The Elysia Panda Interview

Published On April 11, 2014 | By Sweet1Lani | Interviews

1609564_10152066508952734_246584739_nSince early 2013 Elysia Panda has been making waves with her coveted custom legwear. Originally branded Stocking Noir, the line of men’s and women’s legwear features bold graphic designs by some of our favorite local designers. Katie Maillis of Streetheart recently launched her collaboration with the brand, while earlier in the year, James Gyre of Naked Geometry collaborated as well. The pieces are all created domestically and, because of their bold prints, they’re made of special microfiber to stay durable and elastic. Ms. Panda, sure seems to know what she’s doing!

Recently Ms. P made a big announcement: Stocking Noir is being redefined and revamped with a whole new name, Identity Crisis Legwear. The biggest change, besides the name, is they will be solely creating, instead of curating, pieces that feature brand new, original designs. They also plan to expand the men’s line with unisex printed socks and begin working with a wider range of designers.

We were intrigued, so we snagged a Q&A with Elysia for your reading pleasure.

Describe your customer and where they’d wear your pieces to.

Art + design + fashion enthusiasts. People who enjoy bold print, textiles and patterns. But this is…quite a difficult question!

A large reason for the naming of Identity Crisis has to do with reaching out to a range of identities through bold design and exceptional legwear. The legwear that we create (because it is custom print) is very much like a blank canvas. You can do whatever you want with it, wear different things with it, be a different person in it. It is all about the versatility of style and latitude of personality that goes along with the legwear.

You’ve collaborated with some great artists and designers, how do you decide on who to collaborate with? What do you seek in potential partners?

Indeed I have—I’ve been so lucky!!! Deciding on who to collaborate with has been really organic and natural up to this point. I’ve found that one great opportunity always leads to another and people have some REALLY awesome ideas for legwear. Seriously, the creative spark here in the community is remarkable, and that gives me hope for the future of mankind!

I’ve also noticed that the designers that we’ve worked with thus far have all had a strong sense of identity and personal branding. I love that, because then the collections have all been a reflection of who the designers are essentially.  One of my favorite parts about the entire creative process is definitely seeing the bold designs that come from the bold personalities who create them.

We’ve been working with designers on full collections (4+ pieces) but we also want to keep it open to individuals with legwear ideas. The only requirements that we have at this point are: have a unique design idea for legwear and the ability to create it. We’re always accepting design submissions and wanting to hear more from people.

Who are some of your personal favorites in the fashion and design worlds? What designers have inspired you? What brands do you covet most?

I’ve always been inspired by the designer house greats Coco Chanel & Vivienne Westwood. They are both such fearless trendsetters AND businesswomen. I’m convinced that you have to be both in this fashion day and age!

Fashion designer favorites are : Alexander Wang, Emma Mulholland, Walter Van Beirendonck.

Brands that I consistently love are Kenzo and Romance was Born.

Recently, I’ve also had the chance to work with an artist whom I’ve been admiring for a while now! His name is Hector Hernandez and he is an artist based in Austin, TX. We have a common love for mixed media, legwear and surrealism. I literally just reached out to him out of the blue one day and asked if he would be interested in shooting some of our legwear. Much to my delight he said yes!

Everyone should experience his wonderful work here (GO!) :
Hernandez Website
Hernandez Tumblr

Any teasers on what’s coming next with the rebranding?

We are currently working with three designers on collections that will be released at various points throughout the rest of the year! Other than them all being really different and there being more menswear on the horizon, I shouldn’t tell you much more ;-p

We are also printing specialty lines for several boutiques/retail stores (some locally and some nationally), participating in the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership outdoor night market, planning a HUGE fashion event at the Heinz History Center in June and leaking a mixtape with some electronic summer sounds in July.

All in all, life is crazy but swell~

To get your hands..err legs, on these amazing pieces head over to the website for Identity Crisis Legwear, scope out the latest designs, and stay tuned for all that the year ahead promises!

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