Crochet designer Shawn Layne heading to Atlanta catwalk in 2023

by AryanArtnews
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Crochet designer Shawn Layne heading to Atlanta catwalk in 2023

Never in his wildest dreams did designer Shawn Layne imagine that his act of comfort would take him to a global stage.

Shawn is a crochet designer and founder of BNHO Crochet. He is a professional musician, a music teacher and an outstanding creative spirit.

He started crocheting at the age of 15 with the aim of making a girl swoon at school, but he later became fascinated with the intricacies and details of the craft.

“I didn’t go in to really heckle, it was just a prank. Her mother also crocheted so I really had to learn because her mother would come and watch,” he shared with Loop Lifestyle.

“I learned she made the tablecloths and doilies and it wasn’t particularly exciting. . . . I saw this girl making a beanie, a rasta hat, and I thought it was cool because she used yarn and a bigger hook. I thought it was more masculine than the dolls and the tablecloths.

I think that’s where it really started,” Shawn continued.

Shawn’s love of crochet fell by the wayside for several years until 2017 when he was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.

He later found peace or rather a refuge in hate and he started doing habits like drinking water. Every day, whether in a coffee shop, or while taking a short break, Shawn picks up his hook and yarn and starts weaving.

“I found I had a lot of free time on my hands that I really needed to use for my mental stability and health and so I started crocheting again. Since then it has been with me. I crochet every day. It was that happy place, that place where you could have your thoughts and not be debilitated. Crochet for me is that filler, that thing that keeps the demons and the dark thoughts at bay.”

“The more I made, the more I needed an audience to see the pieces, kind of like a validation. A beautiful piece of art without an audience is incomplete, so it has to be out there.”

As Shawn created more and more pieces, he began giving them away to friends, fellow artists in the entertainment fraternity, and colleagues. An uproar ensued as individuals posted the creations on social media. This led to the formation of BNHO Crochet.

“I realized that crochet is a business for other people and I had to maintain that market integrity. So I can’t just give away as many pieces as I crochet every day and it’s nice and fun, I still have to respect the other persons who do it as a means of livelihood and income for them and their families. I maintain market prices when I charge.”

Under his brand, Shawn not only produces ready-made crochet garments, but he offers written crochet patterns, pattern editing and testing.

“Some of my designs I would actually write down using traditional crochet technology and I would sell those patterns in PDF form online, so that’s where other crocheters out there can make one of my designs or other people can wear my designs and I don’t make the actual physical product,” he explained.

Shawn’s hard work and dedication for the past five years has certainly paid off. He was selected as the only Caribbean and Barbadian representative at the first Crochet Fashion Week (CFW) in Atlanta, George. Scheduled for February 11-12, 2023, CFW: Evolution of Stitch will feature 20 crochet designers from around the world.

As he prepares for his range of resortwear and streetwear to hit the catwalks, the news still stunned him.

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet, even though I’ve started designing and making the pieces for it… I’m happy to be recognised. It’s a huge confidence boost for someone to recognize your work and you’re chosen,” Shawn told Loop.

He indicated that he will proudly fly the Barbadian flag in the ATL next year.

We are all rooting for Shawn on this new journey!

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