Us woman tend to always be on the run. Whether we’re at work or attending a networking event, we’re constantly looking for something comfortable to wear. Well, Erin Draper has created just that!
As a designer, Erin has created her own niche. She took her love for fashion and movement in design and turned it into something quite amazing. Her designs can take you straight from your 9-5 and into Happy Hour or even out on a date. She definitely has the working woman’s life in mind when she designing new pieces.
At what age did you begin designing?
Erin: Starting as a young child I spent hours every day drawing and, when I was still very young, this evolved into drawing my own clothing ideas and designs. Once I discovered that designing clothes is an actual career, I never looked back. When I was in middle school I did an internship with a Maryland-based fashion designer and decided to apply to a design magnet school in Miami where I could actually “major” in fashion design.
What has inspired your designs?
Erin: I studied fashion design at Parsons. When I was thinking about the collection I would design for my senior thesis it occurred to me that, for many women, their favorite clothes are actually yoga and workout clothes because they’re so comfortable. But, women also want clothes that comfortable that they can wear to work or when they want to look cool and stylish. I decided to try to design beautiful, edgy clothing that is as comfortable as a T-shirt or yoga wear so women could have the best of both worlds – fashion and comfort. I had already developed a distinctive style that uses color blocking, unusual seams and draping to create a very fashion-forward look so I combined that sensibility with luxuriously soft fabrics. Most “athleisure” isn’t very stylish. My goal was to “Go Beyond Athleisure” which is one of the slogans on my website and create clothes that are as comfortable as yoga wear, but also elegant and edgy.
I read that you attended High School in Miami. Are you originally from Miami? If so, what made you want to move to Baltimore?
Erin: My family moved from Connecticut to Miami right before I began high school. I was lucky to get into Miami’s magnet design school, Design & Architecture Senior High, where I was in the fashion design track. After high school, I moved to New York City to attend Parsons and then to Maryland to work for fashion designer Lee Andersen in Laurel who taught me the ropes of creating a fashion business with all garments made locally. I missed living in a city, so I checked out both DC and Baltimore. Baltimore seemed like a great place to live as a twenty-something, with lots of fun neighborhoods and activities that made it easy to meet other people my age. So here I am!
What about Baltimore makes it the perfect place to grow your business?
Erin: Baltimore has a great art scene and it’s much less expensive than cities with large fashion scenes like Los Angeles and New York. For a start-up, cost is an important factor. I want to be able to supervise the manufacture of my garments and, being here, makes that possible. There are also a surprising number of experienced seamstresses living here so that’s a big plus. Many Baltimoreans my age are into yoga and different types of athletic activities. They’re also into getting out and trying new things. This encouraged me to take classes in aerial silk acrobatics and participate in team sports that I normally wouldn’t have tried. Being this active furthered my appreciation of the activewear that inspires many of my designs.
Is a store front boutique a plan for you in the future?
Erin: Not for the foreseeable future, but it’s something I might be interested in down the road. I’ve enjoyed selling directly to customers through my website and at art and craft shows, so I might enjoy having a storefront one day.
Like what you see? Erin’s designs are made in Baltimore, Md and she’d love to have you as a customer!
Be sure to visit her site and take a look at these designs and many more. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed 🤗
Looks styled by #sophisticatedchic
Model: Lashira Mone