Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN: I have to be honest, at first when I looked at the t’s I didn’t totally get it at ALL! Please tell us who you are, where your based and what is THE ORIGINAL DAVID?

OD: I’m Rakiyt Zakari, based out of the Washington DC metro area. I originally hail from Norfolk VA. I’m Nigerian, though I’ve never lived there it’s a big part of my life. I began designing in 2001, a self named higher end women’s wear line that was featured a few times in WWD, Lucky mag, the Washington Post, Essence and a few others. I used to show in Miami, at Funkshion: Miami’s fashion week.

The Original David is a line I stared while trying to figure out what to do with 144 white tees that I’d ordered for an event that never happened. I’m a pretty sarcastic person and political correctness is not my forte’, i just don’t think it’s that serious. It seems presently that people are so caught up in race and cultural differences that we can’t be ourselves without being scared to offend. Kids though aren’t like that. So I decided to create characters that played upon certain physical, and cultural stereotypes. All of these characters are Davids. They maybe different in many ways but when it’s all said and done they (we) are basically the same.

NN: How do you produce THE ORIGINAL DAVID products and do you make limited quantities of each design?

OD:I make each Original David shirt by hand, cutting out each piece and sewing it together. The shirts are cotton the characters are felt. The tags are made from leather that I brand with the logo. The quantities are limited, though each shirt is made to order. We don’t keep stock, it’s Fresh with no expiration date :o)

NN: For your spring 08 collection you chose to take it back to 1985 and RUN DMC! How did you come up with this concept and why the 80’s?

OD: I’m an eighties baby. Run DMC is iconic, like Disney. Hip Hop is at the forefront of controversy…”is it dead,” “is it too commercial,” etc. I wanted to honor the originators without just copying an era. I was really on the fence about doing it because it seems like the 80’s comeback is viral right now. I didn’t want to lose what David was about by being too trendy. The first shirt was Olu 85 : black with the double red stripes. Once I finished that one It was history, I loved it, and I decided to go forward with the line.

NN: You recently showed at United Trade Show(congrats)! Can you explain to us what it takes for a brand to be on the trade show level and was it a success for you?

OD:Thanks a lot! I love United, it’s been a great experience for me. I can honestly say that doing it took my brand to a new level. To get to the trade show level you have to make sure your brand is tight. It should look professional, stand out and really communicate a perspective. Buyers don’t like trying to figure out what you’re all about. They are visual ppl and if you don’t capture them at first glance, you may not get the opportunity to do so again. It’s good to have realistic expectations. Orders may or may not come during the show, sometimes buyers need time to think about your brand and how it would fit on their floor. Trade shows are expensive, and designers need to be sure that it makes profitable sense to invest in a show. Trade shows are one of the best ways to connect with the industry insiders and keep a pulse on what’s going on.

NN: Do you classify yourself as a street wear brand and if so do you think you have what it takes to be SUCCESSFUL in this ridiculously competitive industry and why?

OD:I think The Original David is a fusion of high end fashion and street wear, it’s a little more mature aesthetically than the loads of printed tee brands popping up. The focus is different as is our customer. My guys that buy are urban professionals between 25-33. I think I have what it takes to be successful, because of The Original David translates well into other product categories outside of Apparel, so the potential for growth is huge.

NN: Since your based in D.C. or the DMV for those of you who know whats really good :), can you put us on to some other local independent designers/artists that are fresh like you :)?

OD: I would love too if I could think of any. It’s really hard to find cool designers operating out of DC. The scene here doesn’t lend itself to putting local talent on the radar. The ones I used to know, don’t do it anymore.

NN: What are 3 of your long-term goals for THE ORIGINAL DAVID?

OD: -The Original David brick and mortar. A physical store would help solidify the message of the brand.

-Expansion outside of apparel into books, art, and cinema.

-I would like to create a non profit branch of the company.

Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN: Thanks for accepting our invitation, we’re stoked to feature MANIMAL! Now can you give us a little background on Kristen Lombardi the designer,how you came up with the name MANIMAL for the line, and how long MANIMAL has been around?

KL: My mother has a business making curtains and worked from home while my brother, sister and I were growing up. My father is also artistic, and they both taught me to be creative and crafty early on. I studied fashion design in college and afterwards worked odd jobs sometimes related, and sometimes not, to my major. Manimal came to be in 2002 after a life changing visit to the American Southwest. A good friend and I rented a tic tac sized car and drove all around those deserts and canyons. While there we both looked for a good, authentic pair of moccasins to take home, but nothing suited us. When we returned, I checked a book out at the library and set to make a pair as a gift for my traveling companion. I made that pair, then another and another. Somehow that turned into a company…it was all slow going, and a very natural progression.

