Charlotte Taylor Fall 10

I’m enamored with Central St. Martins grad Charlotte Taylor’s debut fall 10 collection. Inspired in part by grannies & penguins, the collection is fun & visibly well crafted. In tow with a wealth of diverse knowledge she acquired while working at Luella, Charlotte immersed herself in every aspect of producing a collection from beginning to end. In Oct. 09 she stared a blog that could best be described as “the emerging designers how-to-handbook for startup” chronicling her intense journey in detail with each post giving a firsthand view of the process she continues to endure.

Taylor executed replicating the penguin’s shape in some of her silhouettes superbly. And the bright yellow & blue penguin head scarf is surely going to be a hit amongst fashionistas. There is just the right amount of cohesiveness but still a generous variation to choose from. She’s essentially created a line that is a mix of timeless shapes with her unique infusions of modernity. Another brilliant approach for Taylors emerging line, is the fact that she took into account making the price-points accessible to everyone. There’s no doubt that Ms. Taylor is a well-rounded talent that will continue to successfully progress in the industry. Please visit Charlotte’s blog as she continues to chronicle her on going  journey as an emerging designer, even after her debut at London Fashion Week!

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Fresh N Fierce: Study NY S/S10

www.4equalsides.com/

Study NY is a new sustainable line created by designer Tara St. James in Brooklyn NY!

NN- You’ve been in the “game”(fashion industry) for a while now, can you give us a brief timeline of your career from beginning to present?

TS- I started in the industry about 12 years ago after graduating from college.  I spent the first six years of my career working in the denim industry (Parasuco, Dex, Azzure).  Then I moved to NY and started Covet.  After 5 years of building that brand, I split from the backer and started Study on my own.  I wanted it to be a focused, sustainable sportswear brand that wasn’t cluttered with extra styles or unnecessary items.

NN-  Study NY is a creative collective that you recently launched. What prompted you to embark on this journey and can you explain what the collective encompasses?

TS- I have been working with very creative and imaginative people in NY since I first moved here, photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers, illustrators.  I wanted to bring everyone together (hypothetically at first, if not physically) to create a forum where we could work together on projects, and independently on our own work

NN- You formerly worked at Covet as the Creative Director. What are some of the most evident differences working for someone and now being your own boss in regards to creating sustainable fashion?

TS- While it’s nice to have someone supervising and directing the focus of a brand, it’s liberating to work for myself and create only the pieces I really want to put out.  I can focus all my attention on a more edited collection now that I don’t feel I’m trying to satisfy many different people.  I can just make the clothes I want to make.

NN- I was very intrigued to learn more about the unique concept behind your debut collection The Square Project. What exactly did the idea stem from?

TS- I crave constraint and love the idea of self-imposed limits.  I was working with the square shape prior to launching the Spring collection and wanted to see how far I could push the idea.

NN- From the beginning was it always imperative for you to show during NYFW and how did your relationship with the The Green Shows come about?

TS- I had worked with Bahar Shahpar on several projects prior to the Green Shows, so when she was brought on board to be the style director for the shows, she brought me along with her.


NN- Eco-fashion is becoming extremely popular at a faster rate more and more everyday. Aside from the current economic climate,what do you think holds designers back from creating sustainable lines or at least entertaining the idea?

TS- I think a lot of mainstream designers think it is difficult or expensive to source sustainable textiles and production methods.  While that may have been the case 5 years ago, it certainly is no longer relevant.  Factories and textile mills are tripping over each other trying to produce new sustainable products in order to keep up with the trend.  I hope more designers will start to re-examine their products and make an attempt to add at least one new sustainable item to their collections for next season.

NN- I see that you will be showing again this February at The Green Shows, can you divulge anything about your upcoming collection?

