Jan Cheifitz, founder and designer of Lucky Fish is inspired by her upbringing in South Africa and the global travels that followed. She produces a line of clothing and home furnishings hand-printed in Brooklyn, NY. Although she didn’t use the name back then, the Lucky Fish idea was born in the mid-1980s, at the height of the struggle against apartheid, where her generation of South African artists were challenged to integrate political activism and their new African identity into their art work and personal style. In those days, one could be found one day printing a new “struggle” T-shirt or banner to support some new campaign, the next day printing dresses or leggings because we couldn’t find the clothes we wanted in stores.
Two decades, a lot of traveling and a couple of kids later, Lucky Fish is producing clothing in New York, motivated first and foremost by need (in its current incarnation, Lucky Fish started out printing T-shirts in a garage on a beach vacation for my own and friends’ kids) using the same perfectly imperfect hand-screen print techniques, and inspired by the same playful universe of images drawn from nature and culture across the four corners of the Earth.
As kids in SA we would say “you lucky fish” to someone who had gotten, done or become something enviable. And that’s what inspired the company’s name. Lucky Fish is committed to small, independent and creative business and design!