You might be wondering why I traveled to Seattle for 24 hours a couple of weeks ago. A collaborative effort with the talented Gina Marie, we stood in front of a panel of 13 fashion industry people and painted a picture that what a little (but not quite) something along the lines of...
"Allow me to give you some context for the reason I stand before you...I met Gina Moorhead via a serendipitous series of events that all began with 1,000 condoms in my face (a dress fashioned out of 1,000 condoms at a Planned Parenthood event in Minneapolis), which led to an Ethnotek trunk show at Cliche and a coffee at Urban Bean with an invite to the Tribe and eventually blossomed into a business relationship over a burrito bowl after bikram yoga. On a hot day. Like 100 degrees, after 100 yogis in 100 degrees together. Sweaty. And delicious. And serendipitous.
What initially drew me to Gina was her innate passion for creating beautiful things with meaning. After all, what you wear says something about you. What connected us was our shared curiosities. We are travelers...magic seekers...explorers who travel with intention and a compass but understand the value in getting lost along the way. To settle into the space of unknown and just be...to trust...that we'll not only find our way, but see sights far more grand and have experiences far more meaningful. For all of these reasons...I think it's safe to say Gina and I would be characters in her Caldwell Collection, Fall 16/17."
Burrito bowl=brain food. I had this idea. The idea was ready-to-travel, sophisticated yet functional, modern clothing designs with textiles sourced sustainably from around the globe. Fast forward a few months and — Voilà! — Gina launched the Vietnam Collection. So cool. My insanely creative fashion design-studying little sis Mikaela Youngblood met Gina with me in what we shall deem, "the night of the condoms" as well...and began to build a relationship with Gina. That relationship has now turned into an apprenticeship this summer and a trip to Vietnam to learn all about sourcing, her cut and sew operation, and more. We are threads woven into the fabric of life, creating a beautiful pattern of connection. Right??
A couple of weeks ago Gina called me, "Hey, what are you doing in a few days? Want to help me pitch my line for the the Independent Designer Runway Show to kick-off Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection?" Um, yes. So to Seattle I went for a pseudo-weekend. Enter: Seattle, in 24 hours and enter: the Caldwell Collection.
It had been a while since I had pitched to a panel, but I channeled my agency days and did my best to make Gina proud. Gina was there, too. On my iPad in my clutch from India. I carried her in with me. Together with our beautiful model Nida and a few nerves, we shared the story of the Caldwell Collection. It was FUN.
Not only did Gina remind me how much I love to story tell about beautiful creations designed by the insanely talented people in my life, but she and the Caldwell Collection also reminded me of all of the things that make me uniquely me. Curiosity. Passion. Exploration. Thank you, Gina Marie, for stoking the creative fire within me and teaching me a lesson about the power of a vision and a team of passionate women. What a gift.
Take a LOOK BOOK:
And, finally...the poem that captivated me and has been swirling in my wanderlust mind since Seattle...
Moral of the story: never underestimate the impact of 1,000 condoms in your face...or the power of connection, a smile and a simple greeting. It could take you to Seattle via a serendipitous series of events.
Much love and gratitude,