Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Staying stylish during a Boston winter is a five month long concern for even the most glamorous New England dwellers, so when Carina Donoso and Kristen Lambert saw the opportunity to fulfill the former's lifelong dream of a knitwear line and the latter's desire for a path to entrepreneurship, they went for it. Looking back to their fateful encounter bonding over a treacherous bootcamp class, the two founders of The Third Piece have a passion that is warm, contagious, and did we mention warm?
Kicking off their debut collection with a wildly successful trunk show last month, Carina and Kristen offer winter accessories with a chunky yet soft aesthetic in a plethora of must-have hues. Using a particular wool yarn that had Kristen calling on suppliers from New Jersey to Oregon, The Third Piece features distinctive designs including a turban ($65)—the label's bread and butter— and its related hat ($95), as well as a cozy infinity scarf (from $75 to $120) and an extremely functional hooded boa ($250) with pockets at either end. "It's like a whole outfit," notes Carina when referencing the boa. "These are the kinds of pieces you'll cherish, love, take care of, and keep forever." Agreed. We would hate to lose one on the T.
The Third Piece is characterized by its local, handmade, designer-caliber quality, which delivers a higher price tag than your typical mass retailer but amazing value for a unique alternative to fast fashion. Behind those needles you'll find Carina and her mentor, Paula Roberts, who developed all the patterns. Utilizing Paula's expertise for the technical side of knitting, any decisions on color palette or design details fell to Carina and Kristen who essentially built the collection based off their personal eye and what materials were available.
The vision for 2013? Carina half jokingly says, "We want it on everyone's head!" Though with such a strong introductory output, only to be further curated come next season, we see widespread success in young label's future. After putting on one of these show stopping pieces, the immediate reaction is comfort factor, followed by "I look fierce!"—which of course is how the founders saw it all along. It's easy to imagine a need for this kind of cohesive collection in the northern reaches of the US: NorCal, Denver, Park City, Seattle, Chicago...major markets with wicked weather. Fortunately, a feasible combination of brick and mortar with e-commerce can get them there.
Following Carina's advice from her side venture as a stylist, always wear three accessories before leaving the house. After shopping their current set online, which is quite customizable, you'll have one less piece worry about each chilly morning.
· The Third Piece [Official Site]