Fashion designer Erin Fetherston's spacious Tribeca apartment is one part romance and two parts whimsy. Throughout the sunny space the San Francisco native has incorporated influences from her worldly adventures – a tall brass birdcage, sparkling decorative geodes, an ornate French side table. Erin studied fashion design at Parsons Paris and began her career in haute couture, eventually moving to New York in 2007 and transitioning to ready-to-wear and her contemporary offering ERIN. With its lipstick prints and pops of neon the line has quickly become a Matchbook favorite. Join us for a leisurely afternoon chez Erin, full of sunflowers, pups, and polka dots.
What first sparked your interest in fashion?
As a child, I was enchanted by drama and fairy tales. I inherently understood the role of style and fashion in expressing one's creative universe. The desire to "set the scene" has stayed with me throughout my design career. I draw inspiration from a place of fantasy but ultimately believe in translating that into clothes for the real world.
Did you have a mentor who impacted or influenced your career?
I had the good fortune of meeting photographer Ellen Von Unwerth very early in my career. She was extremely supportive and always gave me great guidance, both creative and personal. I admire Ellen because she injects joy into her work. That is something I continually strive to do in my designs.
What were some of the major inspirations for your line?
My style inspiration has been informed by my background and all the various places I've lived, from my Northern California upbringing to my years of living in Paris and New York.
How would you describe your spring collection?
For Spring 2013, I was inspired by a photograph of Brigitte Bardot, clad in canary yellow ostrich feathers, perched in a wicker chair in the garden of her Saint-Tropez home. I loved seeing her as a little French songbird – fresh and sultry, with an air of unfussed glamour. I wanted to capture that spirit in my collection this season.
Do you have a go-to outfit?
I love the little black dress. It’s a classic that can be dressed up or down with the right choice of accessories and shoes. Each season we have a multitude of LBD options in the Erin Fetherston collection!
How would you describe your personal style?
Feminine, romantic, and modern.
What one piece in your closet could you never live without?
The ERIN pleated chiffon baby doll dress. It’s such a versatile piece, plus it is a signature ERIN style! It’s a dress I wear year-round and it can be easily dressed up or down. During the summer, I pair it with great flats or a wedge sandal and in the winter with a cropped pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
You've lived all over the world from San Francisco to Paris. How have the different cities influenced your style?
Paris was a constant inspiration to me. It was the perfect setting to imagine my romantic, ethereal creations. Now that I am in New York, I find inspiration in all the amazing, innovative women living here! It helps ground my designs in the here and now.
We love your apartment! How is your personal style reflected in your home?
I’m a vintage lover at heart. I gravitate toward pieces that are unique and feminine. I also collect unique crystals and stones, which I love to have in my house.
As far as decorating goes, what is your all-time favorite find?
My wooden woolly life-size sheep.
What's next for ERIN?
The ERIN line is continuing to grow each season and it's exciting to see the line develop by expanding into new apparel categories like outerwear, knits, and separates.
Last but not least, any advice for Matchbook readers dreaming of breaking into the fashion industry?
Be true to yourself. Cultivate a personal style that reflects your personality, interests, and talents.