Poppyseed Clothing Interview

Hi everyone,

For my post on fast fashion today, I am sharing an interview I had with the founder and designer behind Poppyseed Clothing, Rebekah Adams. She has been working on Poppyseed since 2016 and has many achievements, including winning Bellevue Collection’s Independent Designer Runway Show. Adams’ pieces are created using sustainable and ethically sourced materials, and we were able to have a really great conversation about fast fashion and sustainability together. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Emily: So, to get started, I want to know how you got started on Poppyseed, where the idea came from, everything like that.

Rebekah Adams: I started it because I was pregnant with my son and needed maternity clothes, and every time I walked into a maternity store, I felt like not myself. I didn’t want to wear super cute, girly maternity clothes because that’s just not the kind of person I am. When I got pregnant, I wanted to start a company based off of [a maternity dress I made for my sister in college], with the concept of giving women clothing that, yes, can be worn while you’re pregnant but that is not “maternity” and that doesn’t look like an eight year old girl. Then, I started Poppyseed and we produced three different full collections and a couple smaller ones over the six years I was there. I did a Bellevue Collection runway show, which we won, and then sold clothing in boutiques around the Pacific Northwest, and it was a great, great time.

E: Was having clothing that was timeless and sustainable always important for you?

RA: It first sparked when I was a sophomore in college, we watched a documentary called China Blue, and it was about making jeans in China, and it shook me. I went into fashion thinking oh, it will be so fun, and my teacher was so passionate, and opened up my eyes. I was like, alright, my whole mindset changed. I have to work for a sustainable, ethically sourced company. I can’t just make money, I have to also help people, and so the whole ethos of what I wanted to do with my career changed after that. For Poppyseed, we used a lot of deadstock fabric, and if we had leftover product we would change it and sell it again after we redesigned it. When I was a sophomore in college, I was definitely a hypocrite because I still bought stuff from TJ Maxx, and I was like well, I’m informed, but I didn’t do it with my purchasing power. I would buy cheap clothing, and then it would hit me, I’m not doing what I believe and I’m not buying this anymore. I need to know where it comes from and it needs to be locally made or thrifted.

E: What are recommendations that you have for someone who wants to shop ethically and sustainably and break out of the fast fashion cycle?

RA: I love this app called Good On You, and you can type in any brand and it will give you a rating. There’s also The Sustainable Fashion Forum, and it’s a great place to look. Becoming armed with information is really important, and having an understanding of how garments are made is important because there’s times where we walk into, let’s say Target, and we see a sweatshirt for $5.99 and buy it. Not a lot of people realize that there was a person who made that. I think, when you go in, and you see each piece of clothing, you can see each person. If I buy that, I’m going to support something that I don’t really believe in. But if I use my purchasing power to buy even one sweatshirt, but it supports a woman who is in a clean factory and she’s safe and getting paid a living wage, her life is going to be better and it’s going to show that company that you support what they’re doing. So, I think you need to educate yourself, and it’s a hard thing to do.

E: A lot of people talk about how fast fashion is convenient because it’s low priced and you can get whatever is trendy. What would you say in response to that?

RA: Just because something is convenient doesn’t mean it is good for you. Of course it’s convenient; giving into what’s easy is when you have to build up resistance and say no. The more interesting thing is, do you want to live an easy and convenient life? Or do you want to build something that’s important and going to last?

E: Is there anything else you’d like for consumers to know about supporting small and local businesses?

RA: Buying local is awesome, but also I feel like people get put off from the price. There’s so much more that you can do, like posting on socials or building up the owner. Behind every shop is a shop owner’s dream and livelihood tied to it, and they deserve our support because they’re stepping out and doing this really hard thing. So, try to shop local, and after that, do ethically made and ethically sourced items.

Thank you so much to Rebekah Adams for the wonderful interview. She was amazing to talk to and had great insight when it came to fashion and sustainability. I hope you all enjoyed. See you soon.

-Emily Berrol

Jordan Rich from Fabletics on Micro-Influencers, Marketing, and Her Favorite Fabletics Leggings

Hey everyone!

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Jordan Rich, a coordinator at Fabletics who also runs their influencer content program! It was really inspiring to hear the answers she had to my questions and also to get insight on the world of fashion marketing and content creation. As most of you know, I’m currently studying to become a part of the business side of the fashion industry, so hearing someone else’s experience was very cool for me. She shared a lot of great tips and insight; I learned a lot, and I hope you do too! Thank you Jordan for allowing me to interview you and

Emily: Can you please introduce yourself to the readers of Emily’s Edge? We’re so excited to have you on the blog today. 

