Plus Size Designer Eden Miller: Life After New York Fashion Week & What’s Next
Last month, plus size designer Eden Miller made history as the first designer of plus size clothing to be featured during New York Fashion Week.
Seeing Eden’s clothing line Cabiria on the runway will go down in history. Now that the dust has settled and the media whirlwind has slowed down, we spoke with Eden Miller to get her thoughts on the entire experience.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Many of the headlines regarding your participation in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week focus on Cabiria being the first plus size collection to participate. Do you take issue with that and if so, what would you prefer the headlines to focus on?
Eden Miller: It would be foolish of me to think that the amount of press recognition for a tiny company would be the same if I weren’t “the first plus size” anything. Why would I fault a rocket for sending me into space? I did what I could with the attention afforded to me, and I think I made a lot of people really happy with what I put out there. Honoring the position was really important to me.
DailyVenusDiva.com: You infuse a healthy dose of color in your collection. Who or what inspires you during the design process?
Eden Miller: I have always loved color and texture, and how light plays on and with the eye. When I was growing up, my dad worked in advertising during the “Mad Men” era in real life, and strong graphics were really present in his aesthetics, so thus mine. Also, I had a lot of influence from Russian and Polish circus posters of the late 60’s and 70’s, and the textile design of the Constructivist era by Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova and Lyubov Popova – really strong, eye-popping graphics. We are all products of our environment, and I was lucky enough to have art be really meaningful in my childhood home.
DailyVenusDiva.com: When asked about other plus size fashion weeks or events, you were quoted saying, “You’re not making any new sales or new customers by going to those.” Do you think fashion shows that are exclusive to plus size designers have a place in the fashion world? Why or why not?
Eden Miller: I think that any environment that’s celebratory and offers exposure is a positive thing. I also don’t think that there are any new discoveries by mainstream buyers, influencers or trendsetters in environments that are insular. I think, for instance, that what Gwen DeVoe is doing with Full Figured Fashion Week is astounding with the amount of traction it’s gotten, press, and big time corporate sponsorship, which is a marketer’s dream. But I also see in the audiences more fans and friends than I do store buyers with money and order books. When THAT changes, I think there will be a real change in the marketplace. My big dream is that plus designers and straight size designers are grouped by show type – for instance sportswear with sportswear and evening with evening, not size type, and that retail buyers go to the shows expecting to see both. As long as it’s a mish mosh, it makes it hard to attract money.
DailyVenusDiva.com: If you were given the opportunity to collaborate or design a collection for a major brand, who would you work with and why?
Eden Miller: That’s a complicated question. I think there are a lot of brands that work super well with collabs with designers, like Adidas for instance – they really foster those relationships and make whole new models out of them, like Y-III and Jeremy Scott for Adidas. That would be a lot of fun to have my aesthetic out there in a very street-sporty way. Some beautifully made labels that don’t currently make a plus line other than custom would be a real gift to work on, like Missoni or Prabal Gurung or Alexander Wang or L’Wren Scott. And it would be really cool to do a red carpet line or bridal line with Monique Lhullier or Valentino or something. But I’m game for anything. The fun part of being a designer is playing with beautiful textiles and prints and artwork, and then making something for the body that quietly makes me happy is profoundly satisfying, no matter what it is. A dear friend, after I served him a multi-course, restaurant style meal in my very colorful home, looked around and said that I never do anything without putting art into it. That made me smile.
DailyVenusDiva.com: How has life been after participating in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week?
Eden Miller: The amount of global press meant that I’ve suddenly found amazing interest all over the world, which is a dream! I thought I was going to spend a long time building the reputation of the brand as a solid word-of-mouth affair, and discover new markets and territories based on that slow build. This has been exponential and amazing! I really need to figure out new ways to tackle the market now with different information in hand. It’s super exciting, and kind of like earning an MBA on the fly. It’s also great because Fashion Week is part of a news cycle – September 6th it was huge news, and then there were other things in the world that happened. We all move on and roll in stride.
Click HERE to read our coverage of Eden Miller’s collection Cabiria
To view and shop visit CabiriaStyle.com