Fashion: EMILY TREVOR: From Parrots & Popsicles

By John Mark September 3, 2015

Categories: Featured - Home Page, Our Scene

While most fashion designers are rarely known for their sense of humor, Emily Trevor is effortlessly hilarious. Much side-eye was given to Trevor’s strange faces and accents, exhibited from our table during a Nicollet Mall happy hour. (The reactions from passersby only fueled our laughter.)

Hair & Makeup: Kate Erickson; Styling: David Almeida; Model: Mattea @ Ignite Models. Photography by Kyle Lieberman

Hair & Makeup: Kate Erickson; Styling: David Almeida; Model: Mattea @ Ignite Models. Photography by Kyle Lieberman

Trevor attributed both her sense of humor and her sewing dexterity to her mother. “My mom would always sew my clothes. We would go to Jo-Ann Fabrics and look for patterns. Then I’d pick out really cheesy fabric, with, like, parrots all over it or, like, popsicles. We would make a little matching shorts and top. It was the best, I loved my clothes.”

On May 22015, at Ignite Model’s Envision event, Emily Trevor presented a collection (pictured) that garnered a standing ovation. Such a unanimously positive reaction to a collection is rare for the Envision fashion event, which has been running in the Twin Cities for over eight years. An expertly constructed mélange of dresses, separates, racer backs, netting, visors, and neon and white made for a sporty-but-chic impression. It was a night she’ll remember forever, “Seeing the collection walk the runway, that’s my favorite. You stare at the pieces for so long when you’re sewing, and they just hang lifeless on a rack. Seeing the whole collection together, on a three-dimensional form, with hair and makeup, is the best moment.”

For this winning collection, a perfect balance of simplicity, theatrics, and highly detailed tailoring set the bar high for the local design scene and pushed Emily Trevor into the spotlight.

Trevor remembers the moment she wanted to become a fashion designer quite clearly. “I was supposedly a buyer for an online retailer. These women didn’t know what they wanted to do with their business, so I was only there for a month, but during that time I met every local designer and got to talk to them about their businesses. I just knew I wanted to be on that other side of the table. I quit that job… and I told my family I’m going to design school.”

Emily Trevor’s journey to her first day of design school was certainly not on an easy or a linear one. Out of high school, Trevor moved to New York City to study theater, where she also began working at Urban Outfitters, introducing her to the world of retail and merchandising. “In New York, all of my best friends were gay men, literally. Working with my friend Jorge at Urban Outfitters was where I really started playing with fashion in a way I hadn’t before. Jorge was a club kid, so he always dressed real fun and it inspired me to dress real fun.” In addition to style inspiration from the nightlife elite, Trevor’s NYC buddies had more lessons to give, “I think all of these best friends brought out a different personality in me that helped me become accepting of who I am today. My friend Richard helped me love myself when I didn’t think I could love myself.”

While Trevor’s accolades in fashion have made her an inspiration to many a young designer, she is also interested in inspiring those struggling with addiction. “I moved back from New York to go to rehab. I was so depressed. It wasn’t New York that did it. I had all the symptoms of depression since the seventh grade, but I came to a rock bottom that I very much needed. Moving back here, getting sober, and being in recovery helped me figure out who I am.”

Once back in the Twin Cities, a new Emily Trevor immersed herself in fashion. It was a few years of working in retail, styling, buying, and managing boutiques that led her to an emotional first day of school, “The first day I walked onto campus to start the design program at [St. Catherine University], I started crying. I had finally found that I belonged somewhere. Without all that previous life experience, I don’t think I would have felt that way… that first day, it felt like it had been a long journey to say, ‘Yes, I’m passionate about design!’ and ‘Yes, I can do it!’”

In getting to know Emily Trevor, it becomes clear that the consummate fashion designer and personality she is known for publicly is related to a more intimate journey of patience, love, and resilience. Her sense of humor, though, I’m convinced has been there since the beginning, especially considering her outfit choices, “We were the family that had the American Girl dolls and there were life-size patterns, so my mom made me the dress to literally duplicate the dress that my doll, Felicity, had. It was a lace-up with ruffles and a calico print floral. I wore it to an elementary choir concert… so I was the one girl in the colonial dress!”

2 Responses to Fashion: EMILY TREVOR: From Parrots & Popsicles

  1. Anne Gallagher says:

    Emily Trevor is an inspiration to so many, even to those of us who aren’t in the fashion design world. We cannot wait to see her creativity continue to reveal itself in future innovative collections, as only Emily Trevor can do!

  2. Rose Ann Konkler says:

    Who would of thought our trips to JoAnne’s to make those ‘cheesy’ outfits would be planting seeds in this beautiful daughters heart and mind. So thrilled to see Emily blossom.

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