Funk+Grace, a fashion line of beautiful handcrafted turbans, headbands and accessories is run by two young and creative ladies. Danielle Hernandez and Ileana Betancourt work together but also like to collaborate with other artists. Danielle and Ileana came up with a crazy idea to do a photo shoot with a shopping cart…
Hello, we are … Danielle Hernandez and Ileana Betancourt, together we are Funk+Grace. We like to create! For us Funk+Grace is a way of life, it’s all about doing things that we love, working with others and learning from each other.
Danielle was born in Virginia. When she was five, her family moved to Miami. Ileana, originally from Cuba, moved to Miami at seven years old. A few years later Ileana´s passion for fashion started to show up. I remember being ten and staying up really late to watch all the fashion shows on Style channel. I was fascinated by all the beautiful clothes on the runway.
They both graduated from Miami International University of Art & Design and came to New York, Ileana says:
I was sick of Miami and I knew for some time that New York is where I needed to be. And there she was. I’ve always loved fashion but it took me a while to realize that design is my passion. It wasn’t until after I moved to NY that I realized that I didn’t want to be doing anything else but designing, so I began to learn how to sew.
Danielle about New York: I moved out from Miami almost 2 years ago. There was something about the energy in New York that I wanted to be a part of. But she already knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. When I was in high school, I added a pair of boxer tops to my fitted lowrise jeans, it sounds all sorts of awful but they were awesome. After that I just started making clothes. I loved how creating made me feel, especially something that myself and others could wear.
They live together in this huge building off Wilson L stop. The place is a live/work space so they spend a lot of time in it. We are surrounded by positive and creative energy. Everyone here is so passionate about what they do. We live amongst architects, musicians, film makers, photographers and acrobats. When we are not working on our line, we’re collaborating with our neighbors, hanging out, having fun and working on our space.
And how is living and working together working out for the two of them? We work really well together. We both do a little bit of everything and help each other out. The best part of us working together is that we let each other work out our own visions. Sometimes we will be at the fabric store and one of us is moved by a particular fabric and one of us may not necessarily be into it but we go for it. At the end of the day we trust each others instincts. Part of us working together is allowing each other to work on our ideas. So, where does all that inspiration for the new ideas come from? Funky old people. Nothing makes us happier than walking down the street and seeing an old person in the coolest outfit. Style needs time to evolve and really become a part of you. But, really inspiration is everywhere.
And what is it about Bushwick that they like the most? Bushwick is a great place to get away from the rest of the city. We love the creative energy in Bushwick. It’s a great place to discover and exchange ideas.