Happy New Year everyone!
2016 is here and it’s time to spruce things up! Every month I will be posting a feature on some of the awesome creatives that live, work and play in the Houston area. I’m honored that my first feature is Designer Steve Guthrie who will present at Kaleidoscope Houston at the end of January. Steve and I chatted in his studio (where the magic happens) and talked about his influences, his vision as a designer and presenting his first collection at Kaleidoscope Houston.
I love clothes, love seeing them in magazines and runways but what I’ve always been curious about is the creative vision behind each piece. Sitting in Steve’s studio was exactly where I wanted the interview to take place because it’s the starting point where all his beautiful designs are made from. Chatting among Steve’s collection he shared his background with me and I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that he’s originally from New Orleans. Steve’s mother was a costume designer in New Orleans, so you can imagine the amazing designs he had seen growing up and credits his mother as his biggest inspiration. He also described NOLA as a place where local artists are revered: “Everybody has some value and as long as you’ve put effort into your art, people can see that”. Steve is set on bringing that love and appreciation for local artists in NOLA to Houston by using renewable materials and producing locally: “I do believe that we should be able to produce here and people to buy our goods here because there is quality. Everything isn’t for everybody but there is a piece for everybody.”
Another fun fact about Steve is that he received his formal training in design from Houston Community College and now teaches design at the college. He feels that being in the midst of building his brand and seeing all the moving parts that are needed to run a business, gives him a deeper perspective he likes sharing with his students: “I tell my students, don’t worry about learning everything, learn what you need to know, the core. When you get out in the real world you will have a book or something you can refer to to help you with the small details that are not critical but you need to know.” Every step of the way has been a learning experience for Steve from production, cost per seam, online marketing to what his packaging will look like. All of these elements are things young designers don’t realize are part of the bigger picture. Steve is very happy to be in a position where he can share his experiences with his students.
What I love delving into with designers is what’s your creative vision for your collection? Who are you designing for? Steve was very candid about his vision and intent behind his collection. He describes his own aesthetic as very simple and classic. Being an admirer of the classic lines of the 50s and 60s, he wanted to incorporate that influence into his girl: “I want the girl that works downtown. Then after work goes out with her friends and is able to stay in the same slacks she wore to work but changes it up with red lipstick, throws on a jacket and that’s it.” Steve wants to design and provide his clients with quality transitional pieces for the long term. Don’t be fooled, just because they are classic and simple pieces doesn’t make them boring, according to Guthrie: “To have a simple outfit, it really is more about you, the clothes are just part of you and that’s really what I want.”
Guthrie will be showcasing these looks and more at Kaleidoscope Houston on January 28th. Kaleidoscope Houston is a three day event where creatives will be presenting their art form from fashion, art, film, dance and music. Guthrie’s collection will be part of the “Jet Set” themed night and will be sure to be a night of glamour and chicness. The designer is happy to be part of the Houston art scene and acknowledges the eclectic style the city has to offer: “Houstonians understand fashion. People here always had this odd funky style, very unique. For a southerner back in the 80s you have all these people dressed in black then have a guy in a cowboy hat, jeans and ropers. Houston is very good at that crossing of the roads of different cultures. I’m just happy to do that.” He also gives a shout out to some pretty big names in the fashion scene here in Houston, Chloe and Sydney Dao: “I really respect them as business women. Chloe and Sydney Dao have done something really amazing for Houston that is very unique and cool with no pretense.” Steve also tells a really cute story about his dog modeling for a calendar Chloe had one year. He said that if nothing else pans out, he can at least say his dog was a model for Chloe Dao lol.
Steve Guthrie’s positive, open book attitude is something that is easy to gravitate towards and I had such a wonderful time interviewing him. I’ve become a big fan of his creative genius and his beautiful collection. I can not wait to see what other amazing things Steve has in store for us this year. If you are in the Houston area and want to see Steve’s collection walk the run way at Kaleidoscope, hop on over to their website and get your tickets before they sell out! Make sure you visit Steve’s website www.SteveGuthrie.com and check out the pieces that are available for purchase. Not only will you love the designs, you will love the price point, trust me!
A BIG THANK YOU to Steve Guthrie for being my first featured creative and for sharing your journey with us!
Keeping it Confident – Patty