Dandelions: What first inspired you, from the earliest age you can recall, to get into fashion?
Richardson: I like to control people; their movements, actions, feelings and the manner in which they perceive themselves. Fashion always seemed like a logical option for me. With fashion there is the prospect of holding an influence that runs deeper than any other. You can escape from music, film, even architecture really, but fashion is always there. Wherever you go there are people in clothes and as humans we define others by how they look. We wear what we wear because we see it as a reflection of the image we want others to perceive. The chance to influence and control, both an individual’s self-perception and the general public’s perception of an individual, was always too tempting for me to pass up. So I guess my quasi-sociopathic tendencies as a small, mid-western child are what inspired me to enter into the fashion industry. Wait, that all sounds pretentious enough . . . right?
I’d like to point out that in the modern era, everybody has their own company/line/design. What sets yours apart?
The most literal answer is that we take a unique approach to ready-to-wear. The inspiration for Evie and Victor came about after I wrote a short story concerning the namesake characters, two decadent teens that embark on a murderous journey in the desert outside of Los Angeles. Each season there is a new story that both inspires and is inspired by the line. I’m trying to create a culture, a multi-media experience that isn’t just clothing or literature. Evie and Victor is both. As time progress we hope to conquer other mediums. When you wear a designer you’re not just paying a ton for the nice clothes, you’re paying a ton because the mind that designed it fascinates you and can ideally offer you something that someone else can’t. With Evie and Victor the consumers see everything. It’s physical and mental. It’s both a product and entertainment. Evie and Victor is a culture. Kind of like the Romans but with more senseless violence.
I find that good design speaks for itself. On another note, what were some of the biggest obstacles you faced getting your line off the ground?
Money, of course. I’m from a blue collar midwestern family so even getting to go to a private east coast art school was a big deal. When I graduated I was broke. I fled to chicago to live for free with a friend from high school and somehow I worked some magic while I was there. Plus working cuts into my strict regimen of drinking from morn’ to nite so that’s hard but we all have to make sacrifices.
Do you feel a liberation having funding? Do you ever feel that it could pollute you?
Of course I feel liberation. If I didn’t have money to run my business I’d be producing badly made garments in cheap fabrics and trying to sell them on the street. I don’t feel any sort of pollution. I want a business. As much at the creative process and culture are important to me, I’m a designer and not an artist. Underground fashion is dead. This idea of subverting the system is dead. Who in fashion wants to not be involved in the system. It’s immature. The only reason to do this “underground fashion rebel thing” is that your work isn’t good enough to compete. If you’re a decent designer you can work within the system while creating things that question and disturb it. But I like money. This is fashion and to pretend superficiality and consumerism aren’t the Gods I pray to (along with Riccardo Tisci and Bret Easton Ellis) would be a lie and, worse, cowardly.
Of course there is a necessity to return on your investment. When do you think your first line will be available for purchase?
The first Evie and Victor collection will be in stores come February 2012.
You told me each line comes side by side with a story. What is the opening story for Evie and Victor?
This season’s story “Dessert Road,” is a jarringly descriptive tale of Evie and Victor’s comically macabre misadventures through the California desert. Adorned in a costume budget that rivals A-list stars, the pair of affluent teens embark on a Natural Born Killers style road trip to escape a certain unnamed feeling. The story will be up on our website come Wednesday. Be forewarned, it’s fairly graphic.