The Retrospective

The Retrospective random header image
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  • dear bianca, your duds are amazing. love, the retrospective.

    April 21st, 2009 by


    dearcreatures09_001

    For her Fall 2008 line, Bianca Benitez sought inspiration from Scandinavian folk art, mid century textile designer Alexander Girard, and the artwork of Mary Blair (best known for designing “It’s a Small World” for Walt Disney). In Spring 2009, she found inspiration in the iconic stylings of Sharon Tate and Priscilla Presley. With each line, Bianca finds a way to blend unique sources of inspiration with signature style, giving her LA-based label, Dear Creatures, a look that is getting noticed. Fall 2009 (hitting stores August 2009) promises to be no exception for Dear Creatures – Bianca tells me it is a collection inspired by photographs of 1960s girl scout troops.

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    Bianca Benitez

    Dear Creatures is  frequenting the pages of the big glossies these days, can be found in over 70 boutiques around the world, and will be featured in a commercial campaign for Cotton worn by the lovely Zooey Deschanel.  Dear Creatures Owner/Founder/Designer/Do-Almost-Everythinger, Bianca Benitez,  took some time out of her busy schedule to share with us how exactly one goes into the start-your-own clothing label-business, and what that’s like.

    TR: What’s your background in: design, textiles, obscene amounts of clothes shopping? How did that turn into you having your own clothing line?
    BB: Actually not a very traditional fashion design background at all.  I graduated with a major in Visual Merchandising, which is like commercial interior design/displays/set design, that sort of stuff from a Fashion school but did not take any fashion design classes.  Half way through college I realized that visual merchandising was something I wasn’t very interested in doing at all.  Part of me has always regretted not changing my major to fashion design but tuition was so expensive and at the time I was so ready to just leave school and start working.   I moved to San Francisco for a couple of years then to LA and had the opportunity to work for a small clothing company.  There I really got to sink my teeth into fashion design and learned how to run a small company from the business side and the creative side, which is why I feel so fortunate to have had that learning experience where I got to wear so many different hats and learn how each aspect of the company works.  It was actually my old boss’ idea for me to start my own line.  I was so intimidated when he brought it up but he really supported and helped me in the beginning phases and we still have a really good friendship.  My boyfriend Rob, who also has a very non traditional fashion background as well, he’s a Fine Arts major but founded and designed the men’s label Brown Sound, has worked in the fashion industry for years and has also been helping me since the start of Dear Creatures only a year and a half ago.  I think part of what makes Dear Creatures work, I realize now is that we are both coming at the fashion industry from a different angle.  We both don’t have that traditional fashion design background, it’s something we both just fell into and somehow made it work.

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    TR: What is the most challenging thing about having not only your own business, but a clothing business?
    BB: Having to compete with major fast paced fashion corporations like H&M and Forever 21 pumping out clothes at super low prices.  It makes it hard for small companies in the fashion industry to be able to make apparel domestically and sell it at the same price as those companies.  Also having to worry about bigger corporations copying designs and selling it in their stores before you or for half the price.

    TR: Where do you look for inspiration in your designs?
    BB: Gosh, it could really be anything.  The first season it was Scandinavian Folk Art and Alexander Girard and Mary Blair stuff.  The second season I was inspired my mid-century Americana icons Sharon Tate and Priscilla Presley.  And then the last season I was inspired by old photographs of Girl Scout troops from the 60’s.   We’ve also had some advertisements that had a French new wave film feel to it.

    zooey

    TR: Who are your favorite designers?
    BB:
    Alexander Girard, Mary Blair, Vintage Marimekko, and Eley Kishimoto

    TR: What are your favorite labels?
    BB: A.P.C.

    TR: If you could style one person (dead) in dearcreatures, who would it be, and what would you dress them up in?
    BB: Audrey Hepburn in last season’s navy ‘Nine to Five’ dress

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    Dear Creatures’ Nine to Five’ Dress

    TR: If you could style one person (living) and preferably known to the rest of us, who/what would it be?
    BB:
    Zooey Deschanel

    TR: How would you describe dear creatures in five words or less?
    BB:
    Visual Optimism At It’s Finest.

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    TR: Do you have any adivce for the aspiring clothing designer? Things you would have done differently?
    BB:
    Study business just as much or more than design or work at another clothing company for at least a year before you start your own clothing line. When you actually own your own business, there is so much more involved than the creative side.  There’s probably a lot of stuff I would have done differently my first season and probably some stuff I would have done differently now, I’m constantly learning and challenging myself.

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    TR: What can we expect to see in dearcreatures’ next line?b
    BB:
    You can expect to see a bigger collection for Dear Creatures.  We’re also beginning to conceptualize a men’s line as well as a small exclusive capsule collection for a major retailer, to be announced, coming soon too.

    See more Dear Creatures at  www.dearcreatures.com

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    2 responses so far ↓

    • 1 karina Apr 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      absolutely gorgeous pieces!!

    • 2 una mae’s Dec 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm

      bianca is the cutest! we just hosted a trunk show for them a couple of weeks ago and are innnn love with their winter and spring 2010 collections!

      if you are ever in los angeles, stop by the shop!