Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Feature in The Bay Magazine! (the unedited edition)
Make sure you check out the April edition of The Bay Magazine to see a profile piece about FidgetFinds and the debut of my new collection of original apparel labeled under my name, Nicole Lebreux. It's just so very exciting to see your picture in the paper! Here is the unedited version of the interview that I wrote for the paper:
-Tells us about your vintage clothing online store and blog.
Fidget Finds started in the fall of 2007 and has taken on many forms including a brick and mortar in Newport and is currently an online shop on etsy.com. My work is a collection of interesting, unique, and wearable vintage items that embody having fun, enjoying every moment, and bright sunny days. The blog is an outlet for me to share current inspirations, photography, and a way keep my customers up to date with Fidget happenings.
- When and how did you become interested in vintage clothing?
My love of vintage walks hand in hand with my taste for thrift shopping and finding lost treasures. I started scouring the racks at the local church thrift when I was in elementary school to add to my collection of “dress-up clothing” for various plays and dance recitals in my living room. My interest became more developed in high school with my distaste for mass produced clothing and in looking like everyone else. Vintage, thrift, and my own hand made creations enabled me to express myself and embrace being unique.
- What inspired you to start your own clothing business?
I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur or design clothing. “Fidget” was actually the name of a tee shirt collection that I designed in sixth grade. My mom used to make my sister and I outfits for special occasions, making the sewing machine available for me to take full advantage of. I also took lots of sewing and art classes in high school and attended F.I.T. to gain a degree in fashion design. After working the industry in NYC for a while I decided that I had too many qualms with traditional clothing manufacturing and I also needed to be closer to nature. I moved back to RI and it was a natural progression from there.
- We heard you are finally starting your own line! Can you tell us what is in store?
I am so excited about the collection of original apparel I am working on under an eponymous label! It is a collection of about 20 different styles ranging from high waisted maxi skirts, knit rompers, and boxy crop tops. I make all of my pieces out of brightly colored and printed recycled fabrics, mostly vintage but also including mill surplus. I will be selling my garments on etsy.com as well as in local markets and trunk shows over the summer. My designs are certainly vintage inspired but more in the sense that they’re classic and timeless.
- Who is your favorite designer?
I actually don’t have one, although I fully respect the collection of ideas that other contemporary designers show and am frequently inspired by them. I have always favored looks and conceptions over labels and trends. If you want to go back and speak to the creators of modern women’s wear then the list is long and includes Claire McCardell for her contributions toward comfort, function and fit, Elsa Schiaparelli for her smart Surrealist aesthetic, and Madeleine Vionnet for shaping clothing to a woman’s body.
- What would you tell someone who has never shopped at a vintage store?
First of all, don’t be scared! I always suggest to vintage newcomers just to pick one or two pieces of clothing or jewelry that catch their eye and to work those pieces into their existing wardrobe. Inevitably this leads to loads of compliments on the item and the want for more unique articles with a story in their closet. Collections can grow pretty quickly from there!
- What is considered a “good find” when shopping for vintage clothes?
Something that speaks to you, something that makes you gasp when you first see or touch it, something that makes you happy and proud to wear. Add a good price and a great fit and you’ve got yourself your new favorite wearable item.
Photograph by Amy Amerantes