NN: I was so delighted to read that your another environmentally conscious gal! You use alot of recycled and organic fabrics for your collections, where do you find them and what types of fabrics do you prefer to work with?

KL:I have to say that though I’ve been a vegetarian since I was thirteen, I do love working in leather. The body and texture is so beautiful. I have recently (and finally) found a suede alternative which is pretty close to the real thing, so I offer both and let people decide which they prefer. Thankfully, as more people want to be buying green and environmentally conscious items, the raw materials are easier and easier to find.

NN:The Manimal jeans are so fly from the fit to the style to the cut! What kind of things are running through your head when your hand-making & creating all of these detailed unique pieces?

KL: For inspiration, I look to the traditional costuming and clothing of other cultures and try to interpret them into current looks. It’s a challenge that keeps the design process interesting. I never tire of museums and books. (and thank god for this Internet thing, right?!?!)

NN: I just skipped right over the moccasins which is how this whole thing started for you correct? You made your first pair from a boy scout book, tell us a little bit about that experience?

KL:I guess I jumped the gun and answered this question already up above…

NN: Your studio is your apartment in Jamaica Plain Massachusetts, describe to us a typical day for you from your inspirations to a finished product?

KL:This is every day of my life:

coffee and blogs (lenacorwin.blogspot.com, dianepernet.typepad.com, lovemelovemebaby.blogspot.com, misscrew.com, nothingisnew.wordpress.com, thesartorialist.blogspot.com)

work and NPR.

work and the Colbert Report


NN: I’d like to think that all designers have a goal in mind when they decide to become designers! What is your ultimate goal for MANIMAL?

KL: Cowboy boots!

NN: 3 accomplishments that your are most proud of yourself for, since launching Manimal?

KL: Accomplishment #1: My first press piece was in the premier issue of Martha Stewart’s Blueprint magazine. I was completely shocked when they contacted me, and so so excited. Martha Stewart is the real deal!

Accomplishment #2: Pool Trade show. Last August, I attended my first trade show. I’m pretty shy, so to go and represent myself and not hide away from the world in my workroom was a point of pride, and a good life lesson for me.

Accomplishment #3: Leaving my “day job”. I had work which I loved as the studio manager in the fashion design department at the Massachusetts College of Art. It was a part time position, and I managed to balance both manimal and that job until things with manimal got too busy.
It was a hard decision to leave, but it was time, and I was ready to finally and happily belong to myself.

Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN: What is Ferociter?

F: Ferociter is a jewelry design house created by me Aimie Dukes, that specializes in combining vintage and new materials to create unique, trend-conscious accessories. The word Ferociter is Latin for “with spirit”.

NN: When and why did you decide to create Ferociter?

F: Ferociter launched in December 2007 after deciding that I needed a concrete outlet for my creative work. I came to realize that if you want something in your life, you have to create it for yourself. There’s no such thing as waiting for someone else to hand it to you!

NN: What is the indie scene like in Minnesota?

F: Minneapolis has an active community of indie designers with many boutiques, entertainment venues, non-profits and individuals dedicated to providing new and exciting opportunities for us to show our work. It seems like there’s always another fashion show, indie craft fair or some kind of event going on!

NN: I love how you combine the vintage elements with the new…Where do find all of the unique vintage pieces that you use in your line?

F:It’s a constant search! I buy from many different sources – both online and locally.

NN: Its really great to see you paying homage to Black History month with your Cowry Collection…What inspired the collection and what is a Cowry :)?

F:A cowry is a kind of shell that’s been used for centuries in everything from jewelry to spiritual ceremonies and was once considered currency in Africa, India and China; it’s associated with the female gender, fertility and wealth. The Cowry Collection was inspired by the women I know who embrace that particular aesthetic and all that it stands for.

NN: How has your journey been thus far across the board as an Independent Designer?

F: It’s been so rewarding. Ferociter has definitely exceeded my expectations already and it’s great to be able to create while providing people with what they want.

NN:What are your future plans for Ferociter?

F: I’m always dreaming up new designs so there will be many more collections to come! I’m also working on designing accessories for a local fashion show in April and possibly doing another show in the fall so I’m keeping quite busy!

Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN: When/where was Artistic Aya launched?

AA: Artistic AYA officially launched in Richmond, Virginia years before anyone knew about it. I took the business beyond the idea stage in 2004 and launched to the public in Washington, DC.

NN: What is your background in art/fashion?

AA: My approach to art and fashion is somewhat unusual. For me, it’s about performance, experimentation, architecture and more. I studied art, fashion, and chemistry in undergrad.

NN: I’m diggin ALL of your paper jewelry very innovative yet stylish! Can you give us a little background behind the concept and process of this very unique design method?

AA: My mother saw how much I enjoyed creating things and showed me how to make paper beads out of magazines. She learned this from her Grandmother in Trinidad. I feel honored to be able to carry on a part of my history. Through experimentation, I created new techniques and played with different papers. It’s my modern twist on a traditional craft.

NN: You recently launched a new line of luscious organic body scrubs…How did this opportunity come about for you?

AA: When I was a little girl, I planned on becoming a dermatologist. I realized later that art was my true passion. Through the sugar scrubs, I can be both the mad scientist and artist that I am. Plus appearing on ‘The Today Show’ in 2007 definitely helped me take my organic beauty idea more seriously.

NN: You truly are a multi-talented entrepreneur, please tell us a little bit about FEMME FETE?

AA: fEMME fETE(www.femmefete.net) is an event that I started in 2004. It’s a fabulous venue for independent designers and creative businesswomen to find exposure in the Washington, DC area. Through these events, designers have found the inspiration and encouragement to take their business to the next level.

NN: You’ve accomplished so much at such a young age…Where do you go from here and what are some more of your life goals?

AA: Thank you. I just celebrated a birthday so I’m thrilled that you think I’m young 🙂 I don’t think I’m at a place in my life where I can sit back and say…my work is done. I’m still on the grind everyday and still believe that one day it will all come together. In my effort to give back, I recently started working at a therapeutic center for at-risk and emotionally disturbed kids. Through the program, I’m able to use my background as a tool to help improve the quality of their lives.

NN: What are three words that you would tell an aspiring entrepreneur

AA: “Don’t Give Up!” (It really is as simple and as hard as it sounds.)

Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN:Thanks for mashing it up with us Melody! So tell us a little bit
about Melody Ehsani the designer?

ME: Thank you for having me! Melody Ehsani the designer, I think for the
first time in my life Im very clear and focused. I know my main goal in
life is to serve humanity in the best way that I know how, and that is
through utilizing the divine blueprint that was given to me. Its a
beautiful thing when you do what you love and what you love creates
more love in the world.

NN: I read in your bio that you started out studying law, what a drastic contrast from design..Are you able to put to use anything you learned
in law school as a Designer?

ME: Not directly. I wanted to go to law school to fight for human rights
by changing the law and setting a precedent as a woman in the field.
However, Im doing the same thing through design. Except this way I get
to make more heart to heart connections. I guess I can read and
understand a contract a little better than your average designer, lol.

NN: You recently designed a few custom jewelry pieces for Erykah Badu’s
upcoming album New Emerykah..How did you link up with her and what was
your experience working with her?

ME: Erykah is a jewel to me. She’s served as a major source of inspiration
to me, and Im so happy I get to work with her. She’s one of those
folks who’s just just bad, you know what I mean? The most honorable
thing about her is that she’s incredibly supportive of new art/artists,
and very humble and sweet… I met her because she saw some of my
pieces on some mutual friends (?uestlove and Saul Williams), and
inquired them about it, then we ended up being in LA and NY at the same
time, hung out and the rest is history.

NN: I’m sure your asked this question alot, but its very interesting to
know :)! What inspires your designs?

ME: Through anything I love. A lot of times its people, thats why I name a
lot of my shoes after my friends or people in my life during that time
period. Artwork, movies, books, furniture, nature, music…I know those
are all vague things, but inspiration for me is very random and
unexpected. Im also a collector. I used to collect sneakers, continue
to collect books, magazines, vintage sunglasses, jewelry, etc. so often
Ill dig through my stuff and have an “aha” moment.

NN: As a Persian Woman, customarily women are encouraged to pursue a
more “traditional” occupation. How have your family and friends
reacted to your decision to be a designer?

