Minneapolis–based fashion designer Danielle Everine was a Twin Cities favorite even before she appeared on Season 9 of Project Runway. Now back in the Twin Cities, she continues to design fashion to “encourage people to be independent, create their own look, and have their own voice.” Here, she shares her fashion philosophy and what the word “handmade” really means to her industry.
Was there been a pivotal moment where you decided to be a designer?
As I believe many designers are, I was born to design clothing and dress people. I don’t think I have much choice in the matter. Defining my place in the fashion world took much longer to develop and is still evolving.
What is your fashion philosophy? How did you develop it?
I am interested in a new definition of beauty. I think a lot of people have been bombarded with this glamorous look that has been valued as the epitome of fashion and are striving for perfection. To me, real people, real adventure, and real activities are what is fun and beautiful. My clothes encourage people to be independent, create their own look, and have their own voice. I aim to empower women through my clothes, inspire them to be adventurous, and look great while doing so. Jump on a bicycle, explore the forest, enjoy the cold, hike a few miles, sail the seas, and travel are a few of the ways I love to spend my time. I design clothing to match.
What does handmade mean to you, and why is it important?
The amazing thing about all clothing is that it is all made by human hands! There are different levels of automation for various complex operations, but in the end, an individual person is making each garment. The true difference is between mass production and small-scale manufacturing. Mass production usually means 10,000-plus units of a particular style made at rapid speed and flooded into giant retailers. This fuels endless cycles of buying and a huge amount of waste in terms of raw materials, shipping, and unwanted goods. Small-scale production is absolutely incredible for many reasons. The care taken to produce each item is inspiring, environmentally producing smaller runs in preferable, and as a consumer you not only know there is a limited number of certain styles, but that the item will outlive anything else in your closet.
What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I have and love the Mia tote in Navy with yellow trim. I also adore the Whitney Clutch in perforated leather Onyx with cream trim.