Meet Chelsea Erhart, owner and designer for her clothing line Erhart. Read on as this young energetic world traveling designer takes you on a sneak peek tour of what life is like for her. Her home base is in Oregon, but the inspiration for her collection comes from all over.
SD: When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer?
CE: It was really my mom who decided I was going to be a fashion
designer! As for me, life kept on handing me jobs where I learned the
skills to be where I am today. I started out in factory sewing and
moved my way up to being an assistant designer to owning my own line.
I really decided that this was my calling when I recognized my
SD: I know you love to travel, what is the best place you have traveled to?
CE: Best place Iâ€™ve traveled to? Thatâ€™s a tough question, because once
you have been all over the world, no place is any better or worse than
any other, they are all amazing! I will be visiting my parents in
Egypt for Christmas, so I guess my upcoming travel is my favorite.
SD: Where do you turn for inspiration for your designs?
CE: I turn to life for my inspiration. I get into a flow where I am
designing, and I wait very patiently for an inspiration. Usually its
just one thing and I take off with it. I build an entire collection
around one idea. I head to the library as fast as I can when the
SD: What does your average day entail?
CE: A pot of tea in the morning where I structure my day, usually make a
to-do list. After that I typically do all my administrative work in
my home office and then its out into the wild world. I usually run
errands and make it to the studio by 11. I am also known for my long
lunches and my late hours.
SD: Describe your personal style?
CE: Classy and funky all at the same time. I am constantly rotating my
wardrobe so that everything is fresh and I am forced to stay creative.
SD: Who are your fashion icons (past or present)? Do you think they
influenced your personal style?
CE: Amelia Earhart! Did you know she had her own clothing line for a
SD: Do you have any current fashion obsessions?
CE: My fashion obsession is very Nietzschen, in that I challenge myself
all the time. I keep a small wardrobe and even smaller color
collection. Last year, I decided that I wanted to explore color in my
collections, so the best way to do that was to remove all color from
my life. I usually have a very colorful wardrobe, but Iâ€™ve worked
very hard to reduce it to white and black. Itâ€™s been hard work, but
it has given me an amazing perspective.
SD: What advice would you give someone just starting in your field?
CE: Be friendly and put your ego away. Fashionistas are very competitive
and cliquey, I think, because they donâ€™t know what else to do. I am
polite and friendly to everyone I know because there is no reason to
be competitive if you are doing your own thing. My style is different
from everyone else which is why I am successful, not because I am
friends with certain people. Itâ€™s pretty amazing to see who gets mad
at me for being friendly!
SD: Do you have any events you are getting ready for in the near future?
CE: Yes, I am doing some trade shows up in Seattle and here in Portland.
I am also working on my first photo spread for a rubber glove dress I
made for Junk to Funk. Stay tuned, there are always things in the
SD: Is there anyone in the Smashing Darling community you have a question
or comment for?
CE: Anyone in specific, besides all the amazing support I have already
gotten?! Smashing Darling is the best collection of designers
currently on the web!