ME: Its not necessarily that women are encouraged to pursue more
traditional occupations, its more so that the highest value lies in who
you marry as a woman. So if I were to marry a doctor and become the new
Mrs. Dr. Melody Ehsani that would probably be more valuable than me
going out and getting my own doctoral degree. Also women are
encouraged to be more practical with their lives, so they tend to go
toward the safer, more guaranteed occupations. Of course, Im not
talking about all Persians across the charts, this is just my
experience and observation.
Personally, I havent received a lot of authentic support from my
immediate family, its hard to be a visionary, because your the only one
who holds the vision of your destiny. But Im happy I get to be the one
that breaks with culture and creates a new path for the next generation
to come. I really look forward to what thats going to look like.

NN: What advice would you give to women and young girls who share the
same burning passion for design like yourself?

ME: The definition for Faith is belief followed by action. First and
foremost you need to have belief in yourself and then you have to act
on it. It sounds simple, but its a lot of work. I believe that
everybody on this planet has the ability to perform miracles, you just
have to have true Faith. The other key thing is Authenticity. To
always remain true to you in everything that you do, people will not
believe you if your not creating something that comes from YOU.

NN: Any fellow indie designers that you’d like to shout out?

ME: Yessir….
Robot is the Future .
Han Cholo Jewelry,
Greedy Genius Sneaker Co.,
Jainesse Denim,
Kofie One
….Im sure Im forgetting a bunch.

Feature: Fresh n Fierce


NN: Is FLY LADY DI your real name? If not how did you acquire the name?

FLD: No, of course it’s not my real name. My real name is Diana Reyes,
which is what I also sometimes go by. I thought up the name when I
was 13 and wanting to become a ‘Fly Girl’. As a child, everyone
always called me ‘Lady Di’ because Princess Diana was pregnant when I
was born. So, I thought to just put the three together and be FLY

NN: Where are you originally from and how did you get to New York?

FLD: I’m originally from the suburbs of Toronto. A place called Markham,
Ontario in Canada. I moved to New York in May 2004 to pursue my
dancing dreams, and just made it happen. It was a hard struggle, but
everyone struggles at first when they get here. I’m just glad that I
can live to tell about it, and that I am growing in success everyday
that I’m here. I’ve learned a lot by being out here.

NN: As a dancer first and now an acclaimed artist, did you find it
difficult to make the transition?

FLD: Not at all. I still feel like I’m both at the same time, even though
I’m not actively pursuing dance. I think it would be a lot harder if
I was an artist first and then a dancer. Dancing is a tough field.

NN: When I look at your art its like I can see the dance in the
painting,can you elaborate on that?

FLD: Absolutely. I always feel as though my fingers are dancing to the
beat of God’s drum when I paint. God is really in control of my
movements. The arts are all one in the same. There are several
things I attribute with dance that I attribute with painting. Things
like spatiality, rhythm, flow, etc.

NN: You’ve definitely overcome massive obstacles to get to where your
at today! Do you feel that your truly living the “American Dream”?

FLD: Yes, most definitely. I came here with very little, and now I feel
like I can attain anything I want. I feel like I’ve been able to do a
lot in a short amount of time.

NN: When can we expect the original mixtape tees, I tell you I really
missed out but I’ve never forgotten :)!!!

FLD: Oh haha! I expect to launch them by early April so look out for them!

DOUBLE FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce


NN: How did Vane become a reality?

V: The idea started when we met in college, we played around with screen-printed t-shirts and quickly realized the industry desperately needed creativity and design. We had some sort of involvement in fashion and the desire to do something independently and creative on our own. We all shared a similar entrepreneurial drive and saw a great opportunity in bringing fashion to streetwear and vice versa, and we felt that collaboratively we could pool our talents together to do something special.

NN: Why the word Vane?

V:”Vane” is a play on the word “vain,” and we thought it only appropriate to be a clothing company with substance in an industry generally known for its vanity. A “vane” is generally something that is an indicator of things to come, while the more commonly association of self-loving arrogance is known for “vain.” Much of our brand has to do with juxtaposing conflicting ideas and messages, and we felt that Vane had a certain ring to it. Coincidentally, we found out later that Vane also has its origins in the Latin word fanna, which means “cloth,” something we thought was accidental but really cool in the context of our brand.

NN: Do your diverse ethnic backgrounds influence your designs?

V: Directly and indirectly, they do. The three partners are from India, Pakistan, China and our friends are from all over. Inherent in this fact are many of the themes Vane adheres to when designing garments: conflict, diversity, city life, attention to detail and an ethic of hard work. This is also why, regardless of the financial benefit of producing garments overseas, we chose to stick with a midtown New York City production house. No exploitation of third world countries and a more hands-on approach to our designs.

