With the weeks leading up to Runway this is your inside preview to the big show on the April 27th. Every Friday til the day of the show we will feature a senior designer that will be showing their collections in Runway this spring. Each week the designers will share their creative insight to how they interpret this seasons “Year of the City” theme.
Q: What path lead you to do what you’re doing now?
Danielle Nieder: I learned to sew while I was younger, then came back to it when I was in high school. It’s my passion. I love it and it’s something I want career-wise.
Q: What other projects are you working on outside of Runway?
DN: I did work with my friend that goes to Daemon for graphic design, for a project they had where they had to turn a shape into something real. Which we took a square with a line connected to it and made like a wire cage dress out of it and we did a photo shoot and I guess it got put into a gallery or something. And I also work at Tony Walker as a seamstress and I get a lot of side projects from that. For cotton Inc I’m doing a collections with my partner Heather Sloma. We’re doing a sportswear line. Our theme was kind of based around. It’s called ‘Beyond Earth’ so its galaxies and stars, stuff like that. We had to fabrics printed, now we’re just working on putting that together for the show also.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DN: I go towards a lot of architecture. Looking at different shapes and textures and stuff from that. But really it comes from anywhere. Sometimes it can be a shape or just food and it will spark an idea. My biggest inspiration design wise from thins collections would probably be a lot of older Victorian.. Sort of like a regal classic look.
Q: What would be your dream design job?
DN: What I want to do is work directly with consumers to make custom garments. So i want to work with them and help their visions and their ideas and actually construct them.
Q: Is there a specific niche within the garment making field that you prefer doing?
DN: I haven’t tried menswear yet and that’s something I need to tackle. I usually stick more with women’s, but specifically no I like being challenged and doing things in a lot of areas.
Q: What changes would you like to see in the design community within the next 5-10 years?
DN: Well at the consumer level it would be great if people could appreciate the fine handwork and detail more. It used to be that people appreciated the fine craftsmanship and now its all just fast-fashion, Forever 21, just slap it together and throw it away. It doesn’t matter if clothes last. People don’t have that appreciation anymore and I’d really like that to come back.
Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
DN: Hmm. I have to think on that one for a minute. Well I think everyone has their own very specific style and like once you figure that out you’re sort of identified by that. Like everyone knows Betsey Johnson, you see her stuff out there and you know its her. Or like Ralph Lauren, stuff like that. I think that with everyone having their own specific thing that identifies you. I like mixing sort a vintage kind of look with modern styles that have an edge. Like my collection now everything is fitted at the waist and there is a lot of flowing draped details but there is also studs, chains, and harder fabric. I bring those two together.
Q: Design related or not, can you name 3 things that have been the most beneficial to your growth as a designer?
DN: Definitely the pattern making classes. I would have no idea what to do without those. Being a seamstress, that’s made a huge difference in understanding what proper fit is for certain garments. And um, just understanding making a balance between making your work be your art and it being sell-able. Like having a market for you work.
Q: How do you prepare for Runway?
DN: Cut down on sleep! I definitely try to do as much as possible in my spare time and constantly thinking about it. And uhm it took me quite a while to build up what I actually wanted to do for my inspiration. That probably took me half a semester last year. So I was just constantly on Pinterest and looking at stores for ideas for a particular style of clothing. Oh, I forgot the question.. I was going a little too far. But yeah I just try to really get a grasp on what I want to do and just have that keeping my motivated to keep work.
Q: What is your favorite part of being included in Runway?
DN: Watching everyone else have theirs come together while yours does. We all kind of bounce ideas off of each other and you know like “What do you think of this?” and “What fabric should I use for this?”. That’s been kind of cool and it’s really awesome to have people go through it with you and all at the same points you know
Follow Danielle Nieder on Facebook and Instagram @niederdn