Whether Seattleites have grown out of grunge or incorporated it into the modern trends, the Pacific Northwest certainly has its own sense of style. From the outdoor gear to the professional, innovative look, the Evergreen state has more of a range in fashion than it has mountain ranges! In our progressive, ever-looking-forward culture, here are 10 fashion designers who are making waves.
A military spouse living in Tacoma, WA, Adams founded her brand, Poppyseed, when she was seven months pregnant. Inspired by a dress she had made at her sister’s request – a dress to be worn before, during, and after pregnancy – Adams refined the piece and launched her first collection on Kickstarter.
With help from believers everywhere, including some Seattle fashion bloggers, her final design set will premiere this fall. With all but one piece handmade in Tacoma, Poppyseed clothing is devoted to versatility, to being wearable at any point in life: “Because clothing should fit, regardless.” Follow the Watch Her Hustle series for stories about incredible female entrepreneurs.
Gustavo Apiti Couture boasts top-of-the-line outfits with impeccable tailoring, quality material, excellent garment constructions, and experience to boot. Apiti, a Congolese-American, credits his African heritage with the bold colors and patterns of his designs. He was heavily influenced by the variety of cultures surrounding him as well as by his mother, a talented seamstress.
Natanov is the Creative Director of Valentina & Valentia. Hailing from the collective efforts of four generations of women, this brand is truly a family affair. Each generation has a background in engineering as well as in the arts: painting, piano and ballet. Valentina, the great-grandmother, had a successful career, including a position as CEO in the leather industry. The grandmother, Heli, had similar success in economics. Milena, the mother, is a software engineer, which leaves us with the fourth: the little Valentia. Known for their quality silk, cashmere, and wool imported from Europe, Valentina & Valentia aims to empower femininity because women who feel comfortable in their clothes can spend more time accomplishing.
Jennifer Charkow brings us Stone Crow Designs. Eco-friendly focused, Charkow works with recycled, repurposed, organic, and sustainable materials. Majestic and edgy, her pieces are a testament to successfully incorporating eco-responsibility into fashion forward spaces.
Khéops was originally founded in the Republic of Moldova in 2012. After moving to the US, fashion designer Cocieru continues to find success with her line, blending femme fatale with the bohemian woman. Known for the mono-color materials and rigid, geometric designs, the pieces often reveal uncommon parts of the body to illustrate finding beauty in unexpected places. Luxurious and elegant, the collection shows how women of any age can be attractive without being over-exposed.
Paloma Hurtado views fashion as a means of expression. What does she want to communicate? Having moved to Seattle from Mexico City, she wants to convey multiculturalism as a contemporary world perspective. Her pieces use “ancient techniques and raw organic materials from Mexico combined with the northwest lifestyle.” Her desire to break down borders is displayed in her creation of Norteshop, an online boutique featuring Mexican designers. Focusing on the identity and history of each craft, Norteshop promotes slow fashion.
Devon Yan of Devonation was first intrigued by clothing as a child. His father was a Chinese opera singer and Yan followed his group on tour, fascinated with all their costumes. Coming to the U.S. from Hong Kong, Yan likes to blend cultures in his pieces. Bold and edgy with a bit of flair, his designs are meant to convey what he feels as opposed to what he sees. For him, Devonation is a place to build on his fashion and art, a place with which his audience will hopefully be able to relate.
Meagan Kruz brings us Jersey Virago, her brand of swimwear, lingerie, dresses, and accessories. Inspired by her EDM fantasies, the designs are sexy and futuristic. She started by selling swimsuits from her car and has since made it to several fashion shows in the Pacific Northwest. Newly married with two children, Kruz focuses on quality versus quantity. She describes her line as bad-ass, glamorous, and bold.
Maria Rossana “Chany” Venturini’s designs are elegant and feminine. She loves to work in fashion to honor the memories of her mother and grandmother, both of whom were passionate for the trade. Attempting to lessen the industry’s tendency toward wastefulness, Venturini thoroughly enjoys recycling cloth. She believes that fashion is less about what you wear and more about how you wear it. Still, with the classy, subtle, tastefully unique pieces she brings to the table, people may just change how they wear clothes in order to wear something of hers.
Sharp, yet soft, the designs of LOURDES é EVA blend the Mexican roots of designer Nora Suarez with her experiences of growing up in America. Taking inspiration from her travels, other cultures, and art, the simplicity of her pieces is stunning. Often playing with asymmetry, Suarez explores the femininity of a tomboy. The line offers an understated elegance that will cause the audience to do a double take.
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