"I don't believe in frivolity. I never worry about trends. I do believe in function, aesthetic, value and a consensus of need," says Renee Gunter, defining the urban work clothes and accessories she designs for her company, Industrial Wear.
Gunter designs for those who need compact, comfortable outfits that keep tools of a trade at hand. Film crews, photographers and hair and makeup artists were among the first to discover Industrial Wear, then gardeners, travelers and home renovators found Gunter's sturdy, well-made goods.
When Gunter started designing in 1985, two of her first items were a jumpsuit and work belt from which all kinds of gadgets can be hung. Several pouches of different sizes, zippered or not, can hold myriad tools, from hammers, drills and tape measures to scissors, tissues and brushes. There are also a wear- everywhere leather backpack, Supplex nylon shorts, and a raincoat and jacket, each of which folds into a waist pouch. A medium-size field pack and a larger duffel bag make traveling easy. Everything is made of black leather or some form of nylon or cotton in black and white. Gunter has not yet advertised her mail-order fashions. "It's all word of mouth; people see it, they like the way it looks and then they see how it works," Gunter says.