the barrel— literally, to top shelf styles that are not only wearable now, but insanely on trend. In addition to the selection of authentic and reimagined vintage we’ll begin to introduce our very own Helen the Brand one-of-a-kind piece collection made exclusively from vintage dead stock, repurposed found materials and cut from vintage patterns I inherited from THE Helen herself.

You may be wondering, what’s she making such a big deal about? It’s just used clothing and fabric scraps. Why should I buy pre-owned and handmade one-off clothing when I can stop by one of many fast-fashion shops and purchase seasonally stylish products at a low cost, toss them when I get bored, and repeat the process all over again next year. First off, these are truly terrible consumer habits Americans need to break which are contributing to the insane amount of waste our country produces and as someone regularly on a tight budget I have been guilty of them as well— I get it. Sometimes the price fits the budget, but we’re better than that in 2019. I know we are!

The next HUGE issues are the terribly critical effects of climate change that are affecting our future existence on this planet. But why don’t I throw another not as obvious reason to quit fast fashion at you. Plain and simple why are you spending all your hard earned money on clothes you are going to get rid of or sell to the local Buffalo Exchange in a season when you could invest in product that’s made to last? *mind blown*

Have no fear— Helen is here!

I have dedicated every bit of my energy these past five months to bringing to life this project in order to help solve some of the problems in the fashion industry I so love and I am so ready to take you all along.

Still skeptical? Sustainability in the fashion industry is on the rise AND ITS COOL! If you still don’t believe me, check out this article CNBC posted just a few days ago regarding the rise and surpassing in value that the recycled clothing business will take vs. fast fashion in 10 years time.

The second hand apparel market was worth $24 billion in the U.S. in 2018, versus $35 billion for fast-fashion, say the figures from online store thredUP and retail analytics firm GlobalData released on Tuesday.

However, by 2028 the used-fashion market is set to skyrocket in value to $64 billion in the U.S., while fast-fashion will only reach $44 billion.

The second part of what we’re doing with Helen is much more personal than global. Helen was my Grammy and has inspired everything you see on this site. She was the smartest, kindest, funniest, caring and most of all loving person to all of her children and grandchildren and has left an incredible impression on my life to live that same way. Helen passed away from the cruel curse of cancer in 2009 and when she went to finally rest amongst the angels she collected in her home during her life (hence our cherubs brand icon) she left not only those memories and teachings but also a collection of sewing supplies from Singer machines to spools of thread by the bag and patterns galore which sparked the inspiration for what you are seeing today. You can read more about our namesake in our About page!

Now that you’ve heard what Helen the Brand is all about, check out our Spring 2019 Lookbook produced by Amanda Halkias- Founder, Designer & Creative Director of Helen the Brand, shot by NYC based analog photographer Kelli McGuire, styled and co-directed by creative Samantha Coughlin, HMU by the talented Stephanie Perez, and featuring beauties Anna Taktachev and  Aly Antorcha. Special thanks to Samantha’s own Grandmother for letting us take over her gorgeous Long Island home for the day and to her mother for being exactly that- the motherly support the team needed. After you get psyched about all the amazing clothes you see in the lookbook be sure to check back next week to shop all of the beautiful product on the site!

Happy Friday sustainable friends :)