When Schuyler Ellers first heard the words, “Those are the most hideous pants I’ve ever seen,” he knew he was on the right track, creating high fashion from vintage crochet Afghans.
Schuyler always loved art, color, theater and the bizarre. While at Columbia University, he discovered costume design. After graduation, in Barcelona, he had the opportunity to design costumes for a low-budget film, using whatever he could find in thrift stores.
Also in Barcelona, Schuyler’s Irish roommates taught him how to knit and sew. He took right to it and knitted up a storm. But it certainly wasn’t the most efficient way to make clothing. Then, while ransacking a thrift shop, he spied Afghans in brilliant colors and flamboyant patterns. He did not see used crochet blankets; he saw folk art handmade by artisans of the past. He would upcycle the Afghans to create wearable sculpture!
Schuyler founded Lord von Schmitt (his nickname in college) to create a line of high-fashion, fun knitwear. The garments are comfortable, warm, breathable and certainly eye-catching. They also have a retro vibe that evokes nostalgia for Woodstock, Newport and the Isle of Wight.
Once Schuyler was back in the US, a friend invited him to participate in a fashion show in Los Angeles. What an opportunity! He was excited gathering up the crochet pants and sweaters—that no one even noticed. Undaunted, he opened a Lord von Schmitt shop on Etsy, an online marketplace for individual vendors to sell their wares.
He is doing well on there. People from all around the world are hopping onto this style. In addition to his clothing feeling really good to wear and being absolutely outrageous, it is made from recycled and repurposed material, so is environmentally conscious, and affordable.
Schuyler has a full line of unisex fashions: underwear, swim trunks, shorts (from booty to Bermuda), pants (including capris and bell bottoms), onesies, overalls, ponchos, hoodies, coats, and umbrellas. They go anywhere: Run, walk, dance, swim in them. Go to brunch. Exercise or do yoga. Wear them to a party or a music festival. Sleep in them.
Lord von Schmitt has been featured in The New York Times, in Esquire magazine, on E! News, Fox News, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Schuyler won the “Nebulon Award for Best Sci-Fi Pants.” (Nebulon is a fictitious planet, and the Nebulon Awards honor science fiction writing.)