FEATURED DESIGNER–DAMARI RUBIO
Meet Native Houstonian, Damari Rubio, whose designs have been influenced by her travels and the essences of a modern women mixed with old school fashion. She has collaborated with designers, Merus Merus and Steve Guthrie.
Tell me a little history & how you came to be in design. I use to be in the hospitality world representing an amazing hotel. In my travels, I would being back gifts to my sisters and as a result of vintage shopping, the love of gloves became part of me. I’ve always loved fashion. My amazing mother taught me how to sew at a young age. I also took some leisure classes at HCC fashion department.
What’s your approach when it comes to working with a new concept or client? New concepts are always exciting. It’s either going to challenge me or open a market that I didn’t know about. My clients are the reason I continue to do what I love. It’s all about their needs and their suggestions.
Biggest accomplishment to date: Being approached by major stores. Building those relationships will come in handy pretty soon.
Favorite moment of designing in 2016: Testing out my redesigned workout glove. It’s my favorite part because they look better, and most importantly, they are well-designed for its purpose.
Plans for 2017: Cleaning up my social media and finally my product being available in Houston boutiques.
What happened in 2016 that you’re particularly proud of?
We had a successful year after launching on Black Friday 2015. It was particularly successful because I broke my right leg (think standing, driving, AND sewing). I was out of commission for four months. As a small business, just starting it was a very scary event, but we popped right back into full play in June of 2016 and enjoyed some great support from the media, art and retail communities.
Describe your approach when working on a new piece?
I’m an educator so I’m pretty linear in my design effort. Plus as a fashion design graduate student, they drill into you a process for creating designs. I collect inspiration all the time. Whether it’s a silhouette that I keep thinking about that I love (men’s or women’s), a textile that I am drawn to at a certain point in time, or even genre-based influences such as movies, art or music.
When I get to the sketching table, I tend to have more than enough foundation to start creating, but I also study trend forecasts and reports. Even though I teach this at Houston Community College (HCC), I can’t express how important this is for any designers. Doing this allows me to streamline the collection or how the pieces might work together to be successful on a retail level. Design is nothing if you can’t sell it (at least if you are doing it for a living).
Favorite textiles/ materials to work with & why?
I love working with texture. So jacquards, chenille – wovens in general are my favorite to work with. For me, texture helps make the garment 3D without a person wearing it. Fashion is 3D art and I think it’s important to explore that. In school, I always loved draping, in particular ruching and pleating because it allowed the garment to take a shape of its own. The same applies to woven textiles at times.
Describe your client you design for?
I try to design silhouettes that are for any woman. Though not all clothes look good on all people, women should have the option of choosing items that are not just made for models. This past year we spanned the age range – meaning we had very young women shopping with us.
The woman I envision when I create is an independent, creative type who likes to travel, is philanthropic, and loves art and fashion. She lives in a metropolitan area such as New York, Dallas, Houston or San Francisco. It’s important to note that this line was specifically started to meet the needs of Houstonians. The textiles are purposely chosen because they look robust, but are actually thin and breathable. I want women in Houston to be able to wear items that look like they are in New York (cooler climate) but that don’t create the heat that we definitely don’t need here in Houston. So the jacquards you see from Fall 2016 are actually wearable for Fall and Spring here in Texas.
Talk about your work at HCC:
I’ve been in the HCC fashion department for about 5 years. It has been one of the most wonderful experiences for me. My students are from both the fashion design and fashion merchandising programs since I teach in both arenas. And to be honest, they keep me excited about fashion, culture and Houston. Each semester is new. Meaning, that the group, including their backgrounds, goals, personalities, and skill change. So each semester I get to learn as much from them and what they are seeing and experiencing in the fashion world or just even in their own lives, as they learn the basics from me. It’s inspiring and humbling.
Plans for 2017:
I have signed on with SpaceHTX and am looking forward to growing the brand and its reach this year. I’m also looking at continuing to refine the collection from the feedback we got in the previous season. As well, I am continuing to partner with local artists, designers and retailers to show that Houston is a formidable city for the arts in general.
For more information on Steve Guthrie, go to www.steveguthrie.com.
photos courtesy of Steve Guthrie
GET YOUR TRENDS ON FOR 2017
Finding your style for 2017’s Spring/Summer fashion is easy to do by embracing a new approach where a jump back to previous decades from the ’70s through the ’90s is possible to even a futuristic edge. Comfort, fluidity and pops of color with florals and stripes are evident along with lace, draping and acceptance of a wide variety of dresses.
Must-haves include pantsuits, Logos, Messages, high-rise pants, White shirts, AthLuxury wear, bare shoulders, florals, stripes, denim, gingham, leather. Accessories range from a Summer Bootie to ankle strap shoes, oversized earrings and the pendant necklace.
Parry Botanicals Announces the Release of Three New Products to Their Popular All-Natural Skin Care Line
The popular all-natural skincare company, Parry Botanicals, announced three new products to their line. They will now offer a Botanical Cleanser, a Vitamin C Serum and a 3-piece gift set.
The new additions will join the already successful Parry Botanicals’ trio of lotions – the Restorative Cream, Body Cream and Pure Botanical Lotion.
Parry Botanicals got its start over a decade ago when owner/founder, Elizabeth Parry, was diagnosed with a number of food and environmental allergies that forced her to reevaluate everything she was consuming and applying to her body.
Armed with her own personal experience, Parry decided to create her own line to help others with similar skin allergy issues or searching for truly all-natural products. Parry Botanicals prides itself on developing products are gentle enough for anyone, including babies’ sensitive skin. The line is fragrance-free, environmentally friendly and uses only natural ingredients.
“Our lotions have been met with such a positive response that we wanted to add more all-natural products to the line. One of the most frequent questions we get is, “Where’s the cleanser!” explained owner/founder Elizabeth Parry. “Formulating a cleanser tricky because you want people to feel fresh and clean, but don’t want to use harsh chemicals that strip your skin. Ultimately, I think we struck the perfect balance of effective yet all-natural. I also love the soothing effect it has on my skin.”
With the Vitamin C Serum, Parry wanted to provide an anti-aging product that went beyond regular use of the Restorative Cream. “What I love most about the serum is how high of a concentration we have all the while being extremely gentle and non-irritating. Also the antioxidants! I love knowing I’m stimulating new collagen with every application. I find my skin to be brighter and dark spots have faded. In fact, I am no longer using foundation at all thanks to the Vitamin C Serum.”
The gift set was a “no brainer” stated Parry.
“Since our different lotions are at various levels of viscosity, we noticed people were buying all three to create their own complete moisturizing tool kit. Putting all three together in a stylish bag not only saves our clients a bit of time and money, but it also makes a fantastic gift for friends and family. Plus, they are full-size lotions, not small samples you’ll run out of quickly,” added Parry.
Parry Botanicals products can be purchased at www.parrybotanicals.com and in select Texas and North Carolina retailers including Bering’s Hardware, Lemon Peel Facial and West University Wellness.