Why Active Lifestyle?
If you have read my other blogs, you know that my "Mother Tongue" of design is special occasion. I'm talking prom dresses, red carpet esq, heels, wild hair and makeup, MTV style of pieces. So why active lifestyle?
I grew up working with my mother who was a well respected special occasion seamstress. Since I was about 9 years old, I would sit in her sewing shop and glue my own designs of bead patterns onto one piece of scrape satin and pretend I was just like her. But, that's what I did for fun.
The rest of the time, I was an athlete. I was a swimmer, like hardcore swimmer. Starting when I was about 6 and swam year round for years. Training in the pool, exercising in the gym, focusing on diet for energy and traveling for meets constantly.
My favorite part about swimming was a new suit. There are just no words to describe it. For me, when you were dressed the best to compete, you competed the best. Needless to say, my swimming suit collection was pretty extensive. I wore my suits so much that over time they became faded and dragy. I was fascinated with this and began researching to find that chlorine breaks down the fibers over time causing it to lose color and retention. Without realizing it, my love for textile science had bloomed.
Placing 1st and setting a few records in all of my events at the Iowa Games, led to the idea of me training for Olympic Trials at the age of 13. My freshman year of highschool consisted of 2 hour practice daily and then another hour on top of that to condition my body for trials. It was at that time that I was torn with having a social life or being completely dedicated to swimming. Eventually, from all the pressure and uncertainty if that is what I wanted, I took a hard left from sports.
Suddenly I had a lot of free time. Like a lot! (It was awesome!) But after a short time, I realized I needed something to fill in that extra time. I started helping my mom a lot more in her special occasion business.
Throughout high school, I was sewing and designing. I eventually made it a goal that I had to wear something that I designed every day. Eventually, I decided to apply to college as a Fashion Major.
Most of my college career consisted of me designing special occasion. Something always felt slightly off, but I didn't know what it was. It wasn't until my senior year that I worked on a project to create a small collection of ballerina dancewear. I watched hours of video and studied the discipline. I hadn't paid much attention to Ballet at this point and fell in love with it's grace and athleticism. The characteristics of design were so unorthodox from what I knew. It was fascinating. That is when I discovered my natural love for sportswear.
After college, I headed west to design in the sportswear industry. I was surrounded by people who were athletic and had an aesthetic drive just like me. This evolved even more once I landed my first job in Hollywood. I discovered sophisticated sportswear that was the perfect blend between special ocassion and sportswear.
Sportswear was something that was right in front of me my whole life and it took ingenious moments for me to realize the merge of two passions: fashion and movement.
Author: Erica Becker, Creative Director.