Category: Kings Style Published on Thursday, 20 May 2010 07:42 Written by SwaggaKings.com Hits: 2028
In a world of wastefulness and over abundance, a L.A. streetwear brand has decided to undertake the challenge of educating the fashion community about the benefits of caring for the environment through style and design.
Courtney Ogilvie of Cash Crop Clothing (CCC) has fashionably accepted the responsiblity of informing society about the joys of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" through meticulously crafted raiments created entierly from organic or recycled materials. CCC's most astonishing feat of avant organic craftsmenship is a motorcycle jacket whose feel and look is exactly like leather, but is really recycled plastic. Courtney discusses her career, involment with CCC, the 2010 holiday release, and why the fashion industry needs to stop being wasteful.
SK: Please introduce yourself to the people.
CO: MY NAME IS COURTNEY OGILVIE. I AM 28 YEARS OLD. I LIVE IN LA, AND I AM THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR BEHIND CASH CROP CLOTHING.
SK: What is your background in design and fashion?
CO: I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A PASSION FOR FASHION, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY CREATIVITY. I WAS ALWAYS A WEIRD KID BUT ONCE I FIGURED OUT HOW TO CONCENTRATE IT AND USE IT WISELY—[MY CREATIVITY] STARTED GETTING ME SOMEWHERE.
I STARTED AT THE BOTTOM LEVEL IN A PRINT SHOP LEARNING ALL ABOUT REACTIVE DYES AND DISCHARGE…I WAS FASCINATED WITH FABRIC AND HOW IT WOULD TAKE DIFFERENT PROCESSES.
I DID ATTEND FASHION SCHOOL. I TOOK EVERY INTERNSHIP I COULD GET MY HANDS ON, AND I JUST KEPT WORKING UP IN MY JOBS. I WENT TO SCHOOL TO LEARN THE BUSINESS SIDE OF FASHION. I SPENT 6 YEARS DOING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION. NOW I AM BACK IN THE CREATIVE SEAT.
SK: How long have you been the spearhead of CC?
CO: 2 YEARS! IT’S BEEN A RIDE FOR SURE LIKE MR. TOADS.
SK: Can you explain the ideas/concepts behind CCC’s mantra, “Re-use Cash, Reduce Crop, and Recycle Clothing”? How do you plan to uphold these principles?
CO: WELL WE OBVIOUSLY ARE AN ECO FRIENDLY BRAND. SO WE WANTED TO FIRST BE ABLE TO EDUCATE OUR CUSTOMERS. IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE NEEDED TO TAP INTO SOMETHING COMMON. EVERYONE KNOWS WHO SMOKEY THE BEAR IS, [LIKEWISE] EVERYONE KNOWS “REUSE-REDUCE-RECYCLE”.
WE ARE REUSING OUR CASH IN A SENSE... I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT! WE ALL “BUY” A BOTTLE OF WATER--WE MAKE JACKETS OUT OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLES WE BOUGHT; IN THAT WE WAY REUSE OUR CASH. WE REDUCE CROP AND MASS PRODUCED FARMING BY USING ORGANIC COTTONS. BY FARMING THIS WAY WE ARE “REDUCING CROP”. AND WE RECYCLE CLOTHING OFTEN BY USING LEFT OVER MATERIALS FOR LINERS AND OTHER TRIM DETAILS ON OUR GARMENTS.
I BELIEVE BY HAVING THIS BRAND AND DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING; IT IS UPHOLDING THESE PRINCIPALS EVERYDAY. MORE IMPORTANTLY, EDUCATING OTHERS TO DO SO WHILE LOOKING GOOD AND BEING PROPERLY DRESSED OF COURSE.
SK: Organic clothing is known to have a higher production cost than its non-organic counter parts. Yet you are able to offer well designed, quality pieces at very reasonable (almost jaw-dropping) prices. How do you all maintain an affordable price point?
CO: HONESTLY WE DO NOT MAKE A HUGE PROFIT MARGIN. OF COURSE WE HAVE TO MAKE MONEY TO BE IN BUSINESS BUT WE’RE NOT ROLLING DEEP OR ANYTHING. BUT AS YOUR FRIEND JAMAL, I GOTTA TELL YA, MOST OF THESE COMPANIES ARE TRULY RIPPING YOU AND ME OFF. I KNOW HOW MUCH IT COST TO MAKE CLOTHING, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SO EXPENSIVE, BUT I MEAN IT’S A BUSINESS AT THE END OF THE DAY.