Jordan: Hi Everyone! My name is Jordan Rich. I am 26 years old, and I live in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, CA and went to college at University of Arizona where I majored in Arts, Media, and Entertainment. 

E: What’s your main role at Fabletics, and how did you get started working there?

J: I was referred to Techstyle (Fabletics parent company) by a family friend. She was close friends with one of the senior associates at Techstyle who was able to help push my resume along. I have been with Fabletics for a little over two and a half years now. 

When I was first brought on, our team was fairly small. There were a total of 7 of us, who at that time made up the PR, Social Media, Brand Partnership, and Influencer team.  My role was an assistant level position, and I was brought on to help build out the micro influencer program. Over the past two and a half years I was promoted to a coordinator position, and we have expanded our teams. There are now 4 women who sit on the Social Media team and there are now 11 of us on the PR/Brand Partnership team. I currently I run our IGC (Influencer Generated Content) program. This program works with strictly content creators in the micro space. For those of you who are not as familiar with this realm, there are two different types of influencers. Macro influencers  are girls with the hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. Most of these collaborations are paid partnerships with binding contracts.

 Micro influencers are girls who have under around 50k followers, which is where I specialize. My program is a product for post partnership, meaning no payment of any kind outside of the products gifted by Fabletics. I go on Instagram and find content creators with anywhere from 100 followers to 50k followers who simply take amazing content. I try and find profiles that feel very organic and effortless, girls who I think would be a great fit for the brand.  From there I send them two outfits per month in exchange for content and two posts on their personal Instagram page. Once I receive the images back from the influencers, I am able to share it with the wider Fabletics team to feature on our website, emails, social posts, ads, etc. When I first started building out this program in 2018, we were working with 15-25 influencers; now, we are partnering with over 200 influencers for just the IGC program alone. 

E: Did you always know that you wanted to work in marketing? 

J: To be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. I knew I wanted to do something creative but I didn’t know exactly what that looked like. I didn’t have an interest in becoming a graphic designer and I had had a few social media internships but I didn’t have much direction. Right after graduation I did a few random jobs here and there before landing a corporate job at iHeart Media. I realized I wasn’t as familiar with the business world as my friends were, and I felt like I needed to go get a sales job just to have the experience. I figured if I could learn a little bit about the business side I could potentially land a position the bridged art and business. At the time, a friend I went to high school and college with was working at iHeart as an assistant; she mentioned that they were looking for an assistant in their commercial sales department. I figured if I was going to take a sales job it might as well be for a company I could relate to. My role at iHeart was to place commercial ads on radio stations. Although iHeart wasn’t the best fit for me, I learned a lot about the corporate world. Coming from a studio art/pop culture background, I wasn’t taught how to use Excel in school.  I was immediately forced to learn the basic professional tools my friends had learned as marketing/business majors. From there I learned what I didn’t want to do, which was anything with numbers. 

When I learned about the position at Fabletics I didn’t really know what to make of it. I knew nothing about influencers (on the way to my interview I actually googled the term “Influencer”) and the only social media experience I had was from summer internships a few years prior or my lack of interest on my personal Instagram page. Luckily, the two women interviewing me saw my work ethic and knew that the rest could be taught. When I got the job offer I thought they had made a mistake, I knew they knew I had no idea what an influencer was or how to even find one on Instagram. The only thing I knew was that it wasn’t sales, which at the time was the only thing I cared about. Now that I think back, it was a pretty bold move for both myself and Fabletics. 

E: What has been the most rewarding part of your job? What has been the most challenging?

J: The most rewarding part of my job is definitely the relationships I am creating with these content creators. For many of them this is the first time a company noticed them and their work. For the most part the girls in the program do not consider themselves influencers. They truly are real people, they have everyday jobs, families, and purely create content on the side because they love it. Fabletics allows me to encourage these women to live out their passion on a more impactful level. They go from seeing their work on their personal page to being featured on ‪Fabletics.com‬ and on our Fabletics social page. This also gives our brand a more organic feeling; we are activewear for everyday people. 

