The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, or SEWE, is one of Charleston's largest annual events, and we’re excited to be a part of their 40th anniversary event this weekend. Showcasing everything to love about wildlife and nature, SEWE is a celebration of the great outdoors. It's a place where craftsmen, artists, collectors, and sporting enthusiasts come together through a shared passion for wildlife – making it the perfect spot to honor our commitment to respectfully repurpose the beauty found in nature.
SEWE holds a special place in the hearts of us all at Brackish. It was the very first show that Brackish attended back in 2013 when our collection only featured bow ties. At our core, Brackish is, and will always be, about a deep love and respect for nature which embodies the mission of this event. Since 2017, we have developed a limited edition bow tie, designed specifically for SEWE. Throughout this time, our brand has evolved past menswear, expanding with a women’s collection that launched in 2019. For the first time ever, we will have not one, not two, but three limited edition, SEWE-inspired designs – consisting of a bow tie and two unique earring silhouettes.
When designing this exclusive collection, our team strives to keep the outdoors at the forefront of the process. In doing so, this year's spread has an inherent earthy feel. Together, moss colored goose and bobwhite quail feathers combine to create the perfect SEWE palette.
We sat down with the Brackish Designer Director, Bryn Holler, to gain insight into his creative process while designing this year's collection.
How long have you been designing pieces at Brackish?
I started as an artisan at Brackish about seven years ago. During that time, I had the opportunity to help conceptualize various pieces and was immediately captivated by all of the possible designs you could create with feathers.
What was the inspiration behind this year’s SEWE collection?
Both my brother and father are avid hunters. The moss green goose feathers and brown bobwhite and rooster feathers reminded me of the flannels and briar pants they prefer to hunt in. I thought this color palette perfectly represents the outdoors.
About how long did the entire creative process take when designing this collection?
The length of my creative process all depends on how complicated and detailed the vision is for each piece. For this collection, I wanted to stick with a more simplistic design and let the colors and feathers speak for themselves. I started by choosing a combination of feathers that I felt like encompassed the outdoors and represented SEWE. After determining the feathers I wanted to use, I started designing the Estuary Bow Tie. I created two different iterations before landing on the final design. Once the bow tie was finalized, the designs for the accompanying Battery and Peninsula earrings just fell into place.
Do you have a favorite part of the creation process?
That’s a hard question to answer. I would have to say that once a design is decided on, creating a clean, well-executed piece is my favorite. Not that designing in and of itself isn’t satisfying, but nothing quite beats seeing a product in its final form.
When you aren’t designing feather accessories, what do you like to do? What other creative outlets do you use?
I’ve always been a fan of cooking and baking. Just like designing feather accessories, there is a certain craft that goes along with creating a well-cooked meal or dessert. Planning out meals for the week and being able to cook for someone is very rewarding. Every once in a while I’ll break out the sewing machine, as well.
Bryn Holler, Design Director