Having to keep this secret to close to a year, has been nothing short of a FEAT. Shortly after launching Vixen I had UV reach out to meet about collaborating. I was really surprised and excited by their offer, I had just started Vixen and knew I had a long road before I would get to make any complex designs, due to lack of funds. I thought this is a chance to design something I couldn't quite do with Vixen and create something special. I wanted to make sure that I got to know the UV team and see where this was going to go, they were one of my VERY FIRST wholesale accounts, and I had nothing but support from them. We spent the usual time going back and forth, locking in contracts and details. We were both accommodating to one another and the process was very easy!
I had already started designing everything the moment they asked me. I designed it all in a night. I started with really rough sketches at first like I always do, I took sharpie and drew on Vixen postcards at first making notes for myself before I did anything official. I tend to get hit by creative lighting and I have to get it all down quickly. I drew all of the designs in animation pencils, a favorite method of mine to use. I prepared myself for our big meeting to go over everything. Excited and nervous to see what they think of it all.
I had already been to the UV headquarters several times to drop off their wholesale orders, and met several employees. This visit was special though, I walked into this pristine large building in Burbank, beautifully decorated and detail oriented. I was greeted by Kelly, whom is a wonderful and amazing gal that I work with on the Vixen wholesale account. She walked me through the entire building giving me a full tour. She eventually took me to meet with Katie the owner and her team. Katie was warm, inviting, humble and incredibly gracious. Her team were just as happy and welcoming. I got to learn about the history of UV from their owner Katie, meet her lovely mother and father who work there and help her with the business. Her whole family is from Burbank, and her dad loves vintage cars and works on them, which is how Katie got interested in vintage. She started the business selling vintage clothes and working out of her home. Obviously her grass roots were something we could both relate too, as I was shipping and doing all Vixen things from my VERY small 1 bedroom apartment. We chatted for a long time about business, life and so much more.
I was a little nervous as this was my first time presenting them with everything.
The "Alice" dress in "Budding Beauties" print, this was a mixing of two worlds for me. One obviously, Alice in Wonderland, the second 1940's novelty prints. These vintage prints often featured women faces. I always wanted a rose print with something a little more going on. We made some minor changes in the piece as we sampled, and I love how the final piece came out.
The "Carmelita" and "Lilli" dresses were great staple pieces, that incorporated into the line using some of my most favorite design elements. The color pallets in the collection continue to repeat, you will see the same green in the "Budding Beauties" print. The little caplet idea we scrapped but it is really cute with the "Lilli" dress.
One of my favorite designs for this entire collection is the "Pink Palace" romper/playsuit. Katie asked me specifically to design one, and I thought to myself at the time... I have to try and make something different and wearable so. We used a stretchy soft ponte for the entire piece and I knew it would have sleeves and pockets, two of my most favorite things. I did mention that I felt this would be the instant hit... and it sold out in all sizes the first day it launched! I believe it is being restocked and is arriving in September!
Now to get back to the process, we had several fittings and planning meetings leading up to the release. I worked heavily with Stan whom happens to be an extremely charming and talented gentleman whom has been with UV for quite some time. He ran with our ideas and helmed the photoshoot. Everything I did with the team was incredibly collaborative. Katie was always there every single day, she made herself available for any and all needs which you wouldn't expect all owners to do but she was heavily involved in all aspects of her business, it was really refreshing.
We finally got the samples to shoot and production was in full swing. I am so glad I was able to work with one of my favorite hair stylist and humans, Melissa Firestone
and the beautiful Rachel Sedory
. Here are all the photos from that shoot in all their glory!
We all kept the secret after the shoot, and are so happy the line is out now! Several pieces sold out on the first day of launch, which was so exciting, and to honest I was not expecting that to happen. The fit and feedback from bloggers has ben amazing and seeing the quality in person is so fantastic. I feel pretty great having my name on a brand such as Unique Vintage, who has really shown me so much on how a business is run. Katie and her team were nothing short of fantastic, and I still can't get over how much of a positive experience all this was. Looking forward to other opportunities like this in other markets and other brands so I can continue to share my art and designs with women across the world... maybe Vixen shoes one day, who knows. SHOP THE LINE