Designer Puts Ala. On Fashion Map

Natalie Channin Alabama fashion
The same women who covet Prada and dream of Armani now have their eyes focused on a new label, and it's flying off the shelves and onto the shoulders of fashionistas who are willing to pay thousands for one-of-a-kind pieces.

It's called Project Alabama.

That's right, Alabama. And, as CBS News Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports, the women behind the trendy label are more country than cosmo. One hundred fifty mothers and grandmothers, like Shelby Wade, stitch each piece by hand, at home.

"On the little tag in the back I put my initials – S.W." says Wade.

Natalie Chanin started it all. At a career crossroads, she left New York to launch her high-fashion line where she grew up -- where her grandfather built his house and raised his family.

And now, just behind that home is the humble headquarters of a multi-million dollar fashion house.

Recyled t-shirts are cut, painted and packed up here. Then, women like Diane Hall, who grew up quilting, sew it, creating couture with a costly $17,500 price tag.

"It's worth every penny, let me put it that way, because there's a lot of hours, a lot of love that goes into these garments," says Hall.

Chanin says the designs are inspired by the sounds and sights of northern Alabama.

But she's doing more than cultivating high-fashion, she's cultivating jobs in Alabama, a state that's lost thousands of textile jobs over the last few years.

"Our community has lost about 3,500 jobs in the textile industry over … four years," says Florence Mayor Bobby Irons.

Irons says Chanin's business model could be the pattern to revive a struggling textile industry.

Some people will ask why didn't she just send it off to China.

"It never occurred to me," says Chanin, laughing.

It's a big idea from a small town where homemade and handmade have always been in Vogue.

"They had ever-moving hands, always doing something- shelling peas, or sewing or making something to kind of enrich everyone's lives," says Chanin.

And that's Chanin's goal today. Creating jobs and pride in her hometown one simple stitch at a time.