Abigail Stybel creates new, one-of-a-kind pieces out of unique vintage finds for her line Rebel Soul Apparel.
Photography by Jerry Zolynsky for SEEN Magazine.
A little bit boho, a hint of hippie and the rest rock ’n’ roll. That’s the description of Abigail Stybel’s hip, new clothing line Rebel Soul that launched earlier this year. Stybel, a young mother and graphic artist who trained at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, creates one-of-a-kind up-cycled fashions for women including T-shirts, flannels, sweatshirts, and jackets with rock ’n’ roll themes.
“Rebel Soul Apparel is about keeping the fun and great feelings alive in your life even while you may have settled into your career, or your role of being a mom — and all of the responsibilities that come with those things,” Stybel said. Her pieces are largely made from vintage T-shirts she gathers from resale shops, garage sales, eBay and personal collections because she “prefers them to be authentic since that enhances the designs.”
“I had the idea for the line one day when I was sorting through my own favorite T-shirt collection and trying to think of something creative to do with them because I didn’t want to part with the history and memories,” Stybel said. By returning to design and turning her well-worn T-shirts into works of art, Rebel Soul Apparel was born. The concept, Stybel says, is not only to make beautiful things but also to help reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.
“Not only do I take unwanted clothing and make pieces that are unique and on trend, but it’s also helping the environment by repurposing. That’s important as well,” she said. “I’m also fighting against ‘fast fashion’ where companies like H&M and Forever 21 copy designers and make cheap clothing in environments that aren’t always healthy.”
There’s an uplifting 1960s vibe to the Rebel Soul designs with graphics that include Make a Change, Live in Love, Save the Earth, and tributes to rock and roll classics like the Misfits, Grateful Dead, R.E.M., Rolling Stones and Woodstock.
“I’m also pro-Michigan and have designs that give a nod to Michigan State, University of Michigan, Red Wings, Mackinac Island, the Great Lakes and more,” Stybel said. Her custom pieces are popular for gift-giving, especially around the holidays.
The special creations are made by hand in Stybel’s small studio “and often on my dining room table” in West Bloomfield and sold online, in boutiques, at local art fairs, and for special causes, like the one, she did recently for Grand Circle of Women benefiting Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network.
Rebel Soul pieces are sold at Rear Ends in West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills, Guys N’ Gals in West Bloomfield and Sundance Shoes in Birmingham. Her full range of pieces is in her Etsy store at etsy.com/shop/RebelSoulApparel.