NN: The “We are all Vane” Pendant/Necklace is hands down one of my favorite pieces from your line! What were you trying to convey by meshing these three drastically different symbols?

V:A lot of today’s world issues stem from religious tensions. Religion is one of the world’s most powerful forces that can divide us, but can also unify us. The pendant addresses this issue by juxtaposing symbols of the major religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. We take these ideas further to reference city life, a place where these cultures coexist together. It is our first jewelry piece and we are very proud of it.

NN: I really love the details and fit of the Little Vane Dress. Did you GUYS consult with any females on any aspect of the women’s line?

V: We wanted our first women’s piece to be clean, unique and flattering of a woman’s physique. Behind the scenes we know a few important women with whom we consulted about the dress, namely our girlfriends and mothers. We definitely plan to work on more women’s garments in the future.

NN: What is one of your most valuable lessons learned since launching Vane?

V: We have learned so much and are still learning! Regardless, one aspect is true. With the proclivity of young entrepreneurs and access to information today, competition among upstart designers is at its fiercest. The market is saturated with brands all trying to make their mark in fashion. We respect everyone’s hustle and just focus on our own. We have found our niche in creating a product in which fabric and content dictate the luxury and price of the garments, not limited-edition hype or artificially-imposed factory minimums. Hopefully it’s enough for us to stick around for a while.


NN: Who is the designer behind Valhalla Brooklyn?

VB: The designer behind Valhallabrooklyn is me, Karin, an immigrant from Denmark who started out in New York 9 years ago, re-designing vintage clothing for a store in in SoHo, I now run this little whole sale business by my self with help here and there from my husband.

NN: What types of materials do you use to create your designs?

VB: I particularly love to work with leather, I use new leather and sometimes re-cycled leather coats. I’m often being handed old fabric pieces from friends or family, and like to incorporate these in the pieces for lining etc.

NN: Can you give us a short summary of the process it takes to create one bag from start to finish?

VB: I’m not a skilled drawer, but I am a pattern maker so when I come up whit a new Idea I usually measure it out directly from a thought to the pattern paper and then cut and sew. I base my bag and wallet designs on what needs to go in it, I like to be organized so pockets, zipper compartments,spring hooks and such is a must.
I try to do slight variations on each piece to make it unique and keep sewing fun and challenging.

NN: As a designer, do you feel that it is your job to help create a social awareness of recycling?

VB: I think anyone regardless should spread the word of being aware of recycling, and yes, I very much feel it’s my job to bring recycling in to the world of design and fashion, where large amounts of clothing and accessories are being purchased unfortunately only to be worn once or twice.

NN: Do you plan on expanding your line any further i.e. clothing ?

VB: I also do clothing, I make winter jackets, shirts and dresses, and print on pillows, t-shirts and bags.
Since I sew everything myself, it’s hard to find time to do everything. Once spring comes, Valhalla shirts and dresses will appear on Etsy and my web page.

NN: What can we look forward to for spring/summer 08 from Valhalla Brooklyn?

VB: Spring and summer: lots of dresses, printed t-shirts, women’s cotton shirts and lots of detail with piping. and as always: leather goods!

FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce


NN: It seems that missbruno is a sister-duo, please introduce yourselves?

MB: Indeed. It’s a family affair! My sister Marjory Bruno and I, Shirley, are co-designers and co-creators of missbruno.

NN: How long have you been designing and do you have any formal training?

MB: We both have some formal training from FIT but in a sense, we feel like we’ve been designing this line in our minds for years. My sister Marjory is a musician and I’m a filmmaker by trade so we’re designers in other ways. But ever since we were kids, Marjory has been designing for herself, friends & family. She used to make me these weird print culottes and wrap skirts for me. We still use our mother’s Singer Marjory used to sew on as a child.?

NN: Why did you decide to launch your line with scarves?

MB: The My So-Called scarf collection just developed organically. We wanted to do something really special. Something that was in step with our design philosophy: lush fabrics, patterns full of history, innovative, yet simple design.?

NN: I love the styling in the photo shoot on your site, what was the concept for the shoot?

MB: Oh yes! the portrait photographer, Seydou Keïta, was the inspiration for the campaign. His work is so layered, so amazing! It’s full of texture and patterns. And there’s a decadence and sense of humour in his work that always reminds us our own aesthetics and of old photographs our parents took back in Haiti. They were stylin’ back then! We wanted to mix this vintage feel with the new. A few songs by Marjory’s alter ego, A Fly in Buttermilk also served as inspiration.

