An Interview by Rin McNutt
For the Student Designer spotlight, I interviewed Autumn Siney, an art student here at IU, about her brand DGNERIT clothing, which features handmade and repurposed clothing and accessories.
Firstly, what does fashion mean to you?
A: “Fashion is one of the most widely noticeable forms of self-expression. It can be completely unique to any individual. I have personally always loves feeling creative and unique, I love color and standing out. I love the shock of looking different from others and being completely myself.”
How have you incorporated that into your own clothing?
A: “All of the clothing that I make are one of a kind pieces, I may reuse some prints but it’s all my own photography and artwork. I try to use images that I personally like aesthetically or seem relatively uncommon, we live in a world where it feels like everything has already been done.. so.. I try to do something else.”
How long have you been making your own clothing? Was there particular moment that you can remember that impassioned you to design?
A: “I’ve always been making my own clothing to some extent. Specifically adding my own art and flare to clothing that was already in existence. That’s what I still do, just upcycle stuff.”
I remember ripping my jeans from the ankle to my pocket playing limbo in middle school on accident, I went home and used embroidery thread to sew up the hole in a spider web looking fashion so you could still see my leg though the three foot hole. Some people thought it was ridiculous some people loved it. I loved it. I still have them today.”
Can you describe your favorite piece that you’ve done so far and what your inspiration was?
A: “I don’t know if I currently have a favorite but I have some upcoming ideas I’m really excited about. I’ve really liked scanning and printing edited versions of drawings I’ve made to add to shirts and pants recently more so than my questionable photography prints. I love it all. Makes it hard to sell them but it’s so fun to see people wearing my art.”
How has living in Bloomington shaped the way you think about and wear clothing? Can you talk about how that has impacted your brand?
A: “I think Bloomington has let me expand more creatively than I may have elsewhere. I went to relatively inclusive schools that didn’t have strict dress codes and let me express myself freely. My parents are also influential as my dad is a local artist and helped spark much of my artistic 2D talents and my mother being an ex-punk rocker chick was an old DIY goddess so nature and nurture were both on my side I guess.”
Do you have any favorite materials, themes, or color schemes to work into your designs?
A: “I love printing true images a lot, not just screen printing but like making my own patches. As far as colors I’ve been drawn to bold solid colors like reds and yellows, always love black and white, also pastels. I want to incorporate more chains, gems, charms into my work. Possibly also handmade pins that I may add to some pieces.”
We also really like metallics, the mainstream emergence of streetwear and Victorian-inspired pieces. What are your favorite trends at the moment?
A: “I don’t like trends haha, I always fall into them but I like to always be a step ahead of, or more unique than, what is currently fashionably in or expectable. I do have to admit that I have always loved the ridiculous styles of the 90’s, so now that such things are coming back around I’m honestly about it.
Are you interested in growing your brand or does staying local have a special significance to you?
A:“I would like to grow, specifically because it makes me happy to see people enjoying my art and my style. Staying local is very important to me as well, I feel like what makes clothing unique in a world with over production and consumption is making clothing that already exists better by hand. And I hope that this becomes the new trend rather than buying from big stores. There is so much clothing that’s already produced and so much room for creativity in this world.”
What would you say to those interested in starting their own clothing line? Any advice, words of wisdom or rookie mistakes to avoid?
A: “It’s hard putting yourself out there… and it’s hard keeping motivation high, but it’s worth the work. If you apply yourself and reach out to people and continue making things even when you aren’t selling your stuff left and right you’ll be okay. Just enjoy it for what it is and keep it up, there’s always someone who appreciates and likes what you’re doing.”
Lastly, how can we at SEASON and our readers connect with you and support your craft?
A: “I’m currently selling my clothing through my Instagram @dgnerit.clothing and I’m accepting payment through Venmo and Cashapp but I’ll be setting up a Depop soon and possibly other online selling platforms. My goal is to put out a new item every week depending on demand. I also will take some amount of custom requests I’m open to quite a bit and would love to anyone to message me directly with questions or ideas.”