Designer Kelly Dempsey of Rack Addik Interview

Kelly Depsey
  1. What was the story behind your collection for the S|S ‘17 season?

I am a really big fan of the 90’s, and really wanted to channel that with this season’s collection in a more street glam sort of approach. Think Spice Girls meets Barbie…that was my goal.

  1. How did you feel showcasing for the first time during AMCONYC Fashion Week?

I had a great time showcasing with AMCONYC, they were very professional and it was a great turnout. I would definitely work with them again.

  1. What made you decide to pursue design?

Growing up I always wanted to stand out and push the bar with my clothing. Most of our only options were clothing from thrift stores and growing up in a small town, everyone knew I had their hand me downs on. I didn’t want everyone to know that, so I cut up all my clothing and made new clothes out of them. I think that feeling I got from being an individual is the fire behind my designing to this day.

  1. From your experiences, what would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, so far, in starting your own fashion brand?

So starting off, you are doing 100 different jobs at once! I look at it in a good sense, because it will feel that much better when I get to the top. You get to see everything that goes into it and it is very rewarding, especially after years of dreaming up this opportunity.

  1. I think it’s safe to say this is one of, if not the most, competitive industries to get into. Did you have to overcome any barriers getting into the fashion industry? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them? 

I learned nothing is easy in life, nothing. So why not push yourself and see how far you can go. I’m not much of a settler, and I love a challenge. It’s only a matter of time until I reach my goal 🙂

  1. You’ve built quite a following from your run on Project Runway last season. How do you feel it has helped the Rack Addik brand and you as a designer?  

The one thing I told myself is that I am going to just be me and not try to be anything but. I learned we are all special in our own way and that is our gift. When we try to act more like this, and less like that, you lose the beauty that makes you, you and people can feel that.

  1. What advice can you give to other designers trying to break into the industry? 

Don’t force anything. Find what you do best and run with it. The following you will create naturally, is the following you want to have.

  1. What’s next for the brand now that you’ve been a part of AMCONYC Fashion Week? 

Taking my own advice from the previous question, I am really interested in textile design, and I am working on a highly detailed textile collection for February.


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