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Local Designer Gives Old Clothes a Second Chance for Exclusive Buffalo Exchange Collection

Published: Friday, August 31, 2012

Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 15:09

Tiffe Fermaint

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

Tiffe Fermaint's Reincarnation Collection 4

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

Tiffe Fermaint's Reincarnation Collection 3

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

Tiffe Fermaint's Reincarnation Collection 2

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

Old is the new new. Just ask local designer Tiffe Fermaint, who debuts her new line of up-cycled fashion this weekend at Buffalo Exchange in Tempe.

The vintage and gently used clothing store expressed interest in working with the designer in the past but it wasn’t until this year that Fermaint approached them with her idea of creating an up-cycled collection exclusively for the store.

Fermaint has been heavily submersed in the fashion industry for years. An independent fashion designer and stylist based in Phoenix and Los Angeles, her repertoire includes designing clothes for DJ and producer Larry Tee, electronic artists Uffie and MNDR, and Liz Enthusiasm of the synth-pop band Freezepop. Fermaint has been producing work for her own clothing line for over 10 years, but her latest, Reincarnation, will be her first up-cycled collection.

In June, Fermaint began collecting pieces from local Goodwill stores, picking items that were in great condition and had the potential to be redesigned to fit the theme she had in mind.

“The purpose of this collection is to promote recycled fashion,” Fermaint said.

Buffalo Exchange began pushing the concept of buy-sell-trade in the '70s and through that efforts it has brought mass awareness to the issue of waste. Some might say the store managed to make reusing old fashions hip.

On average, Fermaint said, we throw away 60 pounds of clothing a year and by recycling or up-cycling clothing, we are helping the environment in a stylish way.

“These unique garments are reincarnated with a designer's touch,” she said. “I hope that buyers feels like they're part of the solution and not the problem.”

Fermaint said she created two different styles for Reincarnation. One is an ‘80s chic inspired line with lots of shine, winged silhouettes and leather in eye popping colors. The other is ‘90s grunge expressed though distressed denim, dyed and bleached items, spiked out leather jackets and shoes. Because every piece was handpicked and individually designed, everything is one of a kind.

The line will include female and male pieces, the sizes of which vary from small to large. The shoes stay in the range of a women’s size eight. At the time of the interview, Fermaint had completed 100 pieces and was hoping to have close to 200 by the debut date.

Reincarnation will be available on September 2 at Buffalo Exchange in Tempe, but with so much hype behind the launch date items are expected to sell out fast.

In celebration of Fermaint’s new line, Buffalo Exchange will host a full-blown celebration complete with a live DJ set by Blaque Panther Disco and all sorts of specials, including $1 off every Reincarnation item for anyone who “checks in” at Buffalo Exchange on September 2. Buyers who spend over $50 on the Reincarnation line will receive a free EP from Fermaint’s electronic band, Being Cool is Lonely.

As the date of her first retail unveiling this weekend, Femaint expressed excitement and a hint of pride for making a small difference.

“I really enjoy the fact that these garments were given a second chance,” Fermaint said. “Sad and undesired, given away and forgotten – it excites me to think that each garment in the collection could soon become someone's new favorite piece.”

For a preview of the available garments visit

Reincarnation Unveiling, Buffalo Exchange, 227 W. University Drive, Tempe, 480.968.2557, Sunday, September 2, 11 a.m. dos

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