On Saturday, December 17, 2011, The Brownstone on Lenox Avenue hosted the launch of the newest addition of the Harriette Cole Collection, a scarf line called 108 Stitches. Just in time for the holidays, the collection consists of all handmade pieces by Cole herself. A fashion show of female and male models presented the colorful neckwear followed by bubbly and shopping.
108 Stitches has something for scarf lovers of all kinds—cashmere, suede, linen, hand-dye wool and sparkle yarn. “All of the fabrics are soft,” Cole said as the models passed them around for the audience to feel. “They are also big enough to do a lot of different things with.”
Cole, who worked as editor and chief at Ebony and fashion editor at Essence, says she crochets for meditation. She sometimes calls it “conference call crochet” because she works best on calls. The name, 108 Stitches, stems from the number of beads on a medium rosary.
She’s enjoyed the pastime since she was 12, when she turned it into a neighborhood business. This past summer, she decided to share her childhood passion with her 8-year-old daughter not realizing it would reunited a flame. Since May, she says she’s made over 90 pieces, prices ranging from $40 to $1000.
Princess Jenkins opened the second location of The Brownstone on Lenox Ave between 141st and 142nd Streets in September 2011 (the first location is on 125th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). She and Cole have been good friends since Cole’s days at Essence. “When Harriette called and said she was starting her wonderful scarf line I was excited,” Jenkins said. “It was the return of the simplicity we learned when we were young.” Cole has lived in Harlem since 1988 and said she couldn’t image launching her line anywhere else.