If you are familiar with Project Runway, you must know who Erin Robertson is. The season 15 winner wowed the judges with her bright and bubbly final collection. After the show was over, Erin took her skills back to Boston, where her fashion career began. Today Erin is involved with several projects. She is working on a collaboration with Spoonflower for whom she designed a "protest print". The proceeds from sale will go 100% to charity. Erin curated a boutique with Rue La La and showed her recent collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She was also the keynote speaker at the HARP (Harvard University) event.
Erin recently moved into her new studio and is exited to have a fresh new space for design. She is passionate about sustainable textiles and hopes to continue to grow this aspect of her work, creating some fun and playful designs that will be sold on her website. We caught up with the designer for an exclusive peek into all things fashion.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I started being interested in fashion when I was in high school back in Provo, Utah. There wasn't much to see in Utah, fashion wise, so I started making what didn't exist. Thank god for fashiontrance back in the early 2000's for letting me see that fashion magic!
Describe your creative process.
I'm heavily inspired by material. I love re-working a material in a different way than it's supposed to be used. I like to have some sort of story and tell it in a humorous manner.
You're Project Runway Season 15 winner. Describe your experience. What did you learn?
It was such a wild experience. It's a little hard to describe and actually understand what it was like. I've never been away from my phone, friends and anything familiar for 6 weeks. Designing and creating under the circumstances at PR are so different than anyway I've experienced. Making something in a day, only getting 30 minutes to shop at mood and making it in a day with no research. You really have to work from your gut brain and not your brain brain. I think that's the biggest take away is learning to listen to the gut.
What kind of woman does your clothing speak to?
I think they connect with the human that wants to stand out. I use a lot of color and texture so it's not for someone who wants to fit in.
You were the keynote speaker at the HARP event (at Harvard University) recently. Tell us about your experience.
Yeah! It was awesome. It's really nice to be able to share my story, success and failures, with students. I remember what it was like being in their spot so it's nice to give back what some talks have done for me.
You are inspired by innovation and sustainable textiles, will we see more of that in your next collection?
Oh, yah. I'm focusing more on projects rather that collections. And one of the projects I'm doing is collaborating with a student at MIT Media Lab who 3D prints fur. We're making a piece that is a comment on the fur industry. I'm really excited about this project. The other project is with my friend Jordan Piantedosi who is a painter/illustrator, and were designing textiles and getting them printed through Spoonflower. Which is the amazing company I've used for a while now from North Carolina who prints custom textiles. One part is a fundraiser protest print and the other is going to be a collection. Which will be exciting cause it's my first big body of work since Project Runway.
How do you feel about wearable technology?
I feel great about it. It's not perfect now, but there's got to be a lot of awkward moments until it's done right.
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Who is your muse?
Any human that wants to change the world for the better.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Don't get bummed on failures. It's easy to not want to create or take risks because of being afraid to fail, but it's through those terrible moments that you come out a better person. And you figure out what you don't like.
Where can we buy your next collection?
Setting up my e-commerce right now! Website will be up in a few weeks.
Made in Peru.
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