Brave New (Fashion) World and the Riesling from Brooklyn

You’re only as good as your last body of work. Or so they say. But how good is good when you’ve never done anything new?

The 21st century has brought about new innovations for the emerging fashion designer but challenges are still around every corner. Stefan Siegel, founder of Not Just a Label (NJAL) joined forces with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and featured a pop-up shop in the Waldorf Astoria in December 2015.


Since 2008, NJAL has provided a space to feature emerging designers from around the world, as well as a forum for discussions on the future of fashion. Siegel has remarked that New York is the only fashion capital with a designated manufacturing district going on to say “…being detached from the manufacturing sector is one of our biggest problems in fashion — nobody knows how and why these items are made — but here, you can go around the corner and spend time with the manufacturers, which creates a community and a sense of social responsibility. Consumers need this scope to engage in order to really understand the entire process.” For designers, New York is a unique place. Not only buzzing with inspiration but providing the means to produce innovative works from start to finish without leaving the metropolis.

Fashion is not where the innovation stops. Nestled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery‘s owners Brian Leventhal and John Stires left a tech startup to manifest the dream of an urban winery. That winery grew to be much more: a wine bar that serves a seasonal gourmet menu, as well a full-service event venue. Winemaker Conor McCormack produces small batch wines from grapes grown around the country. A perfect pairing of Not Just a Label’s passion and irreverence of emerging designers and Brooklyn Winery’s foresight and own passion would be their 2013 Riesling, sourced from grapes from Finger Lakes, NY. This Riesling is semi-dry, light, fruity (notes of nectarine and melon) with a finish that lingers with acidic sentiment. A great wine to embrace newness.


Innovation is a leap into the unknown. While tumbling down the rabbit hole, there’s not much to hold onto. Your dreams must be enough.

Cover photo: Haifa Fahad via Not Just A Label