TS- Actually I won’t be showing at the Fall 2010 Green Shows.  The first Green Shows were a very positive experience, but they made me realize that if I do show my collection again, it will not be with a traditional runway show and I’d like to use many more outlets than are currently available to me.  So I’ve withdrawn from the Fall shows in order to put together a presentation that more accurately represents the identity of the brand I’m trying to build.

NN- Why are you so passionate about sustainable fashion?

TS- I don’t think it should even be an option any more.  I think all design should be sustainable.  From textile design to architecture, I think we all need to look at the everyday choices we make and products we create and question whether they are necessary.  If we deem them so, then they absolutely should be sustainable

Be sure to check back next week for a really special giveaway sponsored by Study NY!

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Fresh N Fierce: Garderob

www.garderob.biz

NN: Hello ladies! Can you please introduce yourselves and  give us a brief background on your line Garderob

G: Hi Ebony! Garderob are Daniela Ivanova, Jivka Dacheva and Lyubomira Aleksieva. The brand was created in 2006, after starting as a student project. The first collections were shown not only in Bulgaria but also in expos in Vienna, Austria. Soon after we started to work with several shops there. All of our clothes are produced entirely in Bulgaria.

NN: You launched Garderob in 06, how have your designs and aesthetic evolved since then?

G: It is very important today to be flexible and to stay adequate to every happening change around us. Garderob style is described as discreet and elegant with clever detailing. Simple sophistication is acheived with light, flowing fabrics, drapery and clean silhouettes. Emphasis is placed on high quality and on a timeless independence of seasonally changing trends. We really focus our attention on these things every time and still keep them as our main principles.


NN: Do you ever find it challenging to compromise when designing since there are three of you?

G: Of course compromising is always a part of the process, but it is good that we are three because it means more ideas and ways to make them real and finished.

NN: Describe the type of woman you design for?

G: Sophisticated working woman who feels comfortable with herself.

NN: As emerging designers in Bulgaria, what types of challenges do you face? Give us an idea of your journey since graduating from The National Academy of Arts in Sofia to now producing your latest collection?

G: As a whole we face a lot of challenges. Taking  in to account that our country is one of the least developed in Europe, it is very difficult to start your own business and to be successful at it. Also people here in Bulgaria are still not open to embracing clothes made by young designers. We are developing, researching and making a name for ourselves at the moment. Definitely challenging but we are eager to see the end results.

NN: I think as an American I tend to believe that all fashion designers abroad ultimately are striving to have some sort of US presence with their line. How important if any is it to you as Bulgarian designers to break into the US market?

G: It would be great if we were able to sell our clothes in shops in the United States. It would be a challenge to make efforts selling our line in a new place, but I’m curious to know if it would work :)!


NN: What are some  misconceptions that people may have of fashion in Bulgaria and what would we be surprised to know?

G: For sure foreigners that are interested in fashion don’t know a lot about BG fashion. But the good news is there are alot of new names coming and wanting to show their work in different world export and competitions, making the first steps!

NN: You are also stylists for some of the top fashion magazines in Bulgaria. Does your styling work influence your design work and if so how?

G: Not that much. But working with clothes from really famous brands in fact show us how good quality clothes must be made- with really, really, really good quality and a great idea!

NN: How important do you think it is to utilize the internet in correlation to your work?

G:  Very important it connects us with more people.

NN: And finally, a fun fact about each other?

G: Well to tell you the truth I can’t remember so many funny facts. Several years ago we took part in one Vienna expo but didn’t know that we would have nothing, no clothes hangers, no decoration, no mirrors, we were supposed to provide everything. We didn’t have a car to travel from BG, so we weren’t able to bring everything. We ended up decorating our area with several things we found around like cartoons making tables from them,cutting big paper birds and sticking them on the walls and other things from paper. In the end the expo was a huge success for us :)!

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FRESH N FIERCE: Rachel Mara

www.rachelmara.com

NN- It seems that Fashion design is only one of your many talents! Can you give us a little background on yourself?

