Neon Lace, a textile and dye studio creating handmade goods in New York’s Hudson Valley, has created the kitchen must-have that influencers adore: a unicorn mitt that’ll bring a pop of color and joy to any home.
Imane Fiocchi, the founder of Neon Lace, previously worked as a freelance makeup artist for a decade, and happened to get the idea for her company serendipitously.
“I’ve always loved antiques," Fiocchi recalls. "A few years back, I was vintage shopping in Venice when I came across a beautiful napkin set." She was hosting a dinner party and decided to update the drab textile with vibrant green dye.
“I loved the thought of giving vintage table linens a new life, so I purchased a large, vintage linen lot at an auction and embarked on experimenting with bright and bold colors with various dye techniques,” she says.
Sourcing vintage is one of her favorite aspects of her business, as she loves the hunt. Pre-COVID, she’d regularly visit flea markets, estate sales, and vintage shops to find such unique linen canvases.
Fiocchi's process, which she says is both intuitive and “a little mad scientist,” always includes a strong sense of color and is inspired by travel, fashion, nature, art, history, and of course, Instagram. Plus, she does her best to make her products as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible by upcycling vintage linens and utilizing non-toxic dyes.
“I wanted this to be a thoughtful component of the brand from the beginning,” she says.
Fiocchi also learned shibori, a Japanese dye technique, from a fourth generation dye master when she visited Kyoto. She blends traditional craft with updated signature patterns and neon palette to get her Neon Lace pieces.
The artist’s line of linen napkins and placemats are made-to-order, which manages overproduction. Each are comprised of 100 percent flax linen, a natural fiber, and Fiocchi goes for methods such as immersion dyeing and tie dye, which use less water than traditional dyeing.
One of her latest inventions, the unicorn mitt, was inspired by all of the baking she was seeing being shared via Zoom over social media this past year.
“The idea for an Instagrammable oven mitt popped into my head of the blue and I became obsessed with it,” she says. The shape of the mitt mimics the proportion of Mickey Mouse’s gloves, combined with a nostalgic shape one may see in their grandparent’s kitchen. Plus, the array of colors makes it quite photogenic.
Influencer Daniel Pelosi, known as Grossy Pelosi on Instagram, loves the rainbow mitt, as it fits in perfectly with his aesthetic.
“I live in the rainbow,” he says. “It's such a delight to use, both functionally and in that it makes me smile every time.” As someone who puts a lot of thought into design, color and optimism in his brand, it couldn’t be more on point.
Besides bringing cheer to cooking, the unicorn mitt supports The Okra Project, an organization addressing the crisis facing Black Trans people. The mitt was launched last year during Pride month, with $2 of every sale going toward the organization.
“I think the Unicorn Oven Mitt has been so successful and popular because it is something people haven’t seen before, it supports an amazing organization, and simply put, it makes people happy,” Fiocchi says.