Amanda Henderson is an independent knitwear designer, working with hand knits, and based in Queens, New York. Working towards her dream of making her craft into a business, a business that sustains her, respects the craft itself, as well as the people and the planet it touches along the way, in way that she can be proud of. Her collection is an experimentation in hand knitting with mixed media, and incorporates large chunky, textural yarns and oversized stitches, as well as incorporates fine felting and beadwork. Designs gently meander between variegated yarns, tonalities, stitches and tensions, while playing with sculptural form, and unexpected asymmetry.
Henderson studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she specialized in knitwear design. Interning with the likes of Phillip Lim and Zac Posen, and going onto collaborate with Organic by John Patrick for his Fall Winter 2011 collection, as well as to produce hand knit samples for Kate Spade, 100% New York, and a range of other independent design labels in New York. A lifelong learner, Henderson spends her time surrounding herself with books on textiles, knitting, art and history, learning from how others work.
Finding inspiration in her imagination, Henderson imagines what it would be like to be someone else, somewhere else, and what they would look like, and how they would dress. Her own local travels to the mountains and the forest inspires her work, where she is simply able to be quiet and still, and reconnect, finding creative stimulation in the texture of a rock, and the veins of a leaf. Knitwear has always resonated with Henderson, the different stitches and yarns, allows her a range of experimentation unique to knitwear, where creating the fabric is as much a part of the process as creating the design. Hand knitting to Henderson is almost a form of meditation, that incorporates all she has learned and all she knows in the creative process; connecting her hand to her eye, sound, and scent, and focusing it all into the loops and knots of her knitting. Discovering and working in this way is what punctuates her real beginning as a knitwear designer. Now connecting all the other crafts she has collected and learned over the years, sometimes focusing on them, other times, allowing them to influence her knitwear; felting, drawing, sculpture, cooking and writing, forming relationships between them and back to her knitwear.
As a young designer just establishing herself in a difficult industry, Henderson has defined and determined plan, to continue collaborating with as many designers as she can, as she builds her client base, and eventually move upstate to live and work in a dedicated studio space, while living off the land, and gaining more knowledge in her craft. Henderson showcased her first full collection at an alternative venue during New York fashion week in February 2013. The Amanda Henderson collection is currently available for special order on her website.