RM-I studied fine arts and advertising design as well as spending some time with photography. Like most creative people I’m insatiable when it comes to creating. There is always something that can be made better or different.

NN-Your roots run very deep in Fashion. Moule is a small chain of boutiques started by your Mother in the late 80’s. Did this influence your desire to delve into fashion in any way?

RM-It had the opposite effect, I avoided it for quite some time. I thought fashion was too girly or fluffy. I grew up wearing a “girl’s lib” t-shirt and being a proud tomboy, I thought I needed to do something more serious in order to be taken seriously.

NN-You’ve been designing your line Rachel Mara since 2002. Explain how your design process has evolved?

RM-The process hasn’t really changed for me. I still dive in head first and hope it all comes together.
What has changed is that I’ve gained experience and knowledge and that is what evolves the collection. I have the courage to take more risks.

NN-I read in another article that your Spring 09 collection was inspired by “The Warhol-Sedgwick” relationship. Can you explain this more in depth?

RM-The collection was inspired by artists, their process, their muses, and their mess. The stroke of inspiration for anyone can be so personal, random and fleeting.
As the viewer we are so intrigued by trying to understand how someone comes up with an idea. And when that inspiration comes from another person or a “muse” it results in this magical essence that beholds the artist and the viewer.

NN-What are two things that people would be surprised to know about Rachel G. the designer?

RM-1) I hate pets.; 2) I secretly always wanted to be a comedian.

NN- Do you have any specific aspirations for your line this year?

RM- Perfection. Fortunately it’s unattainable or else I’d have to move on and find something else to do.

NN-Portland or Marrakesh for shopping and why :)?

RM-Nothing beats the Medina in Marrakesh, you’re transported to another time and place.

NN-Fashion has been apart of your life for some time now. I’m sure you have encountered obstacles as well as triumphs along the way. Can you share a few valuable lessons that you have learned and live by?

RM-I think I’m finally learning that the most important voice to listen to is mine. And as long as you keep trying to do great things you eventually will.

FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce

www.boysandclothes.blogspot.com/

Boys+Clothes what more does a girl need? Well 8 ambitious nyc fashionistas have come together to bring you just that! Boys+Clothes Magazine is a new online and print publication. In a mere five weeks, the ladies LITERALLY weathered the storm to produce their first issue: The Good Guys Edition. I caught up with the ladies to get a better look into the process of their journey thus far.

NN- Boys+Clothes Magazine is an evolvement of the popular blog NY Style Diary. Can you take us back and tell us how everything started and what the new mag is all about?

BC: Teneille– We’re still the same NYC fashionistas our loyal followers had come to know and love but, we’ve learned and grown so much since our earlier blogging days that we wanted to try a new medium of expression. We’ve become much stronger and wiser as women and so have our readers. So the evolution into Boys+Clothes is a shared energy amongst us women who are unapologetic, driven and confident. We’re not afraid to say what’s on our minds, wear what we want and go after who we want when we want him.

NN-Who are the ladies behind B+C and what role do each of you play?

BC- Teneille- As the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief my job is never done. I have to play an integral role in every aspect of the magazine and its development as well as structuring and laying out each issue and keeping the business of the magazine in order. Shaina who is also one of the founders acts as Editor-At-Large. She’s my right hand man in the structuring of each issue and making sure all content is in accordance to the theme of the issue. She’s on pretty much every call with me and silently calling a lot of the shots. Patrice our Fashion Director and Keisha our Fashion Editor are our two fierce fashionistas. They’re pulling clothes for the cover artist, spreads and molding the theme into cutting edge fashion editorials and trend reports. Cee is the eye of the team. She’s not just a photographer she builds the visual aesthetic of the magazine. She tells the theme of the issue in her dynamic pictorials. Sofia, Shana and Camillia who is also one of the founders are the “Murda Mami’s” of the group. Sofia is the Advertising and Business Development Director so she pretty much grinds hard to pull the right ads for the magazine while creating beneficial relationships with potential sponsors and advertisers. She has no fears and doesn’t take no for an answer. Shana is the PR and Brand Director, so when you start seeing B+C all over the place, Shana did it! She’s all about cultivating the brand identity of B+C. Keeping the brand name and the faces behind it at the right places and getting noticed by the right people. Camillia is our Marketing Director. She’s all about research and linking data. She has the most analytical mind and just knows what makes sense and how to report it.

