A great design doesn’t matter if the clothes weren’t made to last. By definition, they must withstand wear and tear, so I’m incredibly finicky about materials, construction, and intended use.
What inspired you to start your business?
I’m a designer first, before almost anything I could define myself as: before a person, a woman, an American…I’ve been designing clothes since I was a teen, and I really loved the idea of putting my ability in math and my ability in art to make something beautiful and useful.
What is the brand’s philosophy?
My philosophy is rather complex, but I’ll break it into a handful of key concepts. First, clothing must serve a purpose, and the broader or more agile the purpose, the more worthwhile the design. Second, a great design doesn’t matter if the clothes weren’t made to last. By definition, they must withstand wear and tear, so I’m incredibly finicky about materials, construction, and intended use. Third, clothing is a human trapping, so it is essential that it serve the human wearing it. It’s ultimately alienating to dress the landscape in one-size-fits-all styles or radically change what’s on the shelf because of a coming trend.
I have many clients who come to me because they can’t find what they are looking for after shopping, and the stores they used to frequent don’t carry what they used to. All together, this means slow fashion. Not reactionary or old fashion, just bespoke couture and attentive service. It means that I actually make what I create, and that I’m more interested in clothing a person than moving units. My clients understand that the best things come to those who wait. Slow fashion has distinct advantages, though. I can respond quickly to trends because I don’t carry more than a handful of any one item. It’s more work, but it’s less risk.
More about my brand philosophy may be found here: http://www.ericawaddellclothing.com/#!design-philosophy/c1enr
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement to date has been bucking the trend of growing a business doing “slow fashion” my way for the past five years. Despite a slow economy, the ubiquity of “fast fashion”, and brand dominance of major labels, I’ve been able to maintain a diverse clientele around the world that appreciates quality.
Where can our readers find you online?
My website is www.EricaWaddellClothing.com. Fans can follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr, or favorite my Etsy shop at Etsy.com/shop/EricaWaddellClothing. Be sure to follow @Erica_Waddell on Twitter or sign up for the monthly newsletter from EricaWaddellClothing.com to be the first to know about exclusive deals!