The Beginning of the Traveling HYFN Vest

After seeing some of her work online, I sent my friend Negine a plain vest and asked her to work her magic. What I got back was a stunning desert sunset embroidery inspired by Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. I’ve been visiting my family in Arizona for years and feel strongly connected to that landscape, so she wanted me to always have a piece of the desert. Negine and I met earlier this year while I was chasing stories for HYFN. Oh how I love the internet. Someone I know online introduced me to Qais Essar, whose performance I went to see on one of my trips home to Arizona, where I met Negine.

It took her a little less than two months to complete after starting from scratch twice because “after all, life’s simply too short to not put your 100% into everything you release out into the world.” Embroidery has become a peaceful process for her, something of a meditative state. And she says one of the best parts is how easily she can take it along with her and work on the go. She worked on my vest in New York, Chicago and pretty much every local coffee shop in her area. You can find some of her stuff up on her Etsy shop.

I love it – it’s beautiful, thoughtful and unique. And it got me thinking.

I want to cover this vest with little pieces of my brown friends' art. I want them to contribute their vision, their personality and their love. This vest is going to be funky and eclectic and one of a kind. And I can’t wait to see it be born.