NN-You ladies came together to drop the debut issue: The Good Guys Edition in an astonishing 5 weeks. How did that play out?

BC-It was insane! We learned a lot and definitely made a few mistakes. But, it all made us stronger. We know what to do next time and of course what to never do again. But, we did it and we all couldn’t be more proud. So many people talk about what they want to do and are going to do and when they face a slight adversity they quit. We kept striving.

NN-The current struggling economy is having an effect on virtually every industry. Various print magazines are folding or opting to operate solely online. Were you ever apprehensive about doing both, print and web?

BC- As the publisher initially my job was to weigh all the odds in a realistic light. The economy is indeed struggling so we knew we would have to execute this magazine in a way that was cost effective and innovative. We worked it out to secure just enough sponsorship and ad placement to print a small amount of copies for our events here in NYC. We wouldn’t need to print hundreds of thousands of copies that could possibly go to waste or send us to the poor house by having readers order copies directly from an online single issue distributor or just download the full issue using http://www.issuu.com and printing it from home. By finding the most resourceful methods for our budget and goals we were able to retain the excitement of creating a magazine.

NN- Alot of the content and people featured are independent up n coming artists, entrepreneurs etc. Will you continue to keep this same independent/underground theme with future issues?

BC-We actually just go with who we like. Ourselves and our readers are the most versatile and organic kind of chicks around. Our tastes in music and fashion is authentic because we stay true to ourselves. And its our mission to support and celebrate all artists and entrepreneurs who represent those same ideals.

NN- Now we know as women we can get catty and downright grimy at times with each other, friend or not. Of course none of that here, huh 🙂 How do you gals keep it together to get the job done?

BC-We all have different roles and responsibilities yet, the lines of communication are always open. We have a common goal of being successful in our respective fields so we all want B+C to be the best it can be because it’s a reflection of all of us.

NN-What do you want your readers to take away from the whole B+C movement, because I know its more than just a magazine?

BC-There are other women out there like you! There are women out there who talk a lot of trash and aren’t afraid to push the envelope.

NN-How often will new issues drop and how does one subscribe/view the current Boys+Clothes: Good Guys Edition?

BC-This year we’re dropping three magazines with our next issue being a double issue. Currently you can view the issue on www.issuu.com or hit up boysandclothes@gmail.com to get a digital dvd of the magazine. For the next issue you’ll be able to order it through www.magcloud.com or also view it on www.issuu.com.

NN-Any words of wisdom to anyone contemplating embarking on a similar mission?

BC-Don’t give up! It’s not an easy task but, it’s all worth it!

FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce

www.fleathers.com

NN- Your a lady that wears many hats Linda, Boutique owner and Designer to name a few! Where are you originally from and how did you transplant to philly and why?

LS-Well, originally I am from Virginia, born in Arlington but spent most of my life in Richmond. After high school I spent a couple of years in Washington DC at The Corcoran School of Art as a photography major. In 1999 I decided that DC just wasn’t for me, too much government and not enough city, so I decided to drop out of school and move on up the east coast ladder. I had heard so many good things about Philly that I decided to go for it without even ever going there. I took a visit and fell in love with the city of brotherly love, with all its urban grittiness, history and artistic potential. I then moved up in March of ’99 right before I turned 19. I started sewing and making jewelry and it just took off for me. It started as a fun side project and content for my photographs but when it started selling I decided to take it more seriously and went back to school after a couple of years of dabbling in it. I ended up finishing school at The University of the Arts in 2004 with a BFA in metal smithing and jewelry making.

