Clashist is an apparel line launched by Heather Lipner in 2013. The project grew out of her desire to create something clever & unique. From 1998 – 2002 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to study economics, Heather worked for six early dot com pioneers, including iuma.com and clickradio.com. Her fascination with entertainment and technology brought her from her hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles, where she went on a path designing e-commerce sites to social networks to launching some semi-famous iPhone apps, becoming Product Art Director & Marketing Creative Director of MySpace from 2009 to its sale in 2011. In 2012, Heather launched Uncovet, a marketplace focused on indie fashion and home accessories. Focused on trend data from over 30 million feeds, Uncovet’s team scours trending data from Pinterest, Blogs, Svpply, and other social media sites to uncover objects of desire. In 2013, Heather joined Mike Macadaan in creating This is Ground, most famous for the Cord Taco and Cordito and now the Mod.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am the founder & creative director for Clashist. I come from a digital background designing websites from social networks like Myspace to e-commerce shops like Lisa Kline. Before Clashist I founded Uncovet – an indie designer shop for fashion and home accessories. I started Clashist because I wanted to design my own products. At Clashist, I manage all aspects of the business from design, production, marketing & fulfillment.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? We’re working on prints for fall, holiday, resort, spring and summer. Previously we just released as we designed, but now we’re getting ahead of schedule & prepping production accordingly. We have some very very fun prints ahead—I am super excited.
How did your interest in art or fashion begin? My mom is a good illustrator and also taught me how to sew, etc. My parents brought me up with a strong work ethic and encouraged all my crazy ideas, so I turned more into an entrepreneurial artist because I needed to be resourceful in order to execute. I like pushing for new ideas that many people can relate to, and that feels creative and innovative in some way. I like fashion because it’s the most mainstream art form—we all have to wear clothes.
#1 fashion don’t? Don’t be boring. Give me something to look at.
If you had to explain your work or brand to a stranger, what would you say? We design clever prints for basic silhouettes—mostly around pop culture and nostalgia.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? The process is collaborative. I have three people on my team, each with their own speciality. We brainstorm, close in on some ideas, and our designer, Sam, and I do digital mood boards to dive deeper and then move forward with with execution. Sometimes there are zero revisions and sometimes there are a lot. We get feedback from friends and colleagues, and then finalize. We print on mostly poly blends because we’re doing digital sublimation, get the samples, revise and sell.
The marketing aspect is similar to how people do their personal social accounts—when you see something that inspires you or have a crazy idea, you just do it. There’s no two weeks of planning each post, etc. We’re a small company so it should feel that way—authentic and natural.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? I am personally obsessing over sunglasses right now—I love Thierry Lasry & Pared.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? I like change—Los Angeles constantly changes. Keeps me on my toes and always gives me something new to do. Sunshine ain’t so bad either.
What are your thoughts about the fashion scene in Los Angeles? California has a very comfortable vibe, which is great because I love wearing sneakers with skirts and tees with high heels. Anything goes—keeps me open to whatever.
What was the last collection you saw that stuck out to you? I guess it was Proenza Schouler’s Fall 2014 collection. I love all the knit coming back too—very nostalgic. Tess Giberson’s Fall 2013 had some gorgeous organic looking knits, which reminded me of when I used to weave.
What is your snack/beverage of choice when working in your studio? Krave beef jerky and water.
What are you really excited about right now? To jump in the pool wearing this.
If you hadn’t become a designer what do you think you’d be doing? A lawyer; I like debate, solving puzzles and communicating.
What are you listening to right now? Wu-tang—going through all their albums.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? I think the best reaction has been Clashist. People love it—makes them smile, when wearing it, makes ‘em feel like a celebrity—it’s a weirdly wonderful thing.
Def the worst reaction was when a bunch of people burned a life size wooden bench of the redesigned Myspace logo I worked on. Long story short, conceptually the logo was good, but in reality the company and community could not take change whether it be positive or negative. I think the unattainable desire was to hold on to something that had already passed. If you catch my drift…