Project:Design! Interview with All Over It owner Sarah Jones
PD!: Tell us about your company
SJ:All Over It started as a video blog. I’d take my video camera to all sorts of events and, using a journalistic approach, would get behind the scenes of local fashion shows and up close and personal with Charleston locals. Now, I think of All Over It as a progressive platform where everyone in Charleston can learn about and support one another. Everyone on the outside has a better understanding of the culture, history, talent, and uniqueness that makes up the Holy City.
PD!:How did you connect with Project: Design!?
SJ:Through my good friend/fashion designer Julie Wheat of Cavortress. She entered the Project: Design! contest and once she was chosen, she asked me (along with Charleston model Amy Chadwell and writer Maggie Winterfeldt) to come with her to help document the experience and have a good time.
PD!:With your short visit to Saint Louis, What was your opinion of fashion in Saint Louis?
SJ: Eclectic. There weren’t too many trends that stood out to me- just a lot of individuality. Compared to Charleston, there were a lot more edgy hairstyles, and a true appreciation for vintage. We spent a whole day wandering the vintage and pawnshops of University City and Cherokee St.
PD!:Tell me your relationship with Cavortress
SJ: Julie is a great mentor and friend. We met a little over two years ago while she was promoting her first vintage showcase. I offered to come by and shoot some video for her and next thing I knew, I was behind the scenes of her look book for her very first collection (featured at Viva Las Vegas 13). I’ve always appreciated Julie’s genuine passion for vintage, design, and ability to making it happen. She is a genius when it comes to business and the logistics behind a start up. I told her my ideas and through her guidance and encouragement, she’s helped me create All Over It. She believes in me and All Over It, not to mention she’s quite the expert at ‘cavorting’. We have a lot of fun improving, evolving and expanding our brands. I help her with my services and she makes sure I’m clad with fabulous vintage.
PD!:What did you think of the emerging designers that showcased at Project: Design!
SJ: Project: Design! offered a unique mix of emerging design talent. It was obvious that some were more talented than others but regardless; it was great to see that much passion on the runway.
PD!:How would you describe the atmosphere at PD?
SJ: Behind the scenes and in the crowd, everyone was having a good time and excited to be there. Everyone from designers of previous years, Atomic Cowboys, and little old ladies who “read about a fashion show in the paper” came out. There was a seemingly enthusiastic crowd that I suspect was a result of the unique method of choosing contestants; online voting. The local support for emerging talent was evident by the raucous crowd at the Glass Factory. Cavortress was the only designer from outside the St. Louis greater area. She really pioneered the emerging design frontier in the Midwest bringing 'the Charleston' to St. Louis… the entire weekend, at the company of most gracious hosts.
PD!: What is your personal style?
SJ:I don’t wear name brands or anything super trendy because they cost a lot and go out of style. I like to keep it simple, contrast bold colors, and have fun with lots of accessories. I wear a lot of T-shirts and cut the neck to make them my own.
PD!:What is the fashion scene in Charleston?
SJ: Charleston is a mix of all kinds of people, styles, and personalities. A lot of people move here from somewhere else and bring their style with them. We have lots of hipsters, laid back surfers, old money, preppy college kids, fashionistas, divas, dapper gents, and a Southern streetwear culture that is really progressing. Charleston Fashion Week inspires and creates all sorts of trends and creativity.
Project:Design!: Everyone in the fashion industry seem to have a fashion icon, who are your fashion icons, dead or alive?
Cavortress: I do not have a fashion icon.
P:D!: When you are designing, how does your creative process work, do you go with the flow or sketch every idea out first?
C: I don’t usually sketch out my ideas. I select a color scheme and identify a central print then work around that. I let the fabric, textures, shapes, details, and colors speak to me.
P:D!: What or who is your target customer?
C: Cavortress Swim offers ‘conspicuous classics perfect for fun in the sun’ and our target client is proper not prim, ladylike yet licentious, refined and renegade; or rather the girl who cavorts.
P:D!: If you could have your own store, where would its locale be?
P:D!: How did you get invlved with “Project: Design!”?
C: I applied! I was researching emerging design contests the previous year and missed the deadline. I marked my calendar and reached out the following year and applied. Luckily I had enough votes to come and compete.
P:D!: How have you grown since participating in the “Project: Design!” competition?
C: Following the Project: Design! competition, I was invited to participate in Austin, TX’s inaugural Style X at SXSW in March, then soon to participate in my hometown, Charleston’s Emerging Design competition during Charleston Fashion Week. Then in the later part of the Spring I was working on our 2012 line that I took to Miami Swim to present to buyers. I decided to focus Cavortress on swimwear. What’s unique about the Cavortress swimwear line is that the fabric and hardware come from Italy, I design the prints, and everything is made in America. Check out a sneak peek of 2012 looks here!
P:D!: If you could travel anywhere in the world, to any time period, where would it be and why?
C: Florida in the 1920’s. I would like to take Flagler’s railroad from NY to Miami and stay in all of the resort hotels on the way. ‘Fun in the Sun’ was a novel idea for the first time in America and I would like to see it.
P:D!: What, if any, item of clothing is a staple in your closet?
C: A swimsuit! I surf, paddleboard, and hang out at the pool so it’s essential.
P:D!: Who was your favorite designer from “Project: Design!”?
C: Anna Friss. Her brand has a clear aesthetic, she’s a lot of fun, yet she is a serious business person.
P:D!: Do you have any advice you’d like to pass on to other young designers that you wish you would have known when you were starting out?
Calling all designers! The Brown Shoe Presents Project:Design! website launches on Monday August 1st. My team will be sending an eblast out to all of the designers in our database tomorrow afternoon with instructions. I look forward to seeing what you have to offer this year!