Emma Berg talks local fashion and personal inspirations
Chances are you have seen Emma Berg around Minneapolis with her signature Louise Brooks-style jet black bob. Emma is one of the Twin Cities' most fashionable ladies, and one of our most unique women's wear designers. She chatted with City Pages about her start as a designer, her inspiration, and the local fashion scene.
Jane Belfry: When did you start designing?
Emma Berg: I started sewing when I was in middle school and did a small stint selling at a St. Paul boutique called Look It years ago. It wasn't until fall of 2009 that I started selling again. I have designed for myself pretty consistently since I started sewing, evolving from turf mini-skirts to form fitting satin gowns.
JB: What made you want to start designing?
EB: I've always loved dress-up and continue to be in awe of the rush of emotion I get from wearing a beautiful dress that feels like it is meant for only me. Creating something that might provide that feeling to others gives me sincere pleasure.
JB: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
EB: So much of my inspiration comes from visual artists. As a curator at Fox Tax I spend a significant amount of time perusing the art of artists that I might show. I am interested in the dialog that a painting creates with the viewer and all of the open interpretations that arise from it. With fashion, I am trying to create a dialog that pulls from ideals of optimism, glamor, and magic.
JB: What local designers are you inspired by?
EB:There are so many local designers that pour their heart and soul into their collections, each designer that I am lucky enough to call a peer inspires me. My favorite-favorite though is Max Lohrbach. When I put on one of Max's garments I can't help but want to cause mischief.
JB: You have great personal style, where do you like to shop?
EB: For local design I shop Cliché and Design Collective, for vintage I like B-Squad and Blacklist. Most of my shoes, which I have a wrongful weakness for, I buy on yoox.com. I must confess: If there is the temptation of a beautiful dress in a window display, I can't
resist but wander in.
JB: How do you feel that the fashion scene here has changed over the past few years?
EB: The infrastructure that is being built to help support local designers by MNFashion continues to elevate the quality of garments and designs being created, shown, and sold in Minnesota. Local boutiques such as Cliché and Design Collective are a huge factor in success as well. I am happy and honored to be a part of it.
Berg's collection is currently available at Design Collective. Commissioned garments are also available. For more info please contact Emma through Design Collective or www.EmmaBerg.com.
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