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Giving Rhody a Lfe Line: The latest kid on the fashion block

Clothes carry meaning, and fashion has the power to change social discourse. As the nation wrestles itself free from four years of hateful and divisive politics, society has an opportunity to express what it has learned from the experience and what it will no longer tolerate, and the fashion industry has the tools to communicate that attitude to a national audience. In Rhode Island’s latest apparel Lfe Line, married couple Amos and Katie Goodridge have taken their passion for design and lifestyle and fused it with a commitment to the greater good. 

Amadeus Finlay (Motif): Brand names carry meaning, and nothing is decided upon without deeper thinking. What does Lfe Line mean to you? 

Amos Goodridge: When I think of Lfe Line, I think of dependability, it is about everyday life. The name Lfe Line is unique, I want it to be different from anything out there. It’s not a brand, it’s an empire.

AF: Powerful name, focused intentions… now let’s talk about the clothing. What sets your products apart?

AG: Within our Lfe Line clothing range, our tie dye especially is unique within itself. Each shirt is none like the other giving each customer a one-of-a-kind design with each purchase. But more than that. Lfe Line does not apply to one size gender or race. Lfe Line is for the people.

AF: Do you practice ethical sourcing?

AG: We at Lfe Line strive to produce not quantity but quality clothing. We make it a point to be ethical in all operations of our future empire. The point is to set a strong foundation, and the only way to do so is to do everything the right way.

AF: Your Facebook page also covers a lot of food conversations. What is the relationship there?

AG: What we are trying to accomplish is helping people of all walks of life. Lfe Line is a lifestyle and one of the aspects is nutrition. I wanna show people there’s other ways to nourish your body through natural foods, meditation and exercise.

AF: At a time when socio-political tension is at a high point, what is it about your message of togetherness that compels customers to choose your products?

AG: It starts with the team that we have around us, we have people working with us from all different backgrounds. Our team consists of people from Cambodia, Africa, Portugal and more, giving our clothing a flair like none other.

AF: As the son of Black immigrants from Liberia, and as a woman of mixed European, African and Indigenous cultures, what does this beautiful partnership of romance and commerce say about the potential for a modern America?

AG: It shows what the American dream should be, it’s about unity and bringing everyone together. This is more than just a partnership; this is the solid foundation that is needed for this impending empire.

AF: Any final thoughts for the stylish, socially-conscious people of Rhode Island?

AG: No matter what your background or style you can always LIVE LIFE in Lfe Line.




Cleverhood has a New Home and a Successful Year Ahead

2N3ec0pgMost people start a business because they had an idea that they fell in love with and wanted to see that come to life. As difficult a process as getting that idea off the ground is, maintaining growth and success brings a new world of challenges. Keeping a business open is a true labor of love, and Susan Mocarski continues to have an undying passion for her business, Cleverhood.

Mocarski’s business has made much progress since I last spoke to her in September 2017 (motifri.com/cleverhood). Last year was their best year yet, and things seem to be trending in the same direction for this year. They are gearing up for spring production and preparing to be vendors at local, national and international events. They also moved a few blocks away from their previous location.

“Our lease was up after three years,” Mocarski says of their decision to move, “and we needed a different office configuration to better accommodate our shipping operations. We love our West Side neighborhood and neighbors, so we made a concerted effort to stay as close as possible.”

wtgQnlLMWhile the new location is more of a design space than a store, Cleverhood does host special events and parties, which they always open to the public, welcoming as many people as possible. They also are open to visitors who schedule an appointment via email (info@cleverhood.com).

To stay ahead of the curve in the outergarment industry, Cleverhood has been launching new stock while continuing to promote older merchandise and push their most popular product, the Electric Houndstooth. They recently launched their new Lab Series, which are composed of specially designed garments that are made locally, within a .1 mile radius of their office. Mocarski is happy that this cuts down on their carbon footprint.

