I have met some amazingly talented people in my life that has inspired me in so many ways. I was introduced to the designs of Adriana Pavon while modeling in Fashion In Detroit 2010. We recently had an opportunity to catch up to talk about her newest collections (set to debut this fall) and to get insight into her journey as an independent designer and business woman:
Define your personal style and how it has been reflected in your designs.
My style is comfortable and active, My designs had been a reflection of the high-end clientele, for the made to measure market. My lifestyle is hectic so dressing up seemed like a lot of fun, but now my designs reflect me even more – where I want to feel good and look good. My new collections are more of a reflection of my everyday needs, I’m releasing two collections back to back: one geared towards the active lifestyle, we as women endure everyday, and the second is a contemporary collection to fit our professional lives. We have to look polished and yet we want to be comfortable.
Where do you find your greatest source of inspiration when conceptualizing a new collection?
I often look at the end client, like I mentioned before I was designing custom pieces so my process was to meet with the client and understand who they were and what type of event they were going to attend.
“The Muse” for the new collections include the growing problems that affect us all as humans. Such as global warming, lack of kindness towards others, the well being of our future selves, and a compilation of the women in my life that I admire. Today’s women are friends, wives, daughters, sisters, business women and mothers that are doing it all without skipping a beat and having fun with it. I’m lucky to know many wonderful, powerful and well centered women in my life. So, I wanted to design something we can wear without having to compromise style, quality, comfort or personal values in order to look good.
What new trends and designs can our readers look forward to seeing from the Adriana Pavon Collection in the upcoming season?
The new brands are focusing not only on what is sustainable today but sustainable for the future, we are taking Eco-Friendly to the next level. The ” Highroad Society” brand hopes to be an example of a new way of manufacturing and how business is done. For the green manufacturing process, we want to reduce our carbon foot print by sourcing American and Michigan-local whenever possible. As to how our workers are treated, we’ll have free bikes for them to commute, free healthy meals and free workout programs for those who wish to participate. The first “Highroad Society” line will be exclusively made for our supporters of the Kickstarter campaign launching this September. We hope the second collection can be sewn in a solar power plant here in Detroit in the summer of 2014.
- Using soft organic cotton, we will dramatically reduce pollution and wasted water. Paper tags will be made with recycled paper manufactured here in Michigan and printed with Eco-friendly inks;
- All materials will be sourced and handcrafted in the USA;
- Each piece will have a GIN ( garment identification Number) to show how the garment was born. It will have a tag that describes where the materials came from, who designed it, and who’d sewn it. A warranty that never expires comes with every piece of clothing we sell; and,
- Eco-dye will be used, made of natural materials instead of chemicals.
“We believe in clothing that makes you look and feel good…while doing good. More than just a clothing line, the Highroad Society is a movement.”
What has been the most inspiring and challenging moment you’ve faced as an independent designer?
About a year ago, a client bailed out on me with payment of six figures and filed a lawsuit in order to protect herself from me filing one first. I had to let go of my employees, and pro-bono work I was doing for a local non-profit suffered the consequences. It was not only financially devastating for me, but also emotionally hard. To make matters worst this was happening while launching the Detroit Fashion Collective. I had peers implement my curriculum in the local universities, while others took my contacts with Congress after I extended and invited them to a talk I was going to give in Capitol Hill and started a very similar initiative as DFC with their friends. A young local designer along with other people in the industry, who had no idea what had happened nor whom I knew personally, created a social campaign both to help the local non-profit and mostly to showcase the mistake I had made. Basically, I was publicly humiliated for the enjoyment of others and the encouragement of gossip in the community.
That experience was hard but it had been the most inspiring as well. I had to give myself a kick in the rear for the mistakes I made and a pat on the back (I must be doing something good if many people are implementing my ideas). I just learned to implement the non-competitive/confidentiality agreements more strictly, revisited my contracts, and built a stronger skilled team. This helped me become a better business person and have a deeper appreciation for the good people I have in my life – from friends to colleagues. Searching deep into what truly makes me happy and refocusing all my energy on that was the birth of the two new collections, they encompass many aspects of me.
To learn more about the Detroit Fashion Collective, please click here.
Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to an aspiring designer who may be overwhelmed or fearful of his or her success in this industry?
Never allow others to set your standards, set achievable goals, be kind to others, don’t waste time with negative or lazy people. Don’t wait for something to happen to be happy. Everyone brings a lesson in your life; personal growth, professional experience or gratitude for what you have. And, most importantly work hard.
Enjoy your journey to success it won’t happen overnight and the lessons & experiences along the way are what makes great memories.
ADRIANA PAVON, Fashion Designer