Transformative, dark, nostalgic - Helena Eisenhart
Helena Eisenhart is a designer from the Bay Area, California. She now resides in Brooklyn, New York. She received her A.A. in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising San Francisco in 2012 and her B.F.A. in fashion design from Pratt Institute in 2015. Shortly after graduating and showing her senior thesis collection at the 2015 Pratt Institute fashion show, she began developing her next collection.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I got my start in fashion at a young age. My mom is an artist and always encouraged my creative interests, so I always received a new sketchbook on my birthday, which I filled with drawings of “outfits” inspired by celebrities like Britney Spears and JLo. I wasn’t allowed to use a sewing machine until I was in high school, so I practiced by hand-sewing kitchen towels together and making outfits for my dolls. The first time I really dove into fashion was when I went to Parsons pre-college program in New York. I was 13 years old and decided I really wanted to learn more about fashion design and I told myself I would go to Parsons for college. My parents didn’t want to spend the money for the pre-college program so I paid for it myself, by babysitting all the neighbors kids for a summer and teaching tennis at a kids camp.
Describe your aesthetic in three words
Transformative, dark, nostalgic
As a designer, what are your main influences?
My influences are always changing and I try to surround myself with influential and creative people. I am always influenced by sci fi and drama film, but am also inspired by the structure and systems of the human body. I am influenced by my friends because they are all so different but somehow we all come together by one common thread. I never limit myself in inspiration because it can really come from anywhere and sometimes I surprise myself.
Tell us about your Fall/Winter 2018 collection
My most recent collection for Fall/Winter 2018 is mostly designed to be unisex, and also includes both leather and vinyl options. Although I enjoy using real leather and fur in my designs, it is no longer practical for me to design in this way. I would like to incorporate more alternative leather and fur options in the future. This collection is darker and more feminine than my previous work, but I am just beginning to explore my more feminine side. It is very inspired by workwear (similarly to my past work), but also victorian era fashion and the modern lolita.
Do you have any favourite pieces in this collection?
Yes, my favorite pieces are the Lola Dress and the Arya Cargo Pant. The Lola Dress is made with a really beautiful organza and I love the fully smocked sleeves and ruffled skirt! The Arya Cargo Pant is a favorite for its practicality, style and shape. The pant is water-repellent and has many pockets, but also makes your butt look great, like a peach :)
What can we expect from you over the next few seasons?
Starting in July I will be selling my collections at Wolf & Badger online, and possibly in-store as well beginning in August. In September I will host another fashion event for my next collection which I do not plan to design for any season. Each piece of my collection will be offered in a variety of lightweight and heavyweight fabric for different occasions and will be available immediately upon release. I plan to add more styles to my online shop in-between collections as well. This fall and winter I also plan to do more pop-up shops this fall and winter in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.