YES IT IS MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT I AM ALSO A TOUGH PERSON TO DEAL WITH…I GET WHAT I WANT, BUT I DO IT BY KEEPING HONEST RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY VENDORS. THEY MAY NOT LOVE THE PRICE I WEASEL THEM DOWN TO, BUT IN THE END WE’RE ALL SUPPORTING A GOOD CAUSE AND I PAY ON TIME. HA! I LIKE THAT WE CAN SEE SOLID CLEAN STAPLE PIECES ON PEOPLE AND THE BEST PART IS IT TOOK NO DESTRUCTION. IT’S A COOL FEELING.
SK: How much time is put into the research and development of the materials you use?
CO: SO MUCH TIME, I MEAN WHETHER I AM IN AN AIRPORT, ON THE FREEWAY, ANYWHERE; I AM ALWAYS READING AND RESEARCHING. I JUST RECENTLY GOT BACK FROM THE SHANGHAI TEXTILE SHOW- MAN I WAS LIKE A KID IN A CANDY STORE! THE EDUCATION WAS OVERWHELMING.
THE HARD PART FOR US IS THAT WE ARE A SMALL COMPANY SO WE CAN NOT MAKE MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF 1 STYLE YET. THIS IS AN ISSUE AND A THREAT TO US BECAUSE THE MATERIALS ARE SO RARE AND DIFFICULT TO PRODUCE PEOPLE WANT YOU TO BUY MASSIVE QUANTITIES. WE CAN NOT SO IT TAKES A LOT OF TALKING TO BE ABLE TO GET THESE MATERIALS. I HAVE MANY OTHER MATERIALS I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU ALL, BUT WE GOT TO WAIT A LITTLE BIT BEFORE BUYING THAT MUCH. IT WILL NOT BE WORTH IT FOR US AT THIS POINT.
SK: Has this led to the discovery of new materials or production methods? Care to share a few with us?
CO: I MEAN…I HAVEN’T LIKE INVENTED OR BEEN THE FIRST TO DEVELOP ANYTHING. WE DON’T GO CAMPING OR WEAR TEVA SAMDALS. WE ARE LIKE YOU, ALL LOVE TO SHOP, GO OUT, AND DINE. SO FOR US, I DON’T THINK DISCOVERY IS ANYTHING WE WILL BE DOING.
WE PREFER TO THINK WE ARE EDUCATING, WHETHER IT BE RECYCLED WOOL, PET, ORGANIC COTTON, LEAD FREE DYES, OR RECYCLED POLLY. THESE ARE NOT NORMAL MATERIALS IN THE CONTEMPORARY MAN’S LIFE; THEY THINK MORE LIKE CASHMERE, SELFEDGE DENIM, MERINO WOOL, AND POPLIN. SO TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I AM GOING TO KEEP UTILIZING THE PRODUCT METHODS AVAILABLE AND KEEP EDUCATING. WHEN OUR FOLLOWING IS HUGE AND PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO CONSUME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AS WELL AS LOOK GOOD--THEN ILL HIT THE SCIENCE LAB
SK: What is the focus of your garment designs?
CO: CLEAN, STRUCTURE, STAPLE PIECES, AND TRADITIONAL COLOR PALLETS THAT IS TIMELESS. I REALIZE NOT EVERY MAN HAS OR CAN AFFORD A TAILOR. SO I WANTED TO GET THE MOST STRUCTURED FIT POSSIBLE OFF THE RACK. I HAVE MADE THE LENGTH LONGER AND THE WIDTH A TAD BIT SMALLER, I THEN INFUSE LYCRA INTO ALL MY COTTONS, SO IT EITHER LAYS WELL ON YOUR BODY OR STRETCHES TO YOUR BODY. THIS HELPS THE CUFF SIT ON THE WRIST AND THE SHOULDER SEAM SITS ON TOP-NOT HANGING OFF THE SIDE- TO GIVE A CLEAN LOOK. AND REMEMBER BOYS BUY YOUR SIZE.
SK: What is the inspiration and theme for your Fall 2010 line?
CO: MY DAD. GROWING UP MY DAD ALWAYS TOLD ME A FEW THINGS.
