A Place to Buy Suede

The New York Times


August 7th, 1977

by Muriel Fischer


In winter we hunger for summer; in August many yearn for autumn. So it may now be a pleasant pastime to shop for suede and leather garments for the fall. And Patchwork by Miles, a custom shop in Manhasset's Miracle Mile, is an ideal place for browsing or buying.

Tucked away under The Magic Pan, at 1360 Northern Boulevard, the shop is akin to a gallery, with tapestries and toadstools, sheepskins and cushions, and a variety of jackets, jumpsuits, ponchos, and skirts - some with multicolored feathered designs, some with acrylic scenes, and all individually created to the customer's size and taste.

Prices range from $19 for a suede beret to $650 for a geometric quilt. (The latter, a three-dimensional dazzler of black and brown suede blocks, currently blankets a wall.) A black antelope wraparound jumpsuit sells for $300 and an earth-toned skirt with painted zebras at pasture costs $200. A "scenic" bikini is $65. The bikini is practical, the artist-owner contends, "because pigskin holds up in water. It stays soft, it doesn't dry out or shrink."

The "Patchwork" evolved 10 years ago from the disposal habits of a local factory. "They were throwing away scraps of suede," Miles said. "I hated to see waste in any form, so I gathered up the pieces and patched them together." He won awards in craft shows and sold select items in a Manhattan gallery; and eventually a demand generated a business. Also, the patchability is practical as well as artistic. "I give extra patches with each garment so we always have a piece that matches if the garment is soiled or needs repair."


Patchwork by Miles

The Locust Valley Leader

Gadabout, 1977

The next time you are in the Manhasset area give yourself a special treat. In the Bloomingdale shopping center a very exciting shop has recently opened. Patchwork by Miles is the name of this unique combination gallery and shop featuring wearable art and unique home accessories. Miles, a multi-talented young man from Bayville, has been creating works of art for many years. He has exhibited and won awards for his designs at craft shows and fairs all over the country. Last Christmas Miles won the Most Innovative Craft of the Fair award at the annual Madison Square Garden show. He has taken many first and second prizes at craft fairs including the Northeast Craft Fair at Rhinebeck, New York.

Until recently Miles has been selling his elegant suede creations privately to such personalities as Mrs. Joel Grey, Roberta Flack, and Mrs. Dustin Hoffman. His clothing line was also featured at Julie: Artisan's Gallery on Madison avenue. Now Long Island shoppers will be able to browse through this one-of-a-kind gallery of leather and fur fashions.

Every creation on display is breath-taking to behold. How about a hand-painted horse grazing in the pastures of a skirt, or a desert sun on a jumper. Either the jumper or skirt can be had in varying lengths. For that special New Year's Eve party, we saw an elegant sleek black antelope jumpsuit -- guaranteed to be the only one at the party.

Also on display you will find jackets, skirts, gauchos, dresses, ponchos, coats, vests, hats and handbags that match and even a cute suede bikini. Evident in each piece of clothing is expert craftsmanship and attention to detailAll skins from food animals only

The selection of leather suede that I've accumulated over the years is vast. My intention is to eventually catalog each color, texture and pattern of leather and suede in my inventory using scanning technology so that you can access each one and choose the exact one you would like. Until I complete this task, I will be using a basic list of the colors that different suedes and leathers are available in. Since my work is mainly one-of-a-kind, I can create most of the designs that you see in virtually any colors you would like. The only requirement is that I have enough time to complete the order, an average is three to four weeks.

The main skins that I utilized in creating my garments are pig skin, lamb skin and cow hide. With the advances in tanning technology, food animal skins such as the above, can be made to look like exotic skins such as snake, crocodile, lizard and alligator and these are the type of skins that I use exclusively. No endangered species! All of the leather and suede that I use comes from food animals only!