Thursday, February 23, 2012

Phoenix Zoellick Interview - Glitter Britches!

Phoenix is launching a new line of sparkly spandex pants called Glitter Britches on Kickstarter. I've seen these pants in action and they are amazing! Super-duper fun and sassy. The cool thing is, by pledging $65 on Kickstarter, you're actually just pre-ordering a pair of pants.

Kickstarter is amazingly easy to use. If you already have an Amazon account, you don't even have to give them any credit information. You just create a name and password, then they bump you over to Amazon. Super slick and a great way to support small businesses while having fun.

I've already pre-ordered a pair of Glitter Britches to sparkle up my rump. Check out Phoenix's interview below and then go to Kickstarter to add a little sparkle to your life.

AA - What was the inspiration behind creating Glitter Britches?

PZ - Basically I really, REALLY like shiny things. I wanted some crazy-shiny tights for a costume, and it seemed unlikely I'd find exactly what I wanted in any stores, so I made some. The experience of making the first pair sparked off a design-frenzy, because anything I decide to make I want to make REALLY WELL, and suddenly there were all these things I wanted to do or figure out--how to make them fit the best, how to make the pants as versatile as possible, how to make legs look longer... it grew beyond one meager little David Bowie costume very quickly.

AA - Why does everyone need more sparkle in their lives?

PZ - Well, I don't know about everything else, but my Dad has suggested that there may have been a "magpie in the woodpile", because I have always just loved anything that sparkles. When you wear Glitter Britches, you can't stop looking at your own legs, you're just so shiny, you must be a freaking super hero! They provoke random dancing and kung-fu kicks. Who doesn't need more of that?

AA - What makes Glitter Britches superior to other tights and pants, be they sparkle or non-sparkle?

PZ - Glitter Britches are made with a great deal of attention to fit, look and feel. They're designed with only one leg seam for increased comfort and for an uninterrupted visual line. They're made out of 4-way stretch spandex for the most tush-lifting, never saggy fit. They're higher in the bum, lower on the hips, so they feel secure but not like granny-pants. They have a reinforced crotch seam for safer high-kicking. Also, they're very versatile in terms of style. With an extra-long inseam and a mild boot-cut starting at about calf-height, they can be worn under boots as leggings, over heels as pants or rolled up for yoga or rock-climbing. Also, they're handmade in San Francisco by glittery elves. Top that, American Apparel!

AA - Why did you decide to pursue Kickstarter to finance your business?

PZ - Fashion, at its best, creates community. That's what draws me to it, over other artistic pursuits. Clothing is inherently personal, but can bring people together. When I design clothes, I'm not just making one painting for one person; I'm making something special for many people, and that, particularly if the item is easily recognizable, creates a bond. That sense of, and desire for, community is what brought me to Kickstarter. I love the concept of crowd-funding; it allows people to join the group before the product even exists, and be a very real component in its creation.

AA - What inducements are you offering to get people to participate in your Kickstarter campaign?

PZ - Well, I do have a degree in illustration, so I'll be doing some fashion illustrations of the pants and making postcards of them--basically mini art-prints. Those, and the original art, will all be available, along with some other goodies, on the low end of the spectrum. The main feature, of course, is the pants themselves, and you are able to pre-order your very own pair and help bring them into existence all at once. You can even, if you really want to get involved, choose one of the colors we'll be making for the first run, and we'll name that style after you, with identifying tags and everything. How cool is that... immortalized in holographic spandex.

AA - You also create furry animal hats and tails. How does that tie in to sparkly pants?

PZ - I'm not sure that it does, in any direct way! One of the central mantras of the brand (picture Loki saying this, if you will) is "I do what I want!" I make things that interest me, or that I want to wear RIGHT NOW, and then I figure out how to make them even better, and then I pass them on the world, and hopefully you will love them and do what you want while wearing them. So there. Really, I can't say that furry hats and shiny pants have much of anything to do with each other, except that I enjoy making both, and both are fun to wear and make you look more awesome than you did before. Bam.

AA - Anything else?

PZ - Just thanks to you and to everyone who supports us along the way. We're one tiny company and every bit of support and kindness means the world to me.

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