PATTERN’s 2018 STREETExPO is just around the corner. Slated for July 28th, it is the only creative lifestyle fashion trade show in Central Indiana and PATTERN is highlighting just a handful of the innovating brands that will be showcased at that show. The STREETExPO aims to serve as a conduit between brands, buyers, designers and fashion lovers continuing to bring attention to Indy’s fashion aspirations and talent. To learn more about the event and becoming a vendor, visit the STREETExPO info page here.
I walked into Barbara Riordan’s studio and was delighted to see her colorful and vibrant printed designs. We immediately started talking about our dogs as she was wearing a black and white dachshund top with gorgeous red flare pants. As we chatted we began to discuss her designs and brand, Pariah5K. Pariah means social outcast as Riordan describes her brand as an insiders’ brand for outsiders.
Sustainability is a large part of her brand. Most of Riordan’s designs are made out of fabric using 45 percent recycled content while also being stain resistant and easy to care for. Riordan loves the idea of sustainability and incorporates it as much as she can but does find it to be challenging.
Due to her desire to ethically source fabric and notions within the United States, the price of her garments increase. According to Riordan, her items are classified as advanced contemporary because they are well made using premium materials. Her idea of sustainability not only incorporates recycled materials, but also stellar design.
“You can be sustainable without using a recycled content fabric, Riordan said. “I feel like if you make a product that’s not fast fashion and after you’ve worn it for 15 years, you take it to a resale shop and someone else buys it, that’s sustainable. That’s part of being sustainable — producing a good product. If you’re making a really good product that’s going to be around for a long time, that’s sustainable.”
This past March, Riordan showed her collection at Vancouver Fashion Week and was recently featured in July’s issue of British Vogue under the designer profile section.
“Vancouver Fashion Week was a great experience,” Riordan said. “I’m more interested in doing intimate shows with repeat customers or buyers instead of something that big. But it was a blast! Additionally, Vogue UK covered me online and then reached out to me to see about being in the print version.”
Riordan sees all these opportunities as stepping stones to help grow her business. She has recently dipped her toes in menswear and will be debuting some of those items at PATTERN’s STREET ExPO.
“It’s funny, I never really thought about doing menswear before,” Riordan said. “When I look at things it’s more of what I want to wear but when I get some prints in I thought ‘Well this could make a men’s bomber jacket.’ So somehow I’ve gotten into this menswear thing without thinking about it. It’s been a lot of fun!”
As for the future, Riordan plans on attending more fabric shows while trying to lock down a sewing factory that will help her produce her designs. The hardest part for Riordan is trying to stay focused when thinking of new ideas.
“My first instinct is to create and then there’s that whole business side of it. The creation part is so easy and the business side is so boring and awful. I need to focus on a few things and try to get them out before I create more, ” Riordan said.
To learn more about Pariah5K, check out their website and social media!