Erin Fetherston Dishes On Target, Eye Cream, & Dreaming Big

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We have to admit that sometimes, here at Refinery29, we play favorites. In the case of fashion designer Erin Fetherston, we’ve been quietly rooting her on since the early days of her career, which began seven years ago. So when we heard the California native was making her first South Florida appearance at the Neiman Marcus in Village of Merrick Park, we gave our laptop a break, so we could catch up with the superstar creative behind the whimsical collection of feminine pieces that is Erin.
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We graciously elbowed our way through the crowd of enthusiasts to grab a solid 20 minutes with Fetherston, where we talked about the importance of passion, the lessons we can learn from vintage, and, of course, her latest collection. Read on and get an insider's perspective on style, and the industry. You’ll thank us later.
As a California girl, what are your thoughts on Miami?
“This is actually my first time visiting Miami in my entire life. I got here really late last night, and basically just came straight here this morning, so I haven’t really seen the city yet. But I’m going to spend the whole weekend here, and I’ve always wanted to come.”
The last time we spoke to you, you talked a lot about the importance of vintage, and how we have so much to learn from pieces of the past. Why?
“What’s interesting about fashion is that we’re living in the 21st century and there’s been so much technological advancement, but the art of making clothes is still essentially an 18th century technology. We’re living in a culture of instant gratification where you can really only speed up the process of making clothes ever-so-slightly because there really is never going to be a machine that can translate a drawing on a piece of paper into a garment overnight. It really takes a lot of work, and there have to be people behind every dress. That's why I love studying haute couture pieces and just seeing how things were constructed and put together. You can see it even if you look at things from twenty or thirty years ago. I mean, clothes are just not made like that anymore.”
What is your favorite piece from this collection?
“Such a difficult choice! But there’s a dress here that’s a black chiffon wrap dress, and it comes with a bow that’s embellished with large crystal rhinestones, and the sleeves have this sort of cape effect. It’s really dramatic, and I love that.”
You have done some awesome collaborations with brands like Juicy Couture and Target. What is the best part about doing that kind of thing?
“I always learn so much in that process because each of those companies just have a different behind-the-scenes approach to fashion, because of what they’re producing and how they do it. As my own company is beginning to grow, really being able to see what large-scale, successful, functioning companies look like, as well as learning what doesn’t feel right for me, is so important.”
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The holidays! What is on your wish list?
“I honestly never really put that much thought into what I want. This might be sort of surprising because I’m a fashion designer, but probably because I spend so much time making things, I don’t actually spend a lot of time consuming things. I’m very passionate about interior design, and I feel like I’m just forever furnishing my apartment. So, usually things on my wish list are for my apartment: I want a special rug, I want to get this custom headboard made, things like that...”
What are your plans while in Miami?
“I’m staying at the Soho Beach House, and I’m just going to relax. I heard there is some good vintage shopping in Miami, which I’m excited to check out.”
What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
“I feel like my skin gets really dehydrated when I’m on the airplane, so make sure to keep moisturizing cream and eye cream close to me. I really like the skin care line Immunocologie; they make an amazing moisturizer. My favorite eye cream is Arcona’s Eye Dew.”
What's the best advice you can offer aspiring young designers?
“Especially when you’re coming out of college, I would hope that people feel really passionate about what they want to do. When you’re young, you have the energy, and I think it’s really important to believe that you can do anything you want. Anything is possible and the best time to do it is when you’re just coming out of college. Don’t wait!”
Photographed by Sarah Bromley
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