 I would say the most challenging part of this job is maintaining every relationship. Currently, I run this program alone and it’s up to me to get everything done. Each month I have to send all 200 girls tow outfits per month and communicate due dates and deadlines, provide tracking, and answer any questions they might have. That’s in addition to the inner workings of actually sharing the content with the wider Fabletics team. Some mornings I wake up to 5 emails or I can wake up to 100. 

E: Do you have any advice that you’d give to those who are aspiring to work in fashion marketing?

J: My only advice would be to say “Yes” to everything. Even if you don’t think it will be the right fit for you, I say try it out. I could not do my job at Fabletics if I hadn’t spent that year and a half learning about sales at iHeart. You never know what tools you may learn or people you might meet along the way. 

E: Last but not least, what’s your favorite product from Fabletics?

J: Ugh this is such a tough question! I really love our Pureluxe leggings. They are so soft and perfect for all day wear of any kind and great for any kind of low intensity workouts. 

Big thank you to Jordan for agreeing to be interviewed for Emily’s Edge! I hope you all were as inspired as I was.

Talk to you soon!

-Emily Berrol

Brandon Wallace on I’ternal Studios, the Anti-Fashion Movement, and Why You Need AF1s

Hey everyone.

I hope all of you are doing well in terms of everything that is going on right now. I’m still thinking of all of you who have been impacted recently either because of COVID-19 or the inequality and racism our world is facing. If you haven’t seen it already, you can check out last week’s blog post and the statement I made regarding BLM here. I am also sharing a lot of helpful posts on my Instagram story, as well as sharing any black-owned businesses that I find whom you can support!

I talked to my friend Brandon last month, and we did a short little interview that I’m happy to post on here today! Brandon is very creative and has an eye for fashion; he’s always starting and creating new ideas and brands. He talked to me about getting into photography (he shot the pictures I modeled in for PDR!), his inspirations, and so much more. I hope you enjoy!

Emily: Who/what influences your style?

Brandon: The reason I really got into fashion was because of music, and my favorite artist was Kanye West; he influenced my style greatly very early on. Currently, I’m working on curating a style that is me, and as of now I’ve found workwear and Japanese Americana as my biggest inspiration. I also am looking into the anti-fashion movement of the 1990s with designers like Helmet Lang, Ann Demeulemeester, and Raf Simons being my muse.

E: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your goals for the future.

B: My name is Brandon Wallace and I’m from Dallas, Texas. My main goal in life is to have an impact on people and the world, whether it be in fashion or another medium of art. As of right now, I’m working on starting my fashion house, I’ternal Studios (@iternal.studios), and I’m starting to explore photography (@brandonsgallery). I’m starting my styling portfolio to help jumpstart my career in styling.

E: What’s your favorite item in your closet?

B: I have two pieces in my closet that I really enjoy. There’s an NYU sweatshirt I have that I cut the ribbing off of and distressed the bottom and sleeves. I love it because of the shape it has; it now has a cropped look in the sleeves and bottom that look great. My second item would be my Dickies 873 pants. They fit perfect and I can wear them with almost any outfit I come up with.  

E: What’s an item that everyone should have in their wardrobe?

B: The most essential piece everyone should have in their closet is Air Force 1s. You can’t go wrong wearing them and almost every pant falls on them perfectly. It’s overall a timeless sneaker. Even if you can’t dress, Air Force 1s will make you look like you can.  

Thank you again to Brandon for doing this interview with me. To stay up to date on all his endeavors, you can follow him on Instagram @bxdxw_.

Talk to you soon!

-Emily Berrol

Rap Fiesta on Looking the Part and Helping Artists Rise to Fame

Hey everyone!

I have a different but fun post for you today. I was recently contacted by the hip hop blog called Rap Fiesta, and I’m excited to share more about them. I know that there have been a lot of new readers since my last post, and a lot of them are people who are interested in music. I think this will introduce some of you to a new platform and creative outlet that will help you in your own creative journeys. However, for my other readers who are here for fashion, don’t worry; we’ll touch on that, too.

To start off with, I want to share what Rap Fiesta is and what they do. As I mentioned, they’re a hip hop blog, but they’re also so much more than that. Started in New York City, they were originally founded by individuals who were fascinated when it came to the industry, many of them being artists themselves. They knew that hip hop was multifaceted and that there was more than just music; there was a community, too. RF began to create a space where artists could come together and create the best music possible all while inspiring others.

