The Label: Erin Barr
Based In: New York
Designed By: Wisconsin native Erin Barr, who began her career as a hair and makeup artist before studying fashion at London's Central Saint Martins and Parsons. She went on to work at Alexander Wang and Cushnie Et Ochs; spring 2012 marked the debut of Barr's own namesake label. "I think doing hair and makeup really helped me to see the whole picture from head-to-toe. But fashion design allows me to be creative from head-to-toe," Barr told TFI of her career switch. "I love so many forms of creative expression, and with fashion design you get a bit of everything. You do the research and get inspired, then go into 2D sketching, and the outcome is three-dimensional, which is so rewarding to see. And even more rewarding is when it all comes together and you have that 'aha' moment!"
Looks Like: Dubbed "An American Tomboy in Paris," Barr's debut collection marries minimalist shapes with subtle Western details. "Spring 2012 was about contrasting that laid-back ease in American dressing alongside the classic, chic sexiness of the French," said the willowy blonde of her freshman outing. "This was such an important collection in that it not only launched the brand, but it set the tone for it as well." In practical terms, Barr's girl wears her muse lightly, whether it's an ingeniously seamed white button-down, a sexy-sleek silk shell, a notched-waist black leather pencil skirt or a pair of perfectly cut cigarette pants. "Fall 2012 pushed the idea of this girl farther," added Barr. "The inspiration behind the collection was the idea of this angel. She has fallen to the Earth and is stuck in purgatory on the Boardwalk. There was a lot of playing with hard vs. soft, dark vs. light, girlie vs. tomboy." Come September, the designer will be bringing her girlie tomboy to the catwalk with her first-ever New York Fashion Week show.
Sold At: The Erin Barr collection ranges from $138 to $1,595 at stores such as ChezElle in Charlotte, Be-Jewel in Houston and Le Privee in Jakarta, Indonesia.