Excited to bring you this weeks a closer look at Unalome Designs! This is a great brand filled with wonderfully flowy and eccentric designs sure to please.
Meet Katie Egan the creator of Unalome Designs. “I am a Rhode Island based designer and seamstress. Through my work, I strive to satisfy my insatiable urge to create fanciful garments that are completely unique and filled with positive intention. My drive is born from a desire to stand out from the crowd and celebrate creativity and humanity’s uncanny ability to differentiate. All the while maintaining the deep vein of connectivity between each and every one of us.”
How did you come up with your brand name?
We chose the Unalome as our name, our logo, and as our foundation to stand upon. This emblem can be found in Buddhist and Brahmin ritual imagery and it is also commonly used as a ‘sak yant’ (sacred tattoo) across both Thailand and Cambodia. The Unalome is representative of the path to enlightenment: a person spirals for many lifetimes, contending with all of the earthy hardships that humanity throws our way. Eventually, one has refined their capacity to follow the straight path to enlightenment. This clothing line has certainly been following it’s own spiraling path – with many incarnations; we believe that Unalome is finally fulfilling its purpose.
When did you start your business?
I launched Unalome Designs on October 1, 2016. However – this is version 2.0 of my sewing adventures. For three years prior to this project, I manifested my wildest sewing dreams through my brand – Gypsy Glad Rags.
What is your favorite part of creating your products?
My favorite part of creating products is fully trusting in (and surrendering to) the almighty process. The physical manifestation of my clothing involves the emptying of my heart and soul; it is truly a meditative and beautiful progression that is both grounding yet liberating. Taking a design from an abstract notion in some far corner of my overactive brain to someone’s gorgeous body – surrendering to that whole process and being true to others and myself all the while; that’s where it’s at.
How did you get into your field?
I grew up watching as my mom and my ‘Aunt’ Maria created thousands of ties, aprons and bow ties for local restaurants. Maria owned a little sewing operation called ‘Sanria’ and secured gigs with clients such as ‘Chili’s’ and many others. Maria is a classically trained seamstress who helped to light this creative fire inside of me. Although I stopped sewing for many, many years – this love for sewing was re-kindled when I developed a passion for music and the festival scene. In a nutshell: I re-taught myself how to sew, started making myself wild things to wear to festivals, my friends wanted these things – and voila – you’ve got a business. However – I never studied sewing or design or anything of the basics that are involved with this sort of project. It’s been a wild ride.
What/who inspires you to create?
Everything. The weird hat on a toddler at the supermarket. A ‘Science Friday’ podcast discussing genetic mutations. The fun-loving girl head-banging in the front row at a punk rock show. A synchronistic sequence of events which leads to repetition of a certain color. Smoking a joint of a delicious, new strain of cannabis. My brain is constantly on over-drive so I suppose I digress into weird thought processes that lead me back to my brand and my design tactics.
What is your favorite/most popular product you have made to date?
The ‘Jazzy Belle Wrap Top’ which was launched with our Fall ’16 collection is my favorite piece to date. It’s a super sexy and flattering wrap around top that reminds me of Stevie Nicks meets your Instagram yoga queen. It’s my go-to piece of clothing and I wear it pretty much everywhere. It’s something about the sexy fitted bodice paired with the over-sized, flowing, and gorgeous bell sleeve that makes this garment perfect, all the time.
Where do you want to see your brand in 5 years?
I have an endless amount of design ideas that I hope to make a reality; I want to work hard and spread the message of sustainable clothing to the masses. We have everything in place to be able to employ hard-working, local, craftsmen and women as this materializes. We are in the process of outsourcing manufacturing to a space in Fall River, MA with an unprecedented amount of sewing experience amongst the seamstresses who will be making our clothes. In 5 years – I hope to be working on my 5th Unalome Designs summer season. I hope that we’ve made an impact on the international festival scene in terms of fashion progression and I that our clothing will be available worldwide. Both in stores and online.
What is your brands aesthetic?
Unalome Designs is ‘festival couture’. It’s fun-loving and comfortable, yet original and over-the-top. I like to pair exaggerated sleeves and bells with minimalist silhouettes and create pieces out of unexpected fabric combinations. It is all about highlighting the already perfect human form and giving wearers a myriad of choices that are different and playful – yet timeless, in a way. Most of our clothing is composed of organic hemp blends which are then hand-dyed in herbal baths. We’ve got that weird, high-end, crunchy-earthy-fabulous combination you’ve been searching for.
We have no heat or insulation in our studio. So in the summer we don’t wear pants. And in the winter – we are freezing. (space heaters help.. sort of)
Slow down. Keep your designs to yourself until you are ready to release them. Make the best possible product. Do not cut corners. Also feel free to contact me personally for more advice – I made many mistakes and I would love to help you avoid them at all costs.
Don’t forget to check out their social media and give their shop a browse!
Facebook and Instagram: Unalome Designs
The Style Astronaut