One of my favorite things about Rap Fiesta is that they truly have a desire to help creators. Every Thursday, they hold their Rap Fiesta Radio competition in which they present music from different artists. These artists then get feedback from a live audience who will later vote for their favorite song. The prize? A coveted article on RF’s blog. As someone who has known individuals who have participated in these competitions, I can attest to how badly they want to win and be featured on their website. And who can blame them? RF has an abundance of insight and connections when it comes to hip hop and the thriving music industry.

I also talked about fashion with them and asked if that affected any of their decisions or the artists they work with. Rap Fiesta let me know that they’re “keen on looking at how artists carefully piece together their image” and that “fashion is key to that.” They recognize that what you wear says a lot about you; it sets the tone for who you are as an artist. RF also thinks that looking the part is important because it ties back into branding and marketing which ultimately helps with the success of an individual. In addition to this, they invited me to talk to them about the cultural influence of hip hop on the street style movement. You can find this and other great pieces on rapfiesta.com!

I encourage you all to check them out, and if you’re an artist, don’t hesitate to reach out to them on Instagram @rapfiesta! They’re a great resource, and I want to thank them again for giving me the opportunity to talk with them on their blog. It was really insightful and fun for me!

Talk to you soon!

-Emily Berrol

Marquis Johnson on His Album, Personal Style, and Why He’s the Next Big Artist

Hey everyone!

I have a really fun and different post for you today. My friend Marquis, aka MarqtheMilkman if you’re familiar with his music, talked to me all about his music, inspirations, and personal style. Marquis and I met at college since we’re both a part of the same major, and if there’s one thing that you should know about him, it’s that he’s ambitious and driven. He’s dedicated to his passions in life and won’t let anything get in his way when it comes to achieving them. I hope you all enjoy this interview and get to know his fun sense of style and personality.

Emily: Who/what influences your style?

Marquis: A lot of people influenced my style. I feel like I have my own style now though. Some of the main ones that influenced me are Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, and Kurt Cobain if we’re talking fashion specifically. I try to gather as many sources as possible and create something of my own so that I’m the most unique crayon in the color box, you feel me? I’d rather stand out rather than fit in if that makes sense because this day and age if you just fit in with the rest of the people nothing really makes you special. I want to be different than the status quo.

E: How has music impacted your life in general? Has it impacted the way you view fashion?

M: Man, music is probably one of the only things that is keeping me alive at this point. I feel like music gave me something to work really hard for, and I just keep striving to be better than the day before. I grew up trying a whole lotta things, and this was finally something that I was actually pretty good at. I want to take the skills that I have and make something of myself. One of my goals is to become one of the best artists in my generation and win a Grammy one day.

E: What inspired your latest album, The Jersey Devil?

M: Well, I think The Jersey Devil inspiration comes from my upbringing. I grew up in a pretty religious household so a lot of my rhetoric is of Angels, Demons, or omens and things of that nature.  I wanted the beats and other things to be more eerie, darker tones; I wanted it to be lower stuff with more of a wavy vibe then I have done in the past. I used to actually try to do more lyrical stuff but I’m on a whole new wave now. Sonically, I wanted this to be my best project ever. This is my third year rapping and this felt like my true start on the rise to the top. I took about six or seven months to make sure everything was completely right.

E: A lot of musicians base their songs and lyrics from experiences they’ve had or people they’ve met. Is there any experience or any person that has inspired a song or lyrics?

M: All of my music is based off of the different experiences that I’ve been through in life or things I’ve seen or heard. Most of my slow songs are sad songs, and they’re inspired by girls I’ve come in contact with in the past. I want to make music for people that come from all walks of life and stuff; songs that people can relate to because it’s real music. It’s stuff that I’ve been through. My music is for anybody and everybody, so I want to put my real experiences into it, and it doesn’t matter who my listeners are. 

Big thank you to Marquis for talking with me and for being so open about his experiences and music! Be sure to check out his new album and singles on different streaming platforms by searching “marqthemilkman.” For more information, make sure to follow his Instagram, @marqthemilkman.

Talk to you soon!

-Emily Berrol

Leilani Bell on Pas De Regles, Breaking Boundaries, and Making It in the Fashion Industry

Hey everyone!

