Note from Grechen: this is the first in our series of features on Independent Designers coming every Wednesday here on Grechen’s Closet. This month, Smashing, Darling will be featuring some of their favorite designers; today, they’re introducing themselves. Enjoy! and Let us know what you think.
Trish Ginter and Julie Rorrer want you to be Smashing, Darling! They have been living, breathing, and eating independent fashion for the past year and half; in that short period of time 450 designers have opened their own boutiques to sell their fashions on www.smashingdarling.com. Inspired and empowered by the path already tread online by other industries: music (itunes), books (amazon), antiques (ebay), craft (etsy)…now it is time for fashion (smashing darling). Designers are not only in NYC anymore, they are all across the country. Smashing Darling is the virtual hub for indie/emerging designers no matter where a designer in the United States decides to call home.
After leaving the New York fashion industry in the early 90’s and settling in Chester CT, population 3500, Trish was a designer in need. She needed the internet to grow her business. She was in need of a larger audience, in need of connecting with other designers that decided to go it alone (without the permission of the branded fashion industry), in need of finding more consumers fed up with mainstream fashion. The consumers in her small town were tired of looking like everyone else, tired of their clothing not fitting, and felt good knowing they were actually in contact with the person that designed their clothing. There must be more people with the same needs and wants outside her town, right? Instead of creating her own website and just being one in a billion, inspiration struck – why not create a place where we could all be in one place, helping each other.
To some, indie fashion might not seem as glossy as the fashion industry, but make no mistake about it, the designers the Darlings have met since starting this project are serious and on the move. The internet has made that possible. That is where Smashing Darling comes in. Smashing Darling makes it really easy for shoppers, they can shop many designers all with one shopping cart in a clean shopping environment. The Darlings want to help consumers that really like to shop for indie fashion designer goods (just like Slow Food helps us find a heritage turkey instead of a corporate Butterball!), not only to find their favorite, but to find others that are cropping up around the country or even right in their own community. At the same time they are giving designers a platform (and marketing tools) to sell from, and get back to doing what they do best – design.
It is amazing to see an industry be reborn in this country, workrooms and resources for designers are starting to open back up again. Indie designers like to be involved with the entire design process from start to finish, many have companies that are too small to have their merchandise produced over seas. It will be exciting to see where they will all be in 5 years. Come shop and hang with the Darlings, and be a part of the indie fashion revolution.