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After a long year, we are finally ready for Indiana Fashion Week 2021 with an amazing lineup of emerging designers for Indiana Fashion Week. One of the 2021 Emerging Designers is Emily Gartner, a bespoke textile artist who does all she can to explore solutions for creating sustainable fashions.

After speaking and interviewing one of this year’s emerging designers, we learned more about what inspires Gartner and her designs. As well as how she would describe her style/fashion.

G: What inspires you, when making/coming up with your designs?

E: “Well, it can be a specific knowledge of the project at hand. Or like right now I know specifically the models I’m designing for. And they’re the ones that will bring my creations to life. So they feel beautiful, and what they’re wearing is important to me. And also them having a good fit. So really, it’s about the people that are going to wear it.”

“…I use every method within my toolbox to be sustainable.”

G: How would you describe your style or your Fashion in one word?

E: Intentional. If I have to limit it to one word, I’d say, intentional. I mean, the intent is to empower someone, it’s also the intent is to be sustainable. So I use every method within my toolbox to be sustainable. But it really comes back to intention.

Emily Gartner has really explored multiple options for making her designs sustainable. Gartner has been upcycling clothing since she was about 12 years old; starting with making her sisters old cut off jeans into handbags. She even is exploring different ways to use sustainable dyeing/printing/paint in her designs. Gartner shares her angle on creating sustainable fashions and one of her fashion icons, who she shares the love for sustainable fashion.

G: Are most of your designs upcycling items? Or is it just more of having that sustainability, when it comes to designing?

E: It depends on the collection, like some collections are 50/50. As far as an upcycle, and my own custom fabric, some are not as heavy on upcycling, it just depends on that particular collection.

G: Have you always wanted to do sustainable fashion? Or was it something that you got into as the years went?

E: I’ve always recycled, I mean, it’s something I’ve always done. It’s just now become really hip to do that. It’s just something I’ve always done. It’s not like it’s new to me. But it’s new to the fashion industry, accepting it as something viable and valid.

G: Who is your number one fashion icon?

E: Eileen Fisher, because of her sustainability. And she continues to look for different methods to present recycled materials. And I just love what she’s doing. And I keep watching her, and I love her renewed brand, which is really her sustainable brand.

Gartner also expresses her love for color fabrics and prints. Other than having her brand and designs be sustainable, Gartner also explores color and prints in her designs.

G: What is it that you love about color and prints?

E: I told Jenn (owner and designer at Tokyo Twiggy), I go, “I don’t know if I could sit at a sewing machine all day and sew solids.” It would feel boring to me, I have to have some type of pop of color print and pattern in there. And I mean, I just love designing my own custom fabrics. That ability is just so rewarding to like design it one day, and get it back in a week or two weeks.

“…typically, if somebody buys from me, they’re going to be the only one that has it.”

G: I think it makes your designs more personal and recognizable. You’re not following a design print from billions of other designers, you’re making your own.

E: Exactly. Yeah. And I think that’s what my customers like to they know that they’re not going to see themselves walking down the street per se. You know, unless they happen to be at a trunk show. And they both bought the same thing. But typically, if somebody buys from me, they’re going to be the only one that has it.

Gartner also shares how she often gets requests from customers/clients to design something for them. Gartner shares a story of a woman who reaches out for a one of a kind garment for an important event. Which is something Gartner very much delivered.

E: I had a woman who was watching my Instagram Stories from a fashion show I did with passion for fashion. So she saw something on my Instagram story and said she needed something for her son’s wedding. So she came in and tried it on a couple of the tops from the fashion show. And I did one in a totally different print pattern for her, but used one of the same patterns, but gave her a different fabric altogether.

G: Do you get a lot of requests like that from customers?

E: Yes, I really like doing it that way. Because when you do it that way, you’re not holding a lot of inventory. So it’s another way to be sustainable, and not make a bunch of stuff that may or may not sell.

The conversation with Emily was fun and exciting. It was great to hear her stance on sustainable fashion, and how she contributes to sustainability in her designs. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for us at this year’s fashion runway later this month.

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