(1) HAVE A STAPLE TRENCH COAT. INVEST IN A GOOD BURBERRY TRENCH COAT IN A NEUTRAL COLOR. IT WILL LAST YOU SEASONS.
(2) YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A SUPER EXPENSIVE SHIRT, BUT MAKE SURE IT’S PRESSED AND CLEAN. YOUR COAT WILL MAKE IT LOOK BETTER.
(3) GET YOUR PANTS TAILORED. SAGGY PANTS TAKE AWAY FROM A MANS FRAME.
(4) SPEND MONEY ON YOUR SHOES, EVERYONE WILL LOOK.
(5) AND LASTLY, DON’T BE SCARED TO TAKE A CLASSIC PEA-COAT FROM 5 YEARS AGO AND CHANGE THE BUTTONS. NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW IT WAS YOUR OLD ONE.
SO FOR ME, I TOOK ALL THE STAPLE PIECES THAT I THOUGHT WERE CRITICAL TO A MAN’S WARDROBE AND FOLLOWED THAT BLUEPRINT.
SK: What is the Casa Time Capsule?
CO: I AM NOT THE ONLY DESIGNER HERE AT CASH CROP. WILLIAM E DENNIS III IS MY OTHER BRAIN. BASICALLY, EVERY TIME WE DECIDE TO DEVELOP A SEASON, IN THE MIX OF DESIGNING WE TEND TO GET SIDE TRACK AND INSPIRED BY THINGS THAT DON’T REALLY WORK WITH OUR COLLECTION. TO RELEASE THAT WE CAME UP WITH CASA TIME CAPSULE--THINGS THAT TAKE US BACK TO OUR ROOTS--THINGS THAT INSPIRE US.
OUR FIRST CASA DROP WAS OUR KHAKI COLLECTION INSPIRED BY BLUE COLLAR WORK WEAR WITH A TRENDY TWIST. USING SUPER DURABLE COTTON TWILL WE DEVELOPED A 4 PIECE MINI COLLECTION: A PANT, A JACKET, A SHIRT, AND A PAIR OF SHORTS ALL LINED WITH CHAMBRAY.
SK: Can you tell us about your female line dropping next fall?
CO: HAHAHAH I CANT. I AM SORRY BUT IT'S CALLED COURTNEY MICHELLE, SO LOOK FOR IT.
SK: How was CC’s debut at the MAGIC showcase? What new opportunities spawn from the event?
CO: WE SHOWED AT ‘PROJECT’, WHICH IS THE SAVVY CONTEMPORARY PART OF THE SHOW- IT WAS GREAT. THE SHOWS ARE ALWAYS GOOD TO LINK UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND NETWORK. IT’S EXCITING (WITH THE RECESSION THAT HAS AFFECTED US ALL) TO SEE NEW STORES POPPING UP AND NEW BUYERS WALKING THE SHOW. WE DEFINITELY EXPERIENCED SOME GROWTH FROM THE EVENT--THAT’S ALWAYS EXCITING.
SK: You have recently expanded your distribution to the DC area via Palace5ive? What other cities are you planning to expand to?
CO: WE ARE CURRENTLY IN JAPAN, AMSTERDAM, CANADA, LA (AND PROUD), SAN FRANSISCO, SAN DIEGO, ATL, CHICAGO, NEW YORK, PHILLY, I MEAN WERE SPREADING OVER THE MAP PRETTY QUICKLY.
SK: Is there a denim line in the works?
CO: I AM A SUPER DUPER DENIM JUNKIE! I MEAN OBSESSIVE--SO FOR ME IT’S LIKE IT HAS TO BE RIGHT! IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT. AND THE MATERIAL I WILL USE WON’T BE THAT INEXPENSIVE- SO I WILL WORK ON IT WHEN MY CUSTOMERS ARE READY.
SK: Your partners are very eco-conscious, what are some of the brand’s initiatives to spread the word about sustainable materials and waste reduction?
CO: JUST KEEP DOING WHAT WERE DOING NOW
SK: Any collabs we should look out for?
CO: WE MAY BE DROPPING A PAIR OF SUN GLASSES WITH 9FIVE A CALIFORNIA BASED BRAND USING RECYCLED PLASTIC… I AM JUST WAITING FOR MARC JACOBS TO CALL, TELL HIM I'M LOOKING FOR HIM IF YOU SEE HIM.
see more Cash Crop at www.cashcropclothing.com