As promised, I have an interesting and eye-opening interview with Leilani to share with you guys today! I have always been so impressed with her and all that she has accomplished; she definitely inspires me all the time, and I’m so excited for all of you to read this. I think you’re going to be in awe of her confidence and how eloquent she is; I know I definitely am! Keep on reading to learn more…

Emily: When did you first become interested in fashion? What are your goals/hopes when it comes to what you want to accomplish in the industry?

Leilani: As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in fashion. When I was around six, I would cut up my mother’s Nine West catalogs and restyle the models, and I was a frequent player of dress up. The moment I knew fashion was for me was when I was about seven or eight and I was watching an episode of my favorite show at the time, That’s So Raven, where Raven was sewing and got a job at a retail store, and after this I began to explore the field. I would go on the home computer and look up fashion designers and I even applied for information about design programs that my mother had to turn down for me because I was so young.

When it comes to what I want to accomplish in the industry the list could go on forever. First and foremost, I don’t want to be labeled as a designer; I want to be labeled as a creative with designer being the first thing that pops into peoples’ minds, primarily because I create emotions and experiences with clothing being the main medium. I plan on bringing the unseen streetwear to the forefront and shedding light on numerous untapped subcultures who do in fact play into popular culture. Additionally, I plan on turning the design world upside down and removing the idea that a designer must adhere to their aesthetic and while they might branch out once and awhile they’ll always come back to their aesthetic. Personally, I think this is a thing of the past. I have so many different aesthetics, that to adhere to one is ridiculous and creatives should not be confined in this way. Also, I plan on rising to the ranks of a small fashion house with my legacy being continued after my death. I plan on being the most involved fashion designer to ever exist, with my toe in a bit of every creative field from film, editing, photography, acting, curation to songwriting. The fashion industry to me is more than fashion, it is culture in every sense, it is economics, it is well rounded creativity, and to be a designer one has to have knowledge of and be good at all of these things, and I will be the one to elevate fashion in this way.

E: Tell us about PDR and the concept behind it; how did you come up with the idea and where did you draw inspiration from?

L: Pas de Regles is the illegitimate love child of my madness, creativity, and numerous ever changing aesthetics. Pas de Regles translating to no rules in French is just that, a brand with no rules or boundaries. It it my excuse to go creatively insane, to set the bar and then break it. It is my personal platform to express societal issues, expose ignorant societal standards/ common knowledge, disseminate a personal message, and as cliche as it sounds, have fun.
I came up with the idea for Pas de Regles my sophomore year of high school. I was actively looking for a name for a clothing line I wanted to drop so I started with concepts, and that lead me to the name. I’ve always seen fashion as an intricate lawless wonderland with sprinkles of authority here and there, but it being rule-less has never changed. SO I came up with the name NO RULES, but obviously that’s hot garbage, so I translated it to my favorite language, French, thus, Pas de Regles was born. The direction the brand is headed in at the current moment is, every collection will seamlessly tell a story, with Mutiny being the first, a story of the revolution against the system, and collections that complete the story to follow. Furthermore, I’m inspired by whatever vibe I’m feeling at the moment, which can be sparked by something I saw on the street or a random thought I decided to look more into. For example, Mutiny was inspired by my disappointment and frustration with the homogenous, cookie cutter individuals of today, publicized by social media. Additionally, as far as inspiration goes, one week it may be medieval times and the next it may be conversation pits; I’m forever changing.

E:Biggest accomplishment thus far?

L: My biggest accomplishment thus far is the Red House Fashion Show. I’ve always known I was going to present in a fashion show but never did I know it’d be so soon. I haven’t even been in school a full school year yet and here I am pursuing my dreams to the fullest extent. I’ve been working so hard on all my garments, making sure things are impeccable. Overall, I’m just inexplicably excited and eternally grateful for this opportunity. I feel like this is the start of my career.

E: What kind of job do you want after college?

L: Ideally I want Pas de Regles to be my job after college; I want it to bleed into my college years. I am working my hardest to make it blow up while I’m in college so finishing college is an option. This is a life long pursuit, and as I stated before it is my child, something I will never abandon and always care for. However, in the case I do have to get a job, I would love to be a designer or atelier assistant for a brand that aligns with my aesthetics such as, Off-White, Dior, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Y-3, Kapital, Ambush, CDG, the list goes on.

Thank you so much to Leilani for taking time to answer these questions and share her world with us! Make sure to follow her on Instagram @leilanisbell and PDR @pasderegles to stay updated!

Talk to you soon!

-Emily Berrol