A quick chat with designer Carrie Asby of Sutter Larkin
Carrie was one of the first to jump aboard the Athens Eco Week train and boy has it been a fun ride thus far! She has been incredibly accommodating and supportive throughout the entire process. Plus, she is quick witted and fun to talk to, though I am sad to say we have only chatted once via Skype. Carrie's style seems to be a beautiful meld between old and new-- vintage fabrics modernized with clean silhouettes. We are lucky to have been able to work together with her on both this project and in this interview!
"I Don’t Have to Tell” photographed by Sam Breach for Sutter Larkin 2015
Athens Eco Week (AEW) What according to you is a favorite part of being a fashion designer?
Carrie (SL) Creating beautiful and amazing stuff. Playing with colors and textures. Thinking creatively.
(AEW) What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer especially in terms of being an eco-designer?
(SL) The skill of getting an investor. 😉
(AEW) How do you stay up to date regarding advances in Eco-fashion?
(SL) I hang out at #Sustainability and #SustainableFashion on Twitter and read industry articles. And I read the articles from Sustainable Fashion Directory’s weekly newsletter.
(AEW) How do you handle stress in your day-to-day worklife?
(AEW) How would you relate past & present fashion trends?
(SL) I’m not a fan of trends. Trends encourage us to seek acceptance by looking outward, looking for others’ for approval. I’m more about style. Style is about self-acceptance and celebrating your individuality. I’m all about wearing clothes that look and feel good on you. If a trend is a great fit for you, by all means rock it. But let’s not wear something just because someone said it’s "in."
(AEW) How did you get started doing Eco Fashion?
(SL) I was raised by an environmentalist; being mindful towards the earth is part of my thought process because I was raised that way.
(AEW) What are your design & Artistic inspirations?
(SL) I like boldness on simple patterns. I’m very eclectic with colors and textures. Playing with those two can make dramatic impact with the simplest piece.
(AEW) How do you operate your business sustainably?
(SL) I don’t - I’m a hypercritic. Kidding! Everything I do, I try to be as sustainable as possible. I don’t own a car; I avoid buying new as much as possible; I don’t use plastic or paper towels; I support local; I don’t use chemicals and I always put a hat on when I’m cold. When it comes to the 3 R’s, I try to reduce and re-use before having to recycle.
(AEW) Who would you like to see wearing your clothes? Do you have any style icons?
(SL) Madonna / Lady Gaga / Richard Branson / Emma Watson. I don’t have style icons per say but I just love what Emma Watson is doing for Eco-Fashion.
(AEW) Where do you see the fashion industry heading?
(SL) It’s becoming more thoughtful / more empowering.
(AEW) What new idea or innovation is having the most significant impact on fashion design?
(SL) I think the awareness of how items are being produced is what’s forcing the shift towards eco-fashion. People are more conscious and are acting on it. They are putting their money behind the companies they believe in. This is forcing companies to change.
(AEW) What's something that most people just don't understand about your field?
(SL) The importance of not supporting fast fashion.
(AEW) What other field or occupation did you consider going into?
(SL) In the 3rd grade I wanted to be a private eye.
(AEW) Do you think the customer is becoming more aware of the consequences of the fashion industry?
(SL) Yes. That’s why you’re seeing eco-options popping up in brands more and more these days.
(AEW) How green are you in your own life?
(SL) In my dream world, I would live off-grid and be 100% sustainable. Since I can’t have that right now, I do everything I can to mimic that way of living.
(AEW) What is your favorite quote?
(SL) Fall down 7 times. Get up 8. – Japanese proverb
(AEW) Describe your morning routine: What does a typical day look like for you?
(SL) I’m a believer that how you start your day is vital to living a peaceful and balanced life. In addition, a morning routine clear of “other peoples’ thoughts” stimulates productivity with work. Mine goes a little like this:
- Deep breathing (cleansing and balancing)
- Chanting / Japa
- 9 sun salutations: each dedicated to something / someone I’m grateful for
- a teaspoon of chyawanprash from the Himalayan Institute
- Getting outside and have a long walk with my dog
- a healthy breakfast
- Then, and only then, I tackle my To-Do list