I recently sat down with clothing designer and Detroit native, Kristina Taylor, to discuss the launch of her new fashion line, ettiket.
Having experience with some of the worlds top designers, I was eager to see a few pieces from her collection. From what we discussed, it’s apparent her line will rival with some of the best; as it’s sleek designs, tailored fits, and vibrant color-ways exude brilliance.
Kris Taylor shared her thoughts on the journey and destination of ettiket, what motivates her, branding strategies and a multitude of other interesting insights.
Check out the interview below! For More Pictures and Video Look Book, read more.
What is the name of your line & how did you come up with it?
Have you ever taken an etiquette class? It reminds me of theclasses that my grandmother demanded my twin sister and I take when we were little. I envision tea parties, little sandwiches, and a young lady sitting erect learning the difference between a salad and dinner fork. Etiquette is a conventional, unwritten code of practice.
My label’s moniker takes on this pronunciation, but certainly not the meaning. The ettiket brand represents a play on the original word. Ironically, ettiket is the polar opposite of its root; non-conformity with a unique twist. My initials are K.E.T. (for Kristina Elaine Taylor), so it seemed fitting to incorporate those into the spelling of the brand name; as the line closely mirrors my own style and really reflects my personality and quirkiness. My best friend, Ashley, hair stylist, twin sister, and I came up with the name one day while we were getting our hair styled. I’ve been married to the name ever since. While it’s great to be demure, your wardrobe doesn’t have to reflect that! I believe that your clothes should be your best friends…have fun with them!
As you have experience in working under other designers, when did you decide to start your own company?
As a designer, there’s nothing like having creative freedom to create! In 2009, I parted ways with Ralph Lauren and started working for a Fashion PR firm in New York City where I have the opportunity to work with fashion lines such as Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Givenchy. I’ve always dreamt of starting my own line, but it wasn’t until February during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2010 that I really felt truly inspired to design; my heart’s one desire. I remember attending the Marc Jacobs show at the Armory with what seemed like an army of 100 models (clad in sequins, fur boleros, and clear plastic trench coats) starring at the audience, one by one stepping off of a platform, then gracefully walking the runway to a mix of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. It was probably the most moving experience that I’ve ever felt in my 7 years of working in the fashion industry. I knew, at that very moment, that I wanted to create such an experience for another aspiring designer or artist.
How do you sell your ideas?
Where would you like to be in your career in five years?
It would be amazing to get as much press as possible for ettiket, a la an interview with the ever so chic IROCKFASHION.COM! I’d also like to see my line in boutiques and specialty shops nationwide such as Tender in Birmingham, MI, Intermix, and if I’m lucky, at Barney’s New York! Whatever the case, for me, it’s the journey, not the destination. I’m enjoying the ride!
What was the last book you read, and what does it say about you?
The last book I read fully (I tend to succumb to adult ADD) was “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside” by Kelly Cutrone. Besides saying that I’m officially obsessed with Kelly, it speaks to my personal journey. I believe that nothing is going to be given to you (I’m a Taylor, not a Hilton); that being said, you have to work hard for what you want, keep your eye on the prize, and stay tenacious…all while donning a smile. GET YOURS!
What sets your brand apart from any other fashion brand?
Rather than spinning my wheels to devise a look or feel that sets me apart from other designers, I want to make clothes that women love and make them feel amazing! An ettiket top paired with Isabel Marant cropped pants could make for the perfect outfit. Wear what makes you happy and feel confident! That’s the beauty of fashion!
What style does your brand implement?
After designing this collection, “bubble, pop, electric” came to mind. I like to design clothes that are comfortable, yet still have a sense of energy and excitement; hence the bright colors used here. Whether I’m designing sweat pants or a gown, I want to make women feel beautiful! That’s my goal!
What can your brand do for social empowerment?
What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
I’m a Virgo, so in theory, I’m supposed to be organized, right? This proves how incredulous astrology can be. I haven’t kept a planner since the 90s and when I did, it was more of a sketch book than anything else (adorned with scratch and sniff stickers, music lyrics, and “I LOVE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK”). I do however love the reminders I set myself using Microsoft Outlook. Based on my answer, if this were a S.W.O.T. analysis, I’d say my organizational skills are a weakness, but you would never be able to tell because I get my job done…and efficiently I must say!!! Side note: Post It should create a little pad that hangs from a necklace (patent!).
Tell me five ways to use a pencil besides writing?
1. To keep my bun in tact that I often don.
2. To scratch my back from that itchy sweater I made…thinking “I should’ve opted for the cashmere instead of cash-like!”
3. To make a beat for my freestyle sessions…I’m a rapper in my former life.
4. Break it and use the pieces for an edgy piece of jewelry.
5. I’ve had to break the eraser off and use it as an earring back!
Where can people find more information about your brand?
For updates on ettiket, please follow us on Twitter @ettiket. We have some exciting news coming up soon!
Designer: Kristina E. Taylor
Models: Jasmine White, Diamond Taylor, Skylar Thomas
Hair Stylist: Athena Danielle
Makeup Artist: Tiffany Marie
Photographer: Brandy Mitchell
Check out this video look-book preview for the collection!
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