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Meet Tabitha Andelin of Tabitha Andelin in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tabitha Andelin.

Tabitha, please share your story with us.
I am a Los Angeles based designer and a California native. In 2011, I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Apparel Design and a minor in Retail Merchandising. I previously worked for a fast fashion company called Lovestitch as well as Under Armour and Gucci. While in school, I was lucky enough to directly partner with NASA and Target for different school projects. These experiences shaped my technical and creative skills because of the widely different perspectives and needs. Clothing is truly everywhere in all industries!

Where I found a home was with the small designers and business owners of the Twin Cities. During my last semester, I was sponsored and mentored by a local organization that assists promising designers in building a brand. The local design brands Gina Marie and Winsome showed me hands on what it is like to start up a business. We flew to the LA fashion district, met with buyers, and talked about brand identity.

After these experiences, I sat down in class one day during my last semester, thinking about homework and my other obligations of the day. Then it suddenly hit me, “I can do whatever I want after college!”. And what I wanted to do was making clothing for people.

I have always taken the safe route, always lived within my means, and was always so responsible. I am a very analytical and detail oriented person. These characteristics, I realized, were holding back my free-flowing connection to creative design. I had to learn to let go in order to truly design. These changes in me lead me to write a short poem, which would later become my brand identity. It represents a shift in our culture around women:

“She couldn’t be held down by the definition of a woman but as she let go, she truly became a woman, a new woman, the new woman who will be challenged to define herself in this new age.”

Tabitha Andelin is an ever-changing brand. She has no rules. She follows the inspiration of the people and the world around her. She holds to her nature being analytical when it comes to the technicality of fit and construction but allows herself to truly connect with the people she designs for. What you can expect from this name is clothing that pushes the normal out of our lives and makes us fearlessly unique.

“Tabitha Andelin represents and assists the new women uplifting themselves into today.”

Tabitha Andelin clothing designs focus on comfort. Comfort from using fabrics that are soft to touch. Comfort from taking the time to develop silhouettes that are impeccably functional. Comfort in knowing your ensemble makes you confident. Comfort in knowing that you wear clothing made in its purest art form.

After laying a foundation for design for the Tabitha Andelin brand, an ethical structure of the supply chain and business practices were a must.

Right now, there is a big difference between fast fashion/streetwear manufacturers and the couture seamstresses and artisans making high-end clothing. A gap exists in the quality of materials, construction, and design. So much fast fashion replicates high-end couture designs in a more simple way, making them affordable for an average person to get quickly off the runway. Between the gap of streetwear and couture, you’ll find the designs of Tabitha Andelin, which are handmade in an atelier using high-end construction techniques on clothing that people can buy and wear every day.

“Tabitha Andelin is high-end streetwear for the fashion forward.”

Tabitha Andelin clothing is designed and produced in small sets in Los Angeles, CA. Making a small set of product is not only less wasteful but allows each garment to be more unique. The collections use repurposed fabrics meaning that it was excess and if not used will become waste.

Tabitha Andelin is a person-centric designer building anesthetic for a new woman. She takes that commitment and makes a brand that cares about people from start to finish, now and always. Tabitha Andelin uses her name as the brand identity because she realized she could not define what she was doing in another way but with her name. All other words and phrases in any language have been defined and given a purpose. With a name, it cannot be looked up in a dictionary. A name is what you define it as. Tabitha Andelin will always represent love and compassion for people. It will represent the feeling of being conformable and confident when you walk out into the world. When you know Tabitha Andelin you know “Only Love is Here”.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s what someone would expect. Pretty much everything is hard and challenging. It’s hard to put yourself out there and see if people will like what you have to offer. It’s hard to source materials and find other good businesses with similar values. It’s complicated scheduling and managing photo shoots. It takes time to build a studio and get the machines and equipment to make a variety of clothing. I was looking for a specific mannequin with specific measurements for a long time because when you size up and down the clothing it will reflect your base size of the mannequin. It seems like such a small thing but my sizing should reflect a true body type.

I can’t think of a specific hurdle that defines how hard it is to build a business but I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time.

With that said I knew going into this would be challenging. But, I came to a point in my life where I either needed to choose to push myself out of my box and be a designer on my own or have a set-in-stone fashion industry career path. I chose to jump and see if I could fly!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Tabitha Andelin is most proud to say it’s not about trying to take over the world. Even though when starting a business people usually have the goal of making money, for me, that’s not necessarily a goal but something that I hope happens, so I can do what I love every day. What I care about is making people feel amazing, confident and comfortable. I believe clothing and fashion is an art that when you put it on yourself it evokes an emotion. As a designer, I have control over what types of emotion I want my clothing to evoke. After I launched my first collection, I had models come up to me and say “I have never felt this cool in my entire life” and, “you have no idea how much confidence you have instilled in me”. This is what Tabitha Andelin is. This was also when I realized I was a person-centric designer. I didn’t know it but that was the reaction I was looking for. To make people feel good about themselves.

Not only am I a person-centric designer when it comes to style and fit, but also with my business model. I use all repurposed designer fabrics and only make small amounts of clothing. Some clothing is even made to order because the fabrics are limited and exclusive due to coming from all over the world. I care about the effect I have on the world. I don’t want to add waste. There are already so many materials all ready to use. The biggest effect I want to see is how much positive energy I can give to the people who are wearing the clothing. It seemed small when I realized that’s all I was doing but then I thought of the ripple effects. Giving people comfort and confidence is small but what the people do because they are comfortable and confident is big. That’s why I say “Tabitha Andelin represents and assists the new women uplifting themselves into today.”

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
This city is perfect for me just starting out. LA is booming with talent and everyone is eager to collaborate on projects together. There are many organizations that put on fashion shows and events to help promote young designers. The people in the community are open minded to unique collaborations. For example, my first pop-up was in a spirit distillery. Where could you find a wine distillery open enough to have a high fashion pop-up? the answer is LA. Another example is the product photos for the website that show you front, back, side and details. They were taken in the Jason Vass art studio in the corner during open hours. People were walking around the gallery while I was taking these photos. I didn’t have enough money to rent a space so I had to make this work. Some could even say it was performance art!

LA has people and a community ready to support young artists and it has young artists that are willing to work together.

A con is that the living cost is extremely high. I know there are live/work spaces but little things like food, parking, and gas really add up in LA.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sage Bennett, Breona Wilson

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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