“We have a ton of new stuff this spring,” Mocarski adds proudly. “We hired a new amazing sewist and she has been instrumental in helping us engineer some cool new gear and allowed us to develop our design lab. We have a new fully reflective smart looking unisex trench coat, and Italian wool cape with some very cool magnetic fasteners and a line of Cleveraks that are windproof, waterproof, self-stowing, ultra lightweight and have a ton of storage.”

5EQCrHIDCleverhood continues to be proud that they produce their apparel locally, but sell it all over the world, including Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. They have their manufacturing and shipping processes down, which gets customers their products sooner. They have a team of three full-time and five part-time employees. Most live in Providence, with the exception of one who lives in Boston.

The entire staff love being part of the process of manufacturing and selling their outerwear. Mocarski says that they are always designing, whether in their local design space or out on the road at events. They are a team with much poise and ambition, striving to make the best products possible.




Shosha: Comfy Clothes for Goal-Setters

Shosha, a hip, urban clothing company from Providence, is run by a 28-year-old who goes by the name of Lex Effects. Her company creates strictly comfy, everyday wear for youths and young adults who are going after their goals.

Lex learned graphic design in college, but was always into designing. Even in high school she found ways to express herself in her style. “I always embellished or changed my clothing to make it unique, so it was kind of an expression for myself,” she says. Choosing to create her own clothing line was not a hard decision.

The name of her company comes from the Japanese term meaning winners. I asked how she thought of the name, and she told me a simple story. “My friend from Japan came to visit and I was showing him around Providence when I asked him what the word for winner was in Japanese. He said shosha, so I decided to name the company that.”

Lex wants her clothing to be worn by those chasing after their goals or those who are winners. As written on her website, “It’s the daily apparel for those in the pursuit of fulfilling their goals.”

The icon for the company is something different than what is typically seen on the streets today. It’s a character with a bright smile, sunglasses, a bowtie and a fun hair curl. “The big smile is welcoming, the bow tie is classic, the curl is kinda fun and the sunglasses are futuristic. My friend drew it and I altered the colors.”

Lex is very hands-on when it comes to the production of her clothes. She shops for and buys all of her products herself, but has a printer in East Providence. “I’m very hands-on when it comes to the production of my clothes. I’ll go over to my printer and help out over there,” she says.

If you’re chasing your goals and visions, Shosha clothes might be for you. Comfy, everyday wear is something that is perfect for anyone of all ages. Comfy is the new professional.

For those looking for a little comfy in their lives, Lex has a trade show in Los Angeles on June 10, then has a follow-up pop-up gallery at Mad Dog Gallery in Pawtucket on June 23-24. shosha.online

 

 

 




Pin-up: Bettysioux Tailor

Are you a good roller skater?
I am really good at rolling forward, not so good at stopping.

Would you ever be a roller derby player?
Yes! If I could just figure out that stopping thing I would be unstoppable! Wait….

What’s your favorite first sign of spring?
I live near a small body of water and I love to watch the ducks, geese and swans pair up and hang out on our bank. I also look forward to the first turtle sightings.

What do you like to do on the first warm day of the year?
Open the windows and let in the fresh air! Of course, then the neighbors have to listen to me attempt to sing along to Heart songs.

What’s the best April Fool’s joke you ever played or that was played on you?
I am not a very good prankster. I think the only April Fool’s joke I attempted was putting chalk in the blackboard eraser when I was in 4th grade. Brilliant, I know.

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Pin-up: Amber Niaura

What’s your biggest pet peeve? When people are mean to animals.

What do you never leave home without? My phone, keys, my stethoscope and all my nursing books!

What’s your favorite book? I tend to prefer the classics, anything by Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte.

What’s your favorite TV show? “Game of Thrones,” hands down.

How do you feel about corned beef and cabbage? And are you a fan of green beer? I like corned beef and cabbage separately, but not together. And I’m a fan of every color of beer!

What do you do in your daily life to help the environment? I recycle everything and try to use as little electricity as possible.

