Wilder, an active gym rat, launched her line with funky and functional workout wear and quickly transitioned to bold-hued body-con dresses, sprinkled with sheer insets, to boot. Now in her sophomore season, Wilder has adorned her figure-flattering designs with out-of-this-world galaxy prints and pastel colors that will help thaw the winter freeze. With Wilder's second coming looking to be her best yet, this is one cult you’ll be happy you joined.
How did you begin designing your line?
"I started designing professionally about eight years ago when I was hired out of school to be an embellishment designer at Laundry by Shelli Segal. But I started making my own clothes at 14 because I was a plus-sized teen with few options! Cult of California is a culmination of all my experience designing for straight-size brands and my own passion and desire to have amazing clothes that fit my body!"
What made you start with activewear?
"I started with activewear and lounge wear because of my own wardrobe needs. Whenever I would work out, I felt frumpy and I hated it. I have actually cried before because of how bad my workout clothes were and how ugly I felt in them."
"I worked in the shop at Equinox when I was in school and I noticed that the sizes ended at large. I could barely squeeze into a large at size 18/20, so I immediately saw a hole in the market. I tried to make Cult a haven for us fashionistas that actually do like to sweat and get a good workout in every once in a while!"
Who would be your ideal client?
"I would LOVE to dress Beth Ditto; I think my head would explode! She is edgy and VERY ACTIVE on stage! I think my styling offers her a chance to have edge and style and be comfortable and sexy at the same time."
What type of woman embodies Cult of California?
"A typical Cult girl is someone who has fun with fashion, is confident with her body and curves, and has an active lifestyle that requires fashion and functionality in her clothing. Cult girls are a little edgier than your typical plus customer; young, vibrant, creative types who are into art, fashion, and spirituality."
Where do you find your design inspiration?
"I find a lot of my visual inspiration for shoots and concepts through Tumblr, bloggers, and art. I am an avid music fan and I live with an art historian so there is a lot of art crossing over into my fashion. Betsey Johnson is a genius when it comes to mixing prints and the whole '80s vibe I grew up with. Alexander McQueen is my favorite of all time with his concepts and shows that are living works of art."
What celebrities would you love to see wearing Cult of California?
"Like I said before, Beth Ditto is ideal. I would love to dress Amber Riley, as I think I could make her a little edgier and sexier. I honestly would like to see a new group of fat celebrities who are a little less safe on the red carpet. Fat fashion has been far too safe for far too long, and there is still a thing with fat celebs that dress very safe and 'acceptable,' and I would love to see them stepping outside of that box and really able to express themselves in the myriad ways that straight-size celebs have."
Photo: Courtesy of Cult of California
- 1 of 2