Check out this interview by Charles Wayne Worthington with the owners of Chicago hot spot Vivid Braille.
How long have you been designing?
I have been creating in one form or another since I can remember. I grew up around my Mom’s craft business which ranged from interior design items to spinning clay to weaving baskets. It was pretty normal to me to spin clay or work with pottery as a kid, we had a kiln and such at our house. I guess I didnt realize how unique that was until I got a little older.
Did you have an interest in fashion growing up?
Id say I wasnt as interested specifically in fashion as I was creating. My love for fashion started in high school and has continued to grow ever since.
Did Michigan, or better yet, Detroit have anything to do with how you approach fashion?
Oh yes of course. I think I approach everything with this sort of “little man” syndrome. I feel Im the guy at the table that didnt get the invite. I guess it has a lot to do with my ambition and continuing to develop my voice and perspective. All of that of course started in Michigan.
Is environment or music any part of your design?
Yes there isnt anything better than coming across an amazing album at the time Im sitting down to work on a creative project. Environment I think plays a more subconscious role.
How did Vividbraille start as a brand?
It started in all place Flint Michigan (my hometown). I was a kid with a big dream and quite delusional haha. I wanted to create and do that the rest of my life so VB was started as a sort of umbrella to create under and I hoped I could someday make a living doing it.
Did you always want to do a retail store along with design?
Ive always wanted to create and design and make a decent living doing it. I think for VB to take it to the next level and really have that direct interaction with our customers a retail location made sense.
What current designers would you say inspire you, if any?
There are so many I admire but I must admit Im not one of those guys that sit for hours and study other designers. I like Raf Simons, Rick Owens, I love what Opening Ceremony does with their line along with Kenzo, I also like what Ive been seeing from Christopher Kane lately.
What is your feeling about the Midwest attitude on fashion?
Well I cant speak for the entire region of the Midwest but I think Chicago has been typically conservative when it comes to fashion, I do believe however that is changing and I think we will be a big part of that.
What do you think are common misconceptions about fashion outside of NYC?
Hmmm Im not sure I understand the question..I think every region not only in the US but the world is known for its own style..obviously NYC has been considered the front runner in the US outside of maybe LA..but I think that is changing and there are so many hot beds of “fashionable” people all over, the internet seems to be really changing that, at least thats how I perceive it.
How do you decide what lines you carry alongside your label?
Its really just based off of what we like and what we think are customers will like. I also probably put more value into liking the people behind the brands that we sell more than most..if there is a rep or brand that are being a bunch of a-holes Ill try to steer clear from buying from them.
When did you move to Chicago? How has that influenced your design, if at all?
I moved here a little over 4 years ago. Im not sure that Chicago has influenced my work at all but I can definitely say that since opening a store here and having a direct relationship with our customer base it has been such a tremendous energy boost to create more and to always create better.
What made you decide to start doing women’s clothing?
We actually have been doing women’s goods since day 1. I do think however we have at times paid more attention to the men side of the business due to my own wants (like what can I make that I can wear sorta thing haha) but our women’s selection continues to grow and even with some of our men goods there has always been a unisex element to what we do. Ive always said that the pinnacle of well designed product is one that is timeless, genderless and isn’t limited to a social demographic.