Every little thread

Madelynn Dake, A&E Writer

It’s important to be one’s unique, authentic self. There are so many creative outlets to show the world who one really is. For Xavier High School junior Maddie Mautino, her outlet is with a pair of blue jeans. Mautino owns and runs Irthe Outfitters. She takes old jeans that she thrifts and up cycles them through custom embroidery. She loves the ability to take her hobby, sewing and using it to create something special.

My favorite part about it is probably the fact that I get to do something I love and share it with people,” Mautino said. “I’ve been sewing since the second grade and the second I got on a sewing machine I’d always had a dream to have my own clothing brand, and it’s really cool to see that dream come true.”

She starts her process by picking out jeans with unique fabric and style. Then, she alters them for a more fit look. Lastly, she hands sketches and sews special phrases or patterns. Irthe Outfitters is not just a fun hobby for Mautino, it is a passion.

My biggest inspiration was probably my drive to have my own unique thing that no one else had” Mautino said. “Being Nick’s [her older brother] sister, it’s hard to not compare myself to all of his great achievements and how it seems everyone loves him, so I just really wanted to have my own special thing where I wouldn’t feel like I was in anyone’s shadow doing what I love.” 

While her small business is a way for her to gain a new level of confidence, she hopes it will be a way to empower others as well.

“I’ve always struggled, and still do a lot, with body image. I want my brand to be a way to reach out to people who struggle with body image to let them know that it’s so beautiful to have your body be individually and uniquely made for you just how my jeans are made as well,” Mautino said. 

Several of Mautino’s classmates have purchased her products, believing in her vision. 

“I like the unique, thrifty style since it’s really fashionable,” junior Jaleah Klein said. “It also has been incredible to see Maddie’s dream come alive and I am proud to support a friend who has started her own business on such incredible values.” 

Through her crafted, handmade jeans, Mautino strives to celebrate the beautiful individuality of everyone who wears them in every little thread. Irthe Outfitters can be found on Instagram @irthe.outfitters or on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Irthe.