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Truancy at Its Very Best – Meet Ms. Samantha Pleet

October 25, 2008

In the process of growing up, there is always that period during which we dispel all the little familiarities we had previously become accustomed to. From Santa Claus to the Tooth Fairy, we learned (perhaps even through rather abrupt or awkward means) that each of these characters in our lives were imaginary, fictional. While the rest of us were being educated on the difference between fantasy and reality, Samantha Pleet was playing hookey, and it couldn’t have turned out any better.

Full interview below:

Buydefinition: Did you always know that you wanted to be a designer?
Samantha Pleet: as long as I can remember, I have I have been playing around with clothing and fabrics. I would create characters and costumes, which I still do today in a bit of a more wearable way, but the inspiration still comes from the same places. I have experimented with many realms of the art world, music, painting, acting, dance but I chose fashion because It is inspired by all of those things.

B: What/Who inspires your designs? Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

S: I am inspired by characters from the past and present, every season I look to different people real and made up, such as Amelia Earheart, The Artful Dodger, vintage mug shots, musicians, and my friends. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me, I’m lucky to live in Brooklyn its an area where there are so many talented people. My advice to inspiring designers would be to spend your time working on things you feel passionate about, [as] your life will revolve around your work. [Your work] has to make you happy or it won’t be worth it. It helps if you know who you are designing for and why; that will help you find your customer.

B: How did you come up with the mug shot theme of your A/W 08 collection?
S: I like the disheveled, timeless look [of] vintage mug shots. I wanted to recreate them using the people I know who inspired the designs. Showing the clothes on real people gave each piece in the collection a different feeling. They each brought their own personality into the designs.

B: How do you describe your personal style? Do you mainly wear clothes you make yourself, or are there other designers that you’re particularly fond of?
S: My personal style evolves like my collections. I usually get stuck on a few outfits and wear then until they literally fall to shreds. I think my clothes look best that way. I like to mix clothes that I make with vintage [pieces] as well as those by other designers such as Mociun and jewelry from Pamela Love, Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons. I recently started an eco-friendly line called Bodkin with my friend Eviana Hartman. It is made from recycled and organic materials locally in New York. Right now we are experimenting with organic dyes—very inspiring.

B: If you weren’t a designer today, what would you be doing?
S: I would be making films!

Photo courtesy of Vorrasi
Samantha Pleet Close-up, courtesy of Andrew De Francesco

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