Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with ABI Ferrin

Every now and then I love to showcase designers and interview them. It is always amazing to chat with someone who has created such a fabulous brand that many love. I'm excited to share my interview with Abi Ferrin.

When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?
When people I admired, like Dayna Devon and Molly Sims, were responding to the clothes I made and wanting to add them to their own wardrobes. It was my passion and my hobby, so to imagine turning what I loved into what I did for a living was a natural transition!

What has been your greatest achievement?
Being able to overcome the cycle of abuse and paving the way for many other victims to stop the cycle and become victors as well. 

What do you like most about designing?
I love creating items that I feel are missing from my wardrobe and the wardrobes of those around me. My favorite part is wearing a new piece and getting such an exciting reaction from others!

Any particular pieces your favorite?
For the Fall 2012 season I'm obsessed with the Echo Nikki and the new vests. They are great layered together. I'm in Japan right now, and wore that outfit out last night. You know it's good when you can turn heads in Japan!

How is Abi Ferrin/The Freedom Project helping to change women's lives?
By giving women who were formerly in oppressive or abusive environments the opportunity to grow the thrive through their own businesses and talents.  We provide an avenue to the marketplace for them, and the pride and dignity of knowing that they were able to make it happen through their own efforts!

Do you speak on behalf of women who have been in abusive relationships? What advice do you give them?
Yes, I do consider myself an advocate for abused women. I was one. The best advice I can ever give them is that there is life on the other side that is so much better than the prison you live in as a victim. There are resources and people who will help as soon as you make the brave decision to change your situation.

How long were you in a similar situation?
For 2 years.

What exactly is the Freedom Project and what does it mean to you?
The Freedom Project is the philanthropic arm of Abi Ferrin Inc. It aims to help commission disenfranchised women from around the world and empowers them to escape abusive working conditions and relationships. Through The Freedom Project, those involved are able to build their own self-sustaining economies and enjoy the fruits of their skill and dedication. Each Abi Ferrin design is enhanced with a special handcrafted button, toggle, or other embellishment, hand-made by people involved with The Freedom Project.

What it means to me is almost impossible to capture in words. It is a vehicle for second chances, for fulfilling broken dreams, and educating those who may not want to face the ugly truths that are included in our abused neighbors daily reality, or the oppressed laborer who makes your clothes exist. Once people are educated not only do their lives change, but it gives us all the ability to realize we can make a difference! 

If you had to choose one of your dresses or tops and bottoms to create an outfit for a night out on the town, which would you choose and why?
Aside from the outfit mentioned above... I'd go with the Beverly Pantsuit because that is my current second favorite right now. It is so flattering, comfortable and fun! There are many ways to wear it, so it works with a multitude of moods as well!

Which outfit are you absolutely in LOVE with?
So generic, but I love it all! Right now I am wearing our new Sak Saum for Abi Ferrin 5-way shirt which says "For Freedom" in big bold letters vertically down the left front. I am in love with everything this represents – from the women of The Freedom Project who are being employed to the people wearing and learning about it. This is how movements begin!

I think that this video best captures what The Freedom Project is all about and the lives it impacts.

Anything else to include?
We have been thrilled to see our celebrity following grow. From Holly Robinson Peete to Perrey Reeves, Shaun Robinson and Vanessa Williams (to name a few), it’s so inspiring to see powerful women like these use their influence to support an incredible cause!

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