What sparked the idea for your fashion line, VIOLETTE?
It came out of a necessity for wanting to make things, but also I realized that my style was different from most girls... On a majority scale, girls don't necessarily dress like this and there weren't many lines that spoke to me personally or to the kind of girls that I know in the street-wear world. I worked at Stussy while I was in art school and everything was amazing for the boys. Boys had the best sneakers, they had the best t-shirts, they had the best jackets, and in my head I'm like why can't they just make them for me in my size? I still today go to Supreme. Supreme doesn't make a t-shirt small enough to fit me, and I'm not the girl that cuts up her t-shirt to wear it cutesy. I like to wear a t-shirt that fits like a t-shirt. So I wanted a line that would fit my style.
Specifically how would you describe your style?
Fashion-forward tomboy. Although I like sneakers and I like hoodies and t-shirts, I also like well-made things, the world of high-fashion is dear to me because I like things that are well-made and that's not to say that all things high-fashion are well made. I like things that are fashionable ad I like well-made tangible products and goods. You know, I have a really great handbag collection and shoe collection whether it be sneakers or heels. It spaNS those two worlds and it's kind of a balance.
It also looks like you have a love for vintage. Not too many people can pull those looks off.
It comes from being a poor kid. Being the youngest of three I was always getting hand-me-downs and everything i got was way out of date. At the age of 11, my brother and sister were good at this because they were poor teenagers, and they would go to Salvation Army and whatever the trend was they would get whatever they could and make it cool, so I learned from them. Coming up in the 90's, it was like a baby doll look of combat boots meets a school girls skirt and a beat-up sweater. It was sort of easy to work around those trends. It wasn't until i moved to New York City that I realized Salvation Army and thrift stores were called "vintage" and I was thinking, 'Wow that's such a like a clever term to make it go from so not cool to chic.' I also love things that have a story. In this age of communication, nothing is special about what a pop star wears anymore because everyone's wearing it. So much information is passed that all those items are easy to find. The beauty of vintage is that digging becomes a hobby. You find some store in the middle of nowhere and they have crazy pieces, maybe something special from the Korean war and all these stories pop up in your head. Like, 'I wonder who wore this. I wonder what their life was like.' It starts to create this beautiful story between you and this person.
Totally agree. What's a fashion trend you absolutely hate?
Copy-catting. I know that's really vague, but I'm just really bored with seeing the same old thing. I'm not saying that you shouldn't wear what you like to wear, but I think a lot of people want to imitate the people that they love. It's much cooler to put your own spin on fashion and do what you think is cool. So many times I walk down the street and I see the same outfit and it's due to one person on a grand scale who has been wearing it. So I think copycatting is a trend that's been around and it's something that I really don't wanna see.
With that said, what are some things every girl should throw out her closet?
Take out cheap shoes! Just because something is designer does not means it's quality. When you pick up a pair of shoes, you know whether or not they're going to last. I just hate to see a pair of wobbly heels; it's awful. It doesn't mean that you have to spend a ton of money on shoes; there are a lot of mid-range prices of quality shoes. You can find a good pair of shoes. And this is just a personal thing, but I don't like baby tees. I think a baby t-shirt, baby sized anything, it needs to be gone. [Laughs] If "baby" is the prefix for what it is, throw it out. It's funny because my shirts— I stopped selling small and medium in the women sizes because I thought that they were too tight. In my opinion, I would never wear a shirt that's small and I understand that girls do, but if it were up to me, I would say throw it out.