NN: The colors, textiles and texture of the scarves seem to tell a story, can you elaborate on that?

MB: Yes, it’s in our DNA to be storytellers. There are many stories weaved in: It’s in the characters our wonderful models took on, it’s on the design, it’s in the fabrics we chose and then there are the new stories that people who wear our so-called scarves bring to it as well.

NN: Is there a goal or message that you hope to convey through Missbruno?

MB: For sure! Our designs are extensions of ourselves, in a sense. We design wholistically, meaning our scarves are both beautiful and functional. We’re also health nuts, planet conscious, and the generations before us inform our work so it’s natural for all this to come out in everything we create.

NN: It looks like you’ll be launching a line of dresses in the spring, what can we look forward to?

MB: Yes, our spring So-Called dress collection is in the works! Actually many of our wraparounds inspired this next collection. Expect lots of geometric, busy patterns and haute couture details but in classic, very women-friendly silhouettes. We like to make our designs extremely easy wear and timeless throughout every stage of your life, whether you’re 20 or 50, pregnant or a globetrotter. You can expect more plaid, batik, aso oke, raw silks. And we’ll have a few unisex tops as well. Our collection debut will be in March so look out for that.

NN: What do you envision for Missbruno say a year from now?

MB:We’re developing a business structure that reflects are way of life so we’ve form a design collective to share our talent and resources with other like-minded artists. We also want to nurture the next generation to think outside the box so we’ll be spearheading a children’s program as well. We’re bringing back piecework as opposed to the exploitative clothing manufacturing industry and we’re using more sustainable fabrics. We’ll also be doing more styling for film and stage and I’ll be directing a series of costume dramas.

FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce


1. How long have you been designing and do you have any formal training? P.O.P. has been in the works for a few years now and it has finally come together. We are a posse of four and have various levels of experience and training!

2. Were your designs inspired in any way by the famous Queen Latifah song “Princess of the Posse”? More like the culture behind Queen Latifah.. She represents an era where women in hip hop were coming up and gaining respect based on their creativity, style and individuality…If you want to get an idea of the beginnings of street wear culture just look at this period. The Princess of the Posse is the trend setting girl whose style comes from within. She stands out from the rest, turns heads, and is always on the forefront of Fashion,Music and Art.

3. Whats your view on the recent popularity of women’s street wear brands?We think it’s great so many women are working hard and making moves!! Props to all the ladies doin’ their thang thang!

4. What is unique about your brand that sets you apart from all of your competitors?
Each brand has their own distinctive styles and experiences which they express through their designs. We are giving you our own unique viewpoint from extreme NYC street fashionistas!

5. Where do you for see Princess of the Posse in say about a year from now?In a year we will be a widely recognized street wear brand. Our clothing will be in every city across the globe!

6. What can we expect for summer 08′ from Princess of the Posse?Fly T-shirts ladies!! You’ll have to wait and see!!

FEATURE: Fresh n Fierce


1.What is Mociun? Mociun is my last name. Its pronounced ‘motion’.

2.What was your occupation before you launching Mociun? I was a woven designer at a textiles mill for 3 months after I graduated from college, but I got fired. So I started my own line.

3.Where and how are the clothes manufactured? I used to do it all myself now I use a couple of small factories in New York City.

4.Do you feel that because you are an independent designer your audience is limited? No not really. I think its just takes time to grow and to reach a wider range of people. Not that its ever going to reach as many people as say the Gap. It will always remain a little special because of its price but I think independent designers can stay independent and grow to whatever size they want if they know what they are doing.

5.How do you determine what fabrics to use each collection/season? Well I try and use mainly eco fabrics so that narrows it down right away. Also since I print all my own fabric I’m looking at mainly solids so I often go by the hand and drape of the fabric.

6.What are some things that influence your design style?
Where I grew up (Nevada City, CA), the art and design that I see around me (esp. these artists: kiki smith, henry darger, amy cutler). bauhous textiles, native american textiles, art and jewelry. And being around other people that are creating things.

7.What can Mociun lovers look forward to for the next collection and the future? I’m adding a mens line and a jewelry line- those are launching with fall 08. I’m also starting to do digitally printed fabrics, which means more expensive pieces but some crazy looking fabric for those whole are textile lovers.