How did you first get into designing clothing?
I learned to knit when I was very young but I think my mom making all of my Halloween costumes growing up was a huge inspiration. I had a little fashion show in high school and continued making some clothing pieces during college. I didn't really make wearable garments until 2008 when I made some finale pieces for the VPL show.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I'm inspired by my friends and their work. We are all making different things in a lot of different mediums. We all influence each other.
"I have always been an advocate for being comfortable with your own body."
Does the knit aspect tend to inform the rest of the collection or vice versa?
Up until this coming ss15 season I'd say my collection was 90% knitted. The other aspects of the collection were added afterwards to help add balance to the work. I really only think about the knitting when I first begin a season, then I add those other printed elements.
Your collection is very playful, what helps you keep this playfulness?
I think making everything myself is the key to keeping the fun within the collection. Because I have to make everything I want the making to be fun. That means working with a lot of colors and textures to keep myself excited. I think you can see the fun I have making the work in the final product.
We loved the boobless rainbow top, is this an embrace of sexuality in the #freethenipple way?
I have always been an advocate for being comfortable with your own body. I think the #freetheKNITple movement comes from a similar place although I would say that both women AND men should be more comfortable. So I guess its less of a feminist statement and more of a universal sexuality statement.
Where do you want the brand to go?
I would like to be able to continue making art while also expanding the wearable section of the brand. I want to see DEGEN in more upper tier stores.