Jennifer Lazarowitz started her love of design early in life. “Art has always been a major part of my life”, the Rhode Island School of Design Alum noted, “I love making beautiful things and applying it to work in the real world.” Jennifer’s first job included hand painting plates and wovens, but felt drawn to the additional challenge of translating high design into apparel.
She joined the Hot Sox Team almost 13 years ago, immediately feeling drawn to the “delicate balance between art and science involved with knitting intricate designer socks.” Inspired to create art socks that would resonate with both art lovers and daring fashionistas, she used the very paintings and sculptures that spurred creativity in college, and created a blueprint to translate them into wearable fashion socks.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge in translating paintings and other visual media into art socks?
A: Without going into too much detail, knitting is completed in courses while visual art doesn’t normally have this same constrain – it’s freeform. Knitting is like zooming in on a picture and seeing it’s actually made up of tiny little squares or pixels (or stitches) or like creating a round object out of Legos; only we accomplish the same concept with yarn - and all the strings have to connect or you’ll get a hole in your sock. Additionally, we’re limited on the amount of colored yarns a knitting machine can hold, add to that, we have to knit enough constructive material into the design that the sock still functions and is comfortable.
Q: If you could only wear one art sock for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
A: “The Scream” sock will always have a special place in my heart – it’s one of the first artist series socks I ever created. One of my favorite Hot Sox memories includes receiving the first samples of The Scream sock in the design studio and finally seeing my translated art come to life.
It felt so serendipitous that these design samples arrived right as I was leaving for a trip to Norway, home to the famous The Scream painting and its creator Edvard Munch. I couldn’t resist packing one of the samples along with me and taking it to the National Gallery in Oslo.
To hold up one of the first Hot Sox Artist Collection pieces I had worked on alongside the true inspiration felt absolutely phenomenal.
Although each additional artist series sock we create is rewarding and special, my very favorite art sock is definitely The Scream sock.
Q: How do you select masterpieces for the next season of Hot Sox?
A: I love going to different museums and art galleries, like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and seeing the real-life masterpieces of inspiring artists, and also keeping in-touch with trendy and relevant art pop culture references.
I try and capture an additional layer of my designs beyond just translating the art into textile, and that is incorporating the energy and emotion of the art work. Whether it be through line work, color, or stylization.
Q: Can you give us any teasers for what Artist Socks we can expect next season?
A: We’re really excited about the newest Hot Sox Artist Collection additions for Spring 2017.
For Spring 2017 we're introducing a new artist to the mix; a Cezanne still life. We're building on successful themes and customer feedback to bring more art and more food-themed options!
Our other art sock we’re introducing next season is by another Hot Sox Artist Series’ favorite painter – Claude Monet. We’re connecting themes across our Travel Collection and Artist Series to put new life into a beloved view of foggy London. Oh, and there is also a new Picasso---whoops…did I say too much?
Eager to check out all the socks in the Hot Sox Artist Series? Click here.
Interested to see Jennifer’s independent works? Click here.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the new Spring 2017 Artist Series selections, arriving in late January!