I still remember designing my first collection while at university. Mood board after mood board ended up in the trash; nothing felt “legitimate” enough to be worthy of inspiring a collection. Everything that I put onto those boards represented what I thought should inspire me, but was inauthentic to who I am as a person and who I wanted to be as a designer. Running out of time and out of options, I finally decided to throw together something that would actually interest me: the rock & roll legends I most admired, lyrics from my favorite songs, screen shots of seminal music videos and street style looks sported by my personal style icons. In that moment, everything clicked.
It’s not that rock & roll inspired clothing isn’t available; I am definitely not reinventing the wheel with Pink Sheep Heiress. What I noticed, though, is that I could never find pieces that met all the criteria I was looking for. I wanted clothes that were edgy and fun, but also high quality and wearable in more than one everyday scenario. I wanted pieces that I would invest in because they were worth the investment, not because they were trendy or popular, but because they fit my body and made me feel good and look good. I keep all of my clothing American made because it’s more manageable for my small team and me to ensure that our high quality standards are met, while helping to bring more business to other small, independent fashion industry contractors based in the US. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to be a designer and started designing that I was able to create.
Whether you’re a designer, illustrator, forecaster, or even a buyer or account manager, you have to remain true to your own aesthetic and work under the influence of your personality as well as your mind. Chances are, if there is something you see missing in the current marketplace, other people are aware of that hole too and are waiting for someone to fill it with a new, enhanced product that isn’t currently available.
Author: Katie McKenna (Associate Member – FGI New York)
Katie McKenna is the co-founder, creative director and designer of Pink Sheep Heiress, an American-made, rock & roll inspired luxury lifestyle brand. She formed Pink Sheep Heiress as a celebration of the musician’s life and for others who embrace the rocker style. Known for its colorful, leather designs and graphic prints, Pink Sheep Heiress creates affordable luxury items and artisan-crafted ready-to-wear for the woman who is her own iconoclastic tastemaker. www.pinksheepheiress.com