NN-As a designer I’m sure that your constantly creating, testing ideas and exploring new concepts…Do current trends influence your designs?

LS-Not so much, perhaps in color stories, but I can’t even commit to that, I simply make what I love and hope that the appreciation will follow. I feel more so that trends are finally catching up to the aesthetics and designs that I have always been influenced by and am really excited about current trends because it makes it much easier for me to shop for what I really want to be wearing.

NN-Feather/Leather earrings are popping up everywhere these days…How do you to stay fresh and relevant amongst your competitors?

LS-Well like I said before I am thankful for some of the trends, I feel that it makes my jewelry more approachable by a larger mass of shoppers that would ordinarily not necessarily understand leather jewelry. I’ve been making leather feathers and hoops since 2003 and have watched a lot of customers simply just “not get it”. At this point I am able to make my designs more involved and getting really into the materials in my accessories such as hand printed leather, colored chains, hoops and jump rings. As well as the intricacy of my designs in how they are cut or hang from chains and lay on top of each other; things that make it harder to do in mass production. I am at a point where I can get as wild as I want with colors, shapes and patterns and that is what people are responding the most to.

NN-A few up n coming indie artists(Nikki Jean,Santogold) have been known to rock Fleathers and some of your other designs…How did you link up?

LS-Well another hat I wear is that of a stylist and was doing some work for Two One Five magazine here in Philly. Of course I use a lot of my jewelry in shoots and by default they just can’t get enough and end up coming to my store for more.

NN-What do you do to keep yourself grounded and balanced while juggling being a boutique owner/designer, both are very demanding?

LS-They feed each other. The store, Topstitch, definitely keeps me grounded with all the responsibilities, “balanced on my toes” I would say. Designing is my creative outlet and it keeps the store stocked, so it helps that I can make a lot of what I want to be carrying within the shop. Plus I have a business partner and store manager to help keep things organized and running smoothly as well as giving me time to produce it all. Yoga helps me a great deal too along with the support of my friends and devoted customers.

NN- Can you recommend a few indie spots(fashion,music,art) to check out in philly and why? (wink,wink starting with your shop=)

LS- Topstitch Boutique (my shop) is a great place to go if you’re looking to see what the most talented of local designers are putting out in terms of clothing and accessories for women and men. There is also a fabulous collection of vintage wares for sale, vintage jewelry that has been rescued from the melt down and a cute little gallery with very affordable art. Grasshopper Project is another great shop where I sell my jewelry as well. There is an amazing selection of newer, cutting edge designers from the fashion industry. Wonderfully chosen pieces for men and women too that won’t burn you’re wallet out. Art Star is Philly’s go to place for fun indie art products and great art shows. They also host an annual indie craft fair called the art star bazaar.

NN-Your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and designers?

LS- Follow your dreams and don’t give up!

Feature: Fresh n Fierce

www.epidemikcoalition.com

NN: Epidemik Coalition- Who, What, Where, How long have you been around?

EC:We’re a design company who focuses on graphic tees. We believe the tee is the ultimate canvas for experimentation and expression. The process of designing a graphic tee allows us to freely experiment with concepts and techniques while achieving a produced result at the end of every exploration. We’ve been around for almost 3 years and we got our start screen-printing after hours in the basement of our design school, Portfolio Center, in ATL. We basically took over a photography studio and dirtied it up with our inks. Now that we’ve graduated from design school, we’ve been grinding hard to get our design company off the ground. We love doing logos and other branding identities but we also have a lot of people who come to us to design graphic tees as well. Some of our friends/partners sites you should check out:


MeganHuntz.com
Demuns.com


We’re currently working on a new clothing line to hit boutiques nationally/internationally in the Spring of 2009. The line is called PROCESS. You can check out our teaser site at:


ProcessClothing.com or follow the journey of getting a line off the ground at EpidemikCoalition.com


The new line has been 3 years in the making! I’m excited to show the world what we’re all about! The influences come from Hitchcock, punk rock, electro, typography of Herb Lubalin, and of course, Atlanta. I’ve sent along a section of our mood board with some of the new designs blurred out. But at least you can see where we’re drawing our influences from.