 

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Providence’s Runway: StyleWeek Northeast

The biannual StyleWeek Northeast, better known by its social media friendly name, #SWNE2016, began in 2009 with the intent to connect the community, buyers and press with emerging talent. The February 26 show presented designers Nick Pini, La Fille Colette, Angelica Timas and Alexandra Nam at the Providence G.

Attendees were dressed extraordinarily well, wearing the average person’s rent check at the tip of their toes with either Christian Louboutin’s or Valentino heels. Most fashion show goers arrived with a heavy, but well-applied, face of makeup.

All of the staff presented themselves similarly to what you’d see at a Mac Cosmetics counter—black outfits, a bold lip, air-brushed skin and runway-ready eye makeup. After checking in, I made my way down the hall toward the runway room. Accent lighting shifted between shades of blue and red, continuing Providence G’s minimalist aesthetic. Simple but grandiose crystal chandeliers illuminated the space. It was bright! You could have seen the proverbial speck of dirt across the room, but it wouldn’t have been there.

The show started with La Fille Collette; mainstream music remixed for the fashion event played in the background as models made their way onto the runway with inch-long blue eyelashes. The choice of makeup for the models overshadowed La Fille Collette’s somewhat simple designs.

Immediately following the first show was an intermission during which I and many other showgoers had the obligatory $10 shot of vodka mixed with club soda, one of the large variety of adult beverages available.

A few photo ops later, the chandeliers came beaming back on and Angelica Timas presented her line usually consisting of prominent ballooned hips and crisp seams. Angelica Timas definitely had the more beautifully eccentric models of the night. Every model could adequately replace Milla Jovovich in the 5th Element.

Alexandra Nam, who has designed an outfit worn by Lady Gaga, has a style that incorporates a lot of geometric and blunt edges. She featured a lot of structured coats and one item with a structured frame.

Nick Pini and Amy Beth Photo by:
On Right: Nick Pini and Amy Beth
Photo by: Gustavo Leon

Nick Pini, the final designer of the night and seven-time participant in StyleWeek Northeast, thrives on and celebrates the renewal of the California Girl concept. The California Girl is “Driving with the top down, palm trees in the sun, feeling like you’re famous and living while we’re young.” He uses deep ivory colors and occasionally black textiles on sun-kissed models with lengthy legs, emphasizing his concept of The California Girl. His choice in models with a dewy complexion, long legs and California sun-kissed tans successfully displayed his collection. His latest season showcases decorative elements such as cruelty-free ostrich feathers, seashells, brass chains, tassels, Swarovski crystals and sequins. Pini ultimately plans go a step further a produce vegan versions of his ensembles.

Later, I had a chat with model Amy Beth, born and raised in Rhode Island, who caught my eye with her trademark appearance consisting of a shaven head and an elaborate ensemble of tattoos.

Photo by: Myke Yeager
Photo by: Myke Yeager

I was given the opportunity to dispel false truths about the modeling industry in the conversation I had with her. With four years of experience in the modeling industry, she said, “You can’t have an ego in this business and expect to last. You can gain fame and notoriety, but the second nobody wants to work with you … you’ll just fade away.”

It is important to understand with this industry, much like in film and dance, you are your own product and bare the responsibility of keeping your product desired by the masses. “Every single interaction should be approached like it could make or break you,” she explained. “I like to pretend sometimes that I’m talking to Anna Wintour whenever I meet someone new, because you honestly never know who is who.”

Given my fascination with the modeling industry, I was curious about a few things. For example, what does a model think of while making their way down the runway? Amy Beth explained that it requires an active effort to avoid eye contact and refrain from giggling when making her way down the runway. Amy Beth lightheartedly told me, “Local designer Kent Stetson has made it his personal mission to make me laugh every time I hit the runway.”

Throughout the night, I was genuinely surprised by how polite and friendly everyone involved was. Friday night was a successful and exciting event.

StyleWeek Northeast ran from February 23 – 27, 2016 at the Providence G on 100 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI. Look for it next year around the same time.