Prairie Underground, and Why They Are Cool....
Posted: Nov 07 2016
Interview with Davora, an owner and designer at Prairie Underground:
1) How would you describe Prairie Underground?
Values of hard work, conservation, utility, creative expression and collaboration are a part of our mission. Our collection has represented a blend of rural and urban experiences leaning toward an unconventional uniform.
2)How did you end up here, What was the evolution of your business?
Camilla and I became friends in high school in the 80's. As teenagers in the Midwest, we were struck by the New Romantic music movement in London and the East Village art scene in New York. Experimental fashion statements were like direct action in our small town, and we were seriously engaged in the semiotics of dress before we knew it had meaning or future relevance. This alternative culture flourished against the panoramic skyline and often we dressed in elegant costumes to go to a park or truck stop diner where we would dream of the cities in our creative future. This is the inspiration behind Prairie Underground. Our collection is created as an homage to iconoclastic women everywhere who remain independent in spirit.
3)Who is your customer?
We design the collection with a broad demographic in mind, both in terms of age and body type. Our customers seek clothing that can withstand multiple activities and shifting social spaces. We design child and pet friendly garments that are equally appropriate in a graphic design studio or camping in the woods. When we say uniforms for working women, that’s what we mean. She also seeks distinctive design, durable construction and natural fibers.
4)Can you summarize the design sourcing design process? How long does it take to create one season?
Our design process begins with a discussion about styles and textiles we feel are important along with thematic direction. We create sketches that we discuss and place in a line-up. Camilla makes patterns for fittings that lead to sampling at our manufacturers. The entire process from sketch to photoshoot takes 2 -3 months. Sourcing is ongoing and but our core textiles seldom change. Once you develop a vernacular in certain textiles it becomes a category you fulfill for buyers.
5)What impact do you hope to make with your company?
We’re proud of the impact we’ve made as an independently owned, small business. We have literally breathed life back into apparel manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest and continue to promote sustainable production practices, support for artists and philanthropy. We work to demonstrate the ethics consumers should expect from all businesses they support.
6)Do you have any daily personal rituals that you care to share?
We all take lunch together at noon. It’s an important part of our day.