three knitwear designers you’ve never heard of


illustration: grace carmen

Currently, knitwear is running rampant in the fashion industry. Whether it be crochet or knit, loopy, meshy, chunky, textured or simply avant-garde, knitwear garments have been in since fall 2022. Showcased by designers both big and small, the resurgence of handmade knitwear represents the leaning of consumers toward sustainably made “slow fashion” and accessibility. Anyone can learn to knit or crochet and anyone can learn to design their own pieces. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to create or looking to purchase some new knitwear, read on to learn about three knitwear designers you’ve probably never heard of (plus a few honorable mentions).



CEO Kaitlyn Phillips founded her crochet company HyAndHook in 2022. A senior entrepreneurship major, Japanese minor and combined MBA student here at Kent State University, Phillips picked up crocheting during quarantine. Coupled with her interest in fashion, crochet served as the perfect medium to bring her skills and creations to fruition. 


HyAndHook creates crochet pieces and patterns influenced by everything from pop-culture moments and current trends to her own nostalgic memories, such as how her THE VALENTINE Sweater Pattern is reminiscent of Valentino and Valentina Beanie Babies. Phillips strives to create crochet patterns that are “affordable, relatable and visually accessible,” all while destigmatizing small crafting businesses. 


“We might not be as scalable as other industries, but we have an immeasurable amount of value,” Phillips said.

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Phillips said she always tries to incorporate customization into her designs, such as with her Etch A Sweater pattern set, which is set to release this month. Consumers can decide to make their own design for the Etch a Sketch screen or pick something pre-designed, and all of her patterns are made-to-measure, which ensures crocheters can create something specific to their exact measurements and preferences. HyAndHook also accepts custom orders and “will work with you to make the crochet piece of your dreams!”


Before starting her business, Phillips voiced how she didn’t envision herself as a designer. As she kept crocheting, she realized her potential and has integrated crocheting into her daily routine. 


“It’s my creative outlet, an extension of myself and a medium that gives me a voice.” Phillips said. 


HyAndHook represents the creativity, community, accessibility and heart of what has come to embody crochet. Click here to view HyAndHook’s linktree.

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Makena Andros, also known as makenaurgf on Instagram, is a fiber artist and founder of UR GF. Based in LA, UR GF is a knit and crochet business that features chunky, meshy and colorful garments. From oversized sweaters to purses to hats to maxi dresses, everything Andros creates is immediately recognizable and reminiscent of her vibrant and textural style.

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A post shared by UR GF (@makenaurgf)

On her website she states that her work strives to “transcend the fast fashion cycle and with care,” and many of her pieces highlight how yarn scraps can be used to prevent waste while creating something one-of-a-kind. She is an open advocate for LBGTQ and BIPOC rights, and has shared that she donates a portion of UR GF’s proceeds to charities affiliated with LGBTQ rights. She uses natural fibers, “a slow-fashion mindset” and her garments often possess a certain fluidity from her use of free-handed shapes.


Andros has shared that what started out as a quarantine hobby turned into a business with over 30,000 followers. UR GF has been styled on Olivia Rodrigo, featured in a Nike campaign, spotted in a Bose ad and seen on Iris Apatow. Despite her success, Andros stressed in an interview with leaveli to “keep it fun and keep it stupid!” She said, “find what it looks like for you to keep your hobby as your hobby even when you have a trillion custom orders waiting to be made.” 

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A post shared by UR GF (@makenaurgf)


Rivers McCall

Rivers McCall is named after founder and Brooklyn-based artist Rivers McCall. Once she moved to New York in 2021, she started the brand, beginning with yarn and moving toward industrial designs featuring more unconventional materials. Primarily, McCall uses rope and chain to create “raw, kinetic and genderless” pieces. 

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A post shared by Rivers McCall (@rivmccall)

McCall’s work demonstrates how knitwear doesn’t have to be conventional in nature. “Knitwear is kind of chaotic, and it just fits right now,” they shared in an interview with NYU’s student newspaper. Most of McCall’s pieces are avant-garde, open knits made using locally sourced and upcycled materials. One of McCall’s most popular pieces is her rope bag, which she created a tutorial for with i-D.


McCall’s work has been featured in campaigns from Sephora to Jeffrey Campbell. Despite her success, McCall often shares her creative process on her TikTok, depicting how she uses rope and chain to create her signature silhouettes and style, such as with how to crochet a chainmail balaclava or drape a rope corset. Her willingness to share her work highlights the community behind knitwear and learning between like-minded designers. 

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A post shared by Rivers McCall (@rivmccall)


Look to these three talented designers as you search for new knitwear, whether it’s to seek out styling inspiration or if you’re looking to learn how to create your own garments. Knitwear is special because it can be whatever you want, and the possibilities are virtually endless…and so are the designers! Here are the Instagrams of other knitwear artists if you’re looking for more inspiration:


Loupy Studio

Fruit Club Co.

Wool and Buggers

What Lydia Made


Eloise Clarkson

Id Knit That

nong rak

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