NN: This is a first, featuring a graphic/fashion designer here at NN but we’re always open to new things!…Did the fashion design come naturally since you are graphic designers first…

EC: My business partner/best friend, Georgios, and I grew up fascinated with graphic tees. We met on the first day of design school and decided we were going to teach ourselves how to screen-print. As soon as we learned the techniques, we started pushing the limits of the medium as our own design skills improved with each quarter of design school going by.

NN: How do to the two worlds differ from each other and what are the similarities?

EC:Its funny you ask this because there are also a lot of people who don’t consider tees as part of the fashion world and it probably has something to do with all the tee designers out there who either have no design skills or training or want to make idiotic statements with their tees.

NN:My favorite EC Tee is the Anglerfish Tee, explain the concept and the inspiration?

EC:Georgios designed it, so I’m gonna have him jump in here to explain it:


If you are familiar with our brand you can tell we love marine animals, especially weird ones. We try to relate these mysterious sea creatures to our brand and what we are going through at the time. I designed this tee earlier this year and at that time, we were really struggling to reel in clients to get work. It became really frustrating when potential clients would never contact you back when we thought we had the job locked down, especially when you know you got to pay the rent. This tee was born out of this struggle and represents our constant drive to attract more work

NN: For as long as I can remember folks have been hating on the South HARD in all aspects…but these days there is a massive influx of talent rising from below specifically the A-TOWN!!! How do you feel about that?

EC: We love the ATL and we’re happy that the Dirty South is getting more recognition these days. I think a lot of it has to do with the rise of hip-hop in popular culture, especially southern friend hip-hop/crunk. Many people come to Atlanta to get started and then they move away the first chance they get. It’s a very transient city. I think these days more and more influential people who care about doing good work are sticking around and starting a movement. That’s what it’s all about. Check out ATLCreatives.com for some examples of what I’m talking about.

NN: What are a few stereotypes about graphic designers that bug you out?

EC:I know people jokingly stereotype us by saying graphic designers wear black emo glasses, black Chuck Taylors, black on black designer tees, and black slacks…it’s funny, but it’s not totally true.

NN: You recently teamed up with Atlantian artist Demun Jones on a line of tees…How did that come about and is there any certain criteria for the clients you choose to work with?

EC:We’ve been designing promotional pieces for the band, Rehab, for awhile and we’ve been dealing mainly with Demun Jones who has been handling their promos and merch for a long time. He always wears our tees when he performs on stage, but Rehab & Demun Jones ended up playing way more shows than we had tees. We started grabbing dinner with him at our favorite steakhouse/sushi place in Atlanta, Prime (which represents the ATL hard because you can get sushi and cheese grits at the same time), and the collaboration was born naturally out of that. Why not give Demun (the hardest working man in the music industry) his own tees to rep?


As for choosing clients, we enjoy clients who don’t know exactly what they want yet. They’re the best ones. Our job is to visually communicate and idea or series of ideas. Clients who just want to use us because they think we can lay out whatever they already have pictured in their heads are very difficult to work for because we can’t read minds…at least not all the time.

NN: Any dream collabos that you would LUV to do?

EC:Working with any client should be a collaborative process. So, in a way, we love working with clients who enjoy the process as much as we do. But since you ask, these are people/companies that we’d love to work with: Nike, Jordan Brand, Alexander McQueen, Gorillaz, Kid Robot, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Futura, Apple, Married to the Mob NYC, SOMA Magazine, Neutral Milk Hotel, & Lebron James.


Can we make any of those happen?

Thanks for the interview!