Zoe Grinfeld is a fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist currently based in Providence, RI. Zoe graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Class of 2020 with a BFA in Apparel and a concentration in History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences. Her work has been featured in Vogue, WWD, Elle, and Seventeen Magazine. She has received awards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, and Project Runway: Threads, among others. She holds certificates from the Fashion Institute of Technology in both Introductory and Advanced CLO 3D Garment Visualization and was a member of the first ever cohort of the Genies DIY Collective.
Zoe’s work is rooted in her deep nostalgia, relation to objects, and compulsive making. Her garments are an ever-blooming mix of unique and precise coherency mingled with object assembly and the niche cult social culture of growing up in the 2000s. Zoe sources her objects, designs her fabrics, and beheads her own dolls in ways that narrate stories and memories that characterize what it was like growing up in y2k. Zoe approaches artmaking as a habitual process, coping mechanism, exploration of queerness and act of self love.
Selected middle school archive images, 2010-2012.
Growing up in rural Connecticut with no sewing machine, I turned to hot glue and a needle and thread to hand craft clothing from objects I found in my parents’ basement. I held the first of several charity fashion shows at age 12 in my hometown's Synagogue, showcasing garments made from unconventional materials such as doll heads, board games, and other items I sourced at yard sales and secondhand shops. In my recent work, I’ve been revisiting concepts from my early shows, further developing childhood prototypes into fully realized collections.
I navigate the space between past and present, inspired by a sense of nostalgia and reinterpreting memories of childhood and family. I’m drawn to things that are absurd, ridiculous or surreal, yet enticing. Material exploration is at the core of my process, and I approach a new design with childlike curiosity, shedding any preconceived notion of a textile or object’s intended purpose. Treasure hunting for found materials continues to be central to my process, and preserving the integrity of an object is key. I aim to fight back against the monotony of ready to wear, combining upcycled materials with my own digitally printed fabrics to go beyond the limits of what we deem “wearable."