We had the good fortune of connecting with Betsy Flores and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Betsy, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am forever inspired by nature and celestial bodies. Our planet is such an infinite fountain of inspiration, I am influenced both by its endless forms but also by our relationship with Nature. My work is always created with a sense of honoring its beauty and our connection to it. I design through a lens of creating with Nature instead of against it. Fashion is inherently unsustainable. As designers we have an opportunity to make a difference in our society by creating in a way that preserves our environment. I think sometimes we get wrapped up in our lives and forget we’re a part of a bigger eco-system that we rely on. Beyond that, we’re a tiny cell in a beautiful universe. Hopefully we can have even at least a tiny impact on it while we’re here.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The fashion industry is a wild and beautiful little world. After almost a decade of working for other brands, I decided I wanted to create for myself so I could design in a way that didn’t continue to ruin our environment. At the time sustainability wasn’t really common practice in fashion, so I had to create the opportunity for myself. Now, I create capsule collections under my own label when I’m moved to. I don’t believe in having to adhere to the traditional fashion calendar or designing wastefully, so everything is made from upcycled materials and when I’m truly inspired to. As a design studio, I’m lucky to be able to work with new labels as well as heritage brands and help them create sustainably as a ghost designer. I’ve gotten this far because they’ve taken a chance on me and I’ve been gifted with being able to call some of the most amazing artists I know dear friends. They’ve inspired me, created with me, believed in me and pushed me to keep going as an independent designer through the moments I was overwhelmed with the darker extremes of this industry.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to my favorite places: Elf Cafe, the most magical food in all of LA, Isakaya Osen, my favorite little piece of Japan in this city, my go to’s for coffee, Laveta and Bloom & Plume. Of course, I’d take them to Point Dume and to the Broad for some inspiration.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Everyone I love, but I have to shout out a few….. Kim Krempien. She’s been part of almost every designer in LA’s journey and supported them somehow whether it was through fashion week, producing shows for them, connecting them to someone or just being a muse. She’s supported my one woman design studio in a million ways. I’m lucky enough to have started a redesign studio with her (Other Lives Studio) this year! Lloyd Galbraith, an insanely talented artist: a photographer, set designer, stylist, mua and so many other things. Lloyd’s also been a part of creating the vision of pretty much every designer in LA and has inspired and supported me so much. I would create with him every day if I could. Pierce Lopatic, my boyfriend. A brilliant shoe designer and the most dedicated to his craft. Not only is he so talented as an artist, but helps me see the artist in me through my impostor syndrome moments and supports my work through all the chaos that I can be. He deserves a monument.
Photos by Lloyd Galbraith
Models Lyena Kang, Talon Mckee