Titiana Inglis is a Brooklyn-based fashion designer trained at the Design Academy Eindhoven and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She apprenticed with New York designers Camilla Stærk, Jean Yu, and Threeasfour before launching her eponymous line of sustainable apparel in 2009.

When first you encounter Inglis’ designs, you think “elegant, powerful, and seductive.” Her clothing is constructed with an understated beauty that will announce your presence to everyone in a room without shouting. On the forefront of emerging sustainable designers, Inglis has traveled the world to source her materials, has received recent accolades from the CFDA, and has been featured in Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, and The New York Times. She has also collaborated with musicians such as Charlie XCX, Chelsea Wolfe and M83.

Titiana Inglis in her New York studio

Titiana Inglis in her New York studio

Why design?

That is an excellent question.

I really consider myself an environmentalist before I consider myself a designer. It took me a long time to reconcile with myself with the idea of putting more stuff into the world when there is already so much stuff. I started a blog at first about sustainable fashion while I was weighing the whole idea and after writing about a bunch of designers and researching a lot of methods and really just seeing what the whole scene was out there I saw what was still lacking at that point which was high end clothing that was produced sustainably. There was still that stereotype of the hemp sack so for me I just wanted to go in and prove to the world and the industry that you can make something beautiful but also has a positive impact on society and the world around us.

You were one of the top finalists a few years ago for the CFDA/Lexus eco-fashion challenge. What was that experience like?

Having that level of acknowledgement and validation in my work and having the support of an organization like the CFDA was a really amazing experience. Plus having my work shot on a supermodel has been an incredible thing.

Titania's work station.

Titania’s work station.

As a designer what are your thoughts on other designers beginning to drop out of doing the standard 4 collections a year and working on their own cycles instead?

I think it’s smart. What we’re seeing is that the calendar has been broken for a long time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with connecting the public directly with the design process, it’s amazing but at the same time fashion week has become a thing of cultural value.

I did fashion week 3 times and each time I got incredible press and I was really excited and proud to be there but at the same time I ended up taking a step back because I was putting all of this energy into something that was of such an extreme spectacle that I didn’t really have the resources to turn it into what I wanted it to be.

Titania's work station: pattern samples.

Titania’s work station: pattern samples.

Ultimately the money, time and energy that was being spent on it was better spent on the clothes. I talked a lot of friends who had said the same week and said that the season they stopped showing was the season that they had their best sales ever. Because they were putting their focus into their customer and not into a showcase. It’s been really good for me so I can put that energy now into photo shoots and video shoots and something that lasts a long time.

 

How would you describe the woman that wears your designs?

Pretty much all creative types but there’s definitely that younger customer who invests in something whether it be for a performance or prom. My goal is always to create pieces that are comfortable, practical and easy to wear and just throw it on in the morning and look put together, but also statement pieces. I’m designing for humans.

Mood board and fabric samples.

Mood board and fabric samples.

What are the main materials that you’re working with right now?

I started off with organic cottons from Japan which will always remain a constant in my work, it’s one of my main materials. The other that I’m working with most now is a cupro material which is an upcycled material.

Mood inspiration.

Mood inspiration.

What is the focus of the collection you’re working on now?

I’m contemplating putting a few things together for Resort. Part of what happens with me every season is the design process really accelerates as it gets towards the end so at the end you have all of these ideas but just don’t have the time to execute so a lot of the time for me I take that as my jumping off point for the next collection.

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What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?

I checked my email.

What would your last meal be?

Best meal I ever had was the tasting menu at Blue Bill at Stone Barns.

If you could be any cartoon character…..

When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be a rock star and when my boyfriend asked me what my idea of being a rock star was and I said Jem.

If you could be anyone, anywhere at any time…

Karen Blixen, Out of Africa, 1930’s

 

Browse Titania’s full collections here, http://www.titaniainglis.com/

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