What materials do you you use and most like to work with and where do you get them? I love to work with cotton jersey because is so wearable and comfortable. There's also a lot that can be done with sweatshirt fleece that few designers have done before. I'm planning to expand my line with more hooded and uniquely draped sweatshirts. Since I'm still small I buy from retail stores including Mood and Stretch World in NYC, and Fishmans and Vogue in Chicago. As my company grows I will start buy in larger quantities from mills.
What does your workspace look like? I do most of my designing from home, sample-making in my studio workshop, and all my business work from my office.
Where does your source material come from ( do you do reseach at the library to get ideas etc.) The majority of my designs are inspired by creative looks young people are wearing. I spend a lot of time in the Chicago fashion/art/music scene and love to see what the hipster art kids are wearing. I also check out www.lookbook.nu often to see what hot in streetwear around the world.
What kind of images inspire you, do you keep a sketchbook? I don't keep a continuous sketchbook. I do most of my sketching as I'm designing the collection. Many of my images come from blogs and I store all the files digitally.
Can you photograph one of your early works. Above is my favorite collection from my senior year at SAIC. It was inspired by victims of and art addressing domestic violence. The collection was very successful and I now sell a ready-to-wear sweatshirt (the Speak Out Hoodie) that is inspired by the same theme. (As seen below)
What techniques and processes are your favorite? I love draping and knotting jersey. The best way to design is right one the form rather than through flat patterns.
What is special and inspiring about living where you do ? I grew up in North Dakota but I've always been a city girl. I moved to Chicago in 2003 and love it here. Chicago has so many interesting people and places to go. Plus I really believe there is a lot of untapped opportunity in Chicago for young business owners.
Who are your favorite designers? Honestly I don't study many other designers. If I had to choose I'd say Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood for different reasons.
Do you go to museums? What is your favorite art related place to go (a place you feel inspired after you leave)? Is it a gallery, store, section in a museum? After attending SAIC I was pretty bored with the Art Institute but now I'm re-inspired by the new Modern Wing. My Spring 2010 is inspired by self-definitions and Joseph Kosuth's work in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute.