COALESCE: Brand Highlights Part Trois

In the past few years Portland has grown as a source for plus sized babes looking for independently designed fashion that actually rocks. Copper Union is especially great because that is the focus of their line. Claire Doody is the talented lady behind the label. Last year we showed together at both Alley 33 and Portland Fashion Week, and I was immediately drawn to her; she has that look in her eyes that says "I'm so much fun, you have no idea!" Until you chat with her and then you start to get an idea.  Her designs are fun and incorporate attitude, and Claire herself is full of curves with a largely wonderful personality.

 

How did you get in to what you’re doing and how long have you been at it?                                                                                                                                                 Claire: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been creating and making things by hand. When I was in middle school I took a fiber arts class and realized I loved textiles and creating my own fashion. I had a jewelry line for over seven years, and launched Copper Union in 2014.

When did you open up shop?                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Claire: Copper Union officially launched in April, 2014 at the Fashion Forward runway show put on by Portland Sewing. I was in their accelerated design program where I developed my line.

What do you love most about living, designing, creating in Portland?                                                                                                                                                        Claire: I feel like I’m constantly surrounded by amazing makers, and a very supportive creative community. I love the colors of the seasons here, and the accessibility to nature. The city is so supportive of small businesses and indie designers. 

Where else can we find your stuff?                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Claire: Copper Union is sold [at] Amelia, Union Rose and on our website, www.copperunion.com. We’re going to be in a few more boutiques later this year, so keep an eye out!

What are your other interests/ passions?                                                                                                                                                                                                          Claire: All things tattoos, nail art, and unicorns. Basically anything with glitter or fringe. Floating in rivers, yard whiskey connoisseur, adorable animals (and adorable men!).

What’s an exciting fact about you that people may not know?                                                                                                                                                                               Claire: I have three secret talents: 

  • Parallel Parking
  • Chopping perfect kindling
  • I can do the splits.

What do you listen to while working and/or creating?                                                                                                                                                                                     Claire: Elle King, Sia, and Gossip (always and forever). What’s next after Coalesce? Launching Spring/Summer 2016 and conquering the world one sequin shrug at a time!

What's next after Coalesce?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Claire: Launching Spring/Summer 2016 and conquering the world one sequin shrug at a time!

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Andrea Moore is the designer and owner of MOORE Custom Goods. You may have strolled by her cozy studio in NW over the last year where she can be found sewing away pieces for her RTW line along side, well, custom garments. She specializes in street wear, but has no trouble executing a flowy silk gown. Known for her tees that don wordage such as "Fuck Moore", androgynous mixed print button ups and the ever existing detail. Her work is recognizable with a strong aesthetic.

How did you get in to what you're doing and how long have you been at it?                                                                                                                                           Andrea: I have been sewing since I was a child... Cutting up sheets and blankets to make dresses in middle school and sewing custom outfits for friends through high school. I got a degree in fashion design, building collections and producing fashion shows in all the wonderful cities I lived in after college. Whether it was Vegas, Brooklyn, Los Angeles or my favorite, Portland, I have been so inspired and motivated, knowing I was getting closer to achieving my end goal. It was always my dream to open a retail shop with the production process visible to the consumer, breaking down the barriers of behind the scenes, making it all feel accessible and approachable.

When did you open up shop?                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Andrea: October 2014! The year has flown by with so much support for what I am doing. Couldn't be more thankful every day!

What do you love most about living, designing, creating in Portland?                                                                                                                                                      Andrea: The city is made of creators, makers, doers! Not only are people talking about all the great things they build, but they are actively putting themselves out there, taking risks. Being acknowledged and supported by the very people that we admire and strive to be like is what fuels the creative process over and over. 

Where else can we find your stuff?                                                                                                                                                                                                                Andrea: I have a website www.wearmoore.com, an instagram (@wearMOOREcustomgoods), and my little shop (1720 NW Lovejoy St #115)

What are your other interests/ passions?                                                                                                                                                                                                     Andrea: Like most lovers of the PNW, I cant get enough of the outdoorsy adventures! I am also a vegan foodie, world traveler, runner, laugher and doer.

What's an exciting fact about you that people may not know?                                                                                                                                                                     Andrea: Ohhh lets see... I trained in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu for 8 years of my adult life... That being the inspiration for a chunk of my tattoos. 

What do you listen to while working and/or creating?                                                                                                                                                                                    Andrea: I can go from hip-hop to TedTalks to the best of Willie Nelson in the span of a day. I really enjoy the quiet of an early morning or late night at the shop though, no music or tv, just the hum of my machines and thoughts in my brain.

What's on the roster post Coalesce?                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Andrea: I will be focusing on expanding the square footage of my shop and adding to my current team of 1 (me!) Very exciting times!! 

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I met Nicole Hirai-Stinnett at the first ever Full Moon Gathering in January and was drawn to her handcrafted jewelry while we set up our goods at the pop-up shop there. I could tell that she's been at her craft for a while as her pieces were so well executed. Each design was well thought out and also forged herself, as opposed to just assembled from pre-fabricated found parts. The blend of natural elements with modern design is very on trend currently, but her designs stand out; with their fusion of hard and soft components uniquely represented.

How did you get in to what you're doing and how long have you been at it?  
Nicole: I got into metal work as a hobby, my dad was a goldsmith out of our basement when I was a kid and he has sort of retired from that work so all the equipment was available.  I hated seeing it go unused.  I've probably been making jewelry for about five years.

When did you open up shop?                                                                                                                                                                                                                     December 2013

What do you love most about living, designing, creating in Portland?
Nicole: I love all the supportive art communities, the people, all the fabulous inspiring aspects of the state and the occasional oddities that keep things a little different and fun.  I think fashion and style can sometimes feel out of reach, and here in Portland there is a good balance, down to earth and intentional practices, plus a lot of people care about what they buy, who they buy it from, the locality of the craft, and how it impacts the big picture and community.  
Where else can we find your stuff?  
Nicole: You can find my jewelry at Manor Finewares in NW Portland, Scoutmob.com, and crowandstone.com

What are your other interests/ passions?  
Nicole: I'm always interested in doing larger scale works, I recently did some sculptural welding with the artist Casey Fitzpatrick for an art installation at What The Festival this summer.  I'm passionate about art, new experiences, traveling, spontaneous adventures, good people and family.  

What's an exciting fact about you that people may not know?  
Nicole: I did a short stint at a titanium steel plant making airplane turbines. 

What do you listen to while working and/or creating? 
Nicole: Anything, This American Life, Buena Vista Social Club gets me moving, Sylvan Esso is playing right now, Native American books on tape, Nina Simone, list goes on, anything that takes me somewhere without me having to move is just fine.  

What's next after Coalesce?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nicole: After Coalesce I will be getting new lines photographed, look-books, etc. and applications to Magic in Las Vegas 2016. Most likely some pop-ups TBA and probably some brand new lines of home wares with my Dad.

 

 

 

 

 


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