You can’t help but be thrilled when introduced to a new local designer, especially one who speaks to so many different styles, age groups and personalities. Meet CarolAnn Wachter. Her beautiful designs are the perfect balance of sophistication, femininity and class… conservative meets sexy.
Since she was a little girl, CarolAnn has always thought like a designer. When asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, CarolAnn was quick to respond; “I want to design things”. CarolAnn’s grown-up tale originates in none other than the nation’s fashion capital, New York City . It was there, while roaming several avenues exploding in style and fashion, that CarolAnn took note of her surroundings and found her niche.
Having graduated from the Art Institue of Chicago with a triple degree in painting, sculpture and history, CarolAnn was confident in her creativity, and she quickly learned she wanted to apply it in the world of fashion. She took a simple sewing class, and with the help of a friend who had taken a home-ec class in high school, she sat at the sewing machine and created her first collection of hats. CarolAnn recalls those first simple patterns being compared to “elf hats”, but in an industry as cutthroat and competitive as fashion, she must have been doing something right. The first major retailer to pick up her collection of millinery was the most luxurious of department stores, Barneys New York.
Several years later CarolAnn grew her successful line of high-end hats, Mind Design, to include a fabulous collection of clothes, ranging from dresses, coats, and beautiful separates- all with vintage flair. Drawing inspiration from the 1920’s – 1940’s, CarolAnn focuses more on the draping and fit of her designs, and less on trends. Using her dynamic artistic drive, CarolAnn is dedicated to the fine detail, wearability and functionality. Not only are her designs “seasonless”, able to transition through all seasons with no avail, but they are also timeless.
With so many designers jumping on the “green” bandwagon and using sustainable eco-friendly products, CarolAnn raises a good point. You can still create beautiful and sustainable products without going green. Have you ever noticed how your Grandmother’s vintage pea-coat from the 1940’s is still holding up, practically looking as good as new? Or how your Mother’s favorite blouse from high school is still in good enough shape for you to wear today? Unfortunately, most designers don’t make clothing like they used to. Mass productions are put out, keeping up with the constant changing of trends, and ultimately ending up in landfills. We all have that one trendy item we’ve bought, only to have it hang in our closet with the tags still on, never to be worn. But think about those classic well made pieces you own that are worn time after time, that will continue to be your “go-to” items for several years to come, possibly even passed down (or “recycled”) for your children and grandchildren to wear. Now, that’s sustainable and timeless fashion.
CarolAnn now resides in Boulder with her husband, but all of her designs are still produced in New York , not outsourced to another country like so many other products today. Her line is primarily sold in big "fashion" cities, such as NY, Chicago and Tokyo , but lucky for us Coloradoans, she has taken root in the Rockies . You can find her latest collections at è bella in Boulder, and if you are interested in receiving information on future trunk shows and events, simply post your email address to the Facebook Fan Page.