One wouldn't typically associate clean, pseudo-futuristic silhouettes or razor-sharp tailoring with the American Midwest, but that's exactly where up-and-comer Erin Barr got her start.
"Growing up in Wisconsin, fashion design was never really an acceptable career path for me, due to the small demand of fashion jobs in the Midwest," explains Barr, who worked as a hair and makeup artist before an offer from the Aveda Institute prompted her move to New York City.
Eager to transition to her aesthetic to ready-to-wear, Barr spent a year at London's Central St. Martins before returning to New York for a degree from Parsons an an internship at Alexander Wang. This fall, Barr successfully launched her debut Spring '12 collection, dubbed "An American Tomboy in Paris," which took inspiration from minimalist forms as well as classic western garb.
"I'm constantly looking to menswear for inspiration," Barr told us. "The construction behind tailoring is pretty amazing, and I find the subtle details in menswear really captivating. I like taking those elements, combined with a bit of sexiness, to create something that is beautiful, yet easy-going."
With immaculate tailoring and strong, sophisticated shapes, the debut collection is mature enough to suggest a seasoned industry talent, auguring great things to come for the new designer. "One signature is this sleek cut that I am really working on developing," says Barr. "I like the look of something strong and sharp, combined with soft undertones." Barr's look will certainly resonate with professional New York women looking for versatile pieces that still make a statement when entering the room.