The Single Diaries dishes with Edana Hoehn, on fashion, creativity, and inspiration.
“I’m inspired by the people and life around me. It’s pretty incredible what you can think up when you take the time to slow down and look around at what really makes people happy and what could make their life better, easier or more beautiful.”
Welcome back to Single Girl Brunches with the Best—a series of conversations with friends and leading ladies who are fierce, fearless and inspirational.
In the spirit of New York Fashion Week which culminated yesterday, I caught up with fabulous fashion designer and favorite single girl, Edana Hoehn, to talk about her passion for fashion.
Originally from Delphos, Ohio Edana, 26, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to study fashion design product development at the renowned College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. We fatefully met as college freshmen through a mutual friend.
J: Where does your love for fashion and design come from?
E: It stems from an extremely early age when my absolute favorite thing was an untainted coloring book, a new box of 96 Crayola crayons and a ream of paper, all of which allowed for endless hours of creations. Let’s just say I was spoiled and as soon as the Red, Blue and Black crayons weren’t “sharp” or when I had to use the pathetic sharpener on the back, I always got a fresh, new box… that was my bliss. That love continued into high school where my art teacher created additional art classes to keep me entertained. She also introduced me to the idea of a design degree after bringing in a former student who showed off his college projects. Outside of school I was working a retail job that I really enjoyed. So, I guess I just married the two ideas and the rest is history.
J: Fashion can be an intimidating industry to enter. How did you first get started?
E: I got started as a naive, inexperienced and overwhelmed college freshman living with three complete strangers in a dumpy, overcrowded dorm room. I can’t really tell you many details of that first year since I basically lived in the art building spending countless hours on absurd, yet disciplined projects… many of which were done after being awake 40+ hours straight and after a few tearful breakdowns. Looking back I often laugh, but it taught me many invaluable life and career lessons.
Nonetheless, I will always be grateful for those projects and my required 6 cooperative education experiences (similar to internships, but they were paid and for class credit) in order to graduate. Not only do I attribute those co-ops to my current career successes, but I also credit them for allowing me to sift through career options and cities I once thought desirable.
J: Seems like all that hard work paid off! Now that you’re doing what you love where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
E: I’m inspired by the people and life around me. It’s pretty incredible what you can think up when you take the time to slow down and look around at what really makes people happy and what could make their life better, easier or more beautiful.
J: It can be easy to get swept up in our busy schedules and forget to take time to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. I think that’s a great piece of advice we can all learn from. Who do you look to for when you need advice and support?
E: Of course I look to those who are crazy-talented, successful and known leaders in their career fields. However, I lean even harder on those directly affecting my everyday life whether it’s family, friends or co-workers because at the end of the day they are the ones who can give me the support and conversations I need to make a hard decision, maintain positivity and can directly drive my creativity, emotions and thoughts.
J: I couldn’t agree more. What do you find to be the most challenging thing about doing something you’re passionate about?
The most challenging thing about doing something you are passionate about is staying passionate. It’s hard to not get comfortable and get caught up in the mundane tasks of every day. It’s important to get out of that comfort zone, go places you normally wouldn’t, have conversations you normally wouldn’t and with people you normally wouldn’t… that is what will keep you intrigued, questioning and challenging those everyday routines and tasks. Technology is huge too. Be sure to give what “the kids” are up to a chance (that hip thing/app/social network) that will ultimately put you ahead of the game and keep you on track.
J: Speaking of getting out of your comfort zone can you give us some tips on how we can mix up our wardrobes by reinterpreting the couture and high fashion trends we see on the runways into wearable, everyday trends?
The trick is to know what inspires you… if you dig something, try to pull your favorite piece from that particular look and incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe. You don’t need the whole “look” especially if you don’t want any random “looks” from strangers walking down the street that surely doesn’t resemble a runway. And if you can’t afford it (like, ugh, mostly everyone) then look at those retailers that can offer something very similar at a reduced price. For example, I’ve always loved “the hunt”—whether it’s online, thrift stores, discount stores or vintage stores. Plus, it always makes you a little more confident when you wear something and get unexpected compliments knowing it was a total bargain or its one-of-a-kind. Plus you won’t run into anyone else wearing it.
J: Really great perspective. Is there any last piece of fashion advice you’d like to leave our readers?
No matter what your style is, what your budget is, or how “fashionable” you are, be confident and rock what you dig. Confidence goes much further than a piece of clothing.
Have more questions for Edana? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet them #SGEdana.
When she’s not serving as our personal fashion guru, Edana Hoehn rocks her bold style around Minneapolis, Minnesota where she works as a fashion designer for one of your favorite retailers.