24 Hours With… AGOLDE’s Erin Meehan
Designing cutting-edge denim, daydreaming about interiors and avoiding road rage on the LA highways… it’s all in a day’s work for AGOLDE’s Design Director Erin Meehan. We caught up with her to learn more about her inimitable brand of Cali cool...
“Waking up at home in LA.”
“Starting the day with some nature.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I usually wake up around 7AM in my apartment in the Hollywood Hills. I like to take it slow in the morning to have some time at home before the work day begins. First order of the day is always coffee! I make myself a latte and take it on a walk with my two dogs.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I usually hit snooze on my phone about four to five times.
Where are you usually based?
What does your average day look like?
There is never really what you’d call an average day - which is what I love about my job. Sometimes I take the morning to sketch before I go into the studio. We typically fit in the afternoon, which is the only consistent part of our schedule. I’m also involved in all of our shoots, so partnering with our creative team, casting models, making mood boards and styling.
Do you have any rituals?
I am not really someone who has rituals. I like to be more spontaneous with my days and let my creativity move me. I find it important as a designer to give yourself some creative freedom. Our company encourages us to create our own unique working process.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
Our studio is located in Huntington Park. We are a fully vertical manufacturing facility with a sewing factory and laundry all within reach, so it’s a super dynamic environment. I drive there every day and love to take that time to blast music in my car and sing loudly. Sometimes I get a bit of road rage… but I’m working on it!
“Heading to the AGOLDE Fall campaign shoot.”
How would you describe what you do?
As Design Director at AGOLDE I research seasonal concepts, sketching ideas and working through color palettes. I like to experiment with new details and shapes that you wouldn’t typically find in denim. Fitting and working with the patternmakers is also a daily part of the job, and we shoot all of our ecomm and lookbooks in-house, so there are also many weeks spent on photoshoots.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I grew up in suburban Florida which was totally removed from fashion. I had anxiety as a child and found comfort in spending time alone reading fashion magazines and creating outfit ideas. I spent my youth wearing a Catholic school uniform which also triggered a need to express myself through fashion.
How did you get your start in fashion?
My grandmother made a career for herself as a seamstress after coming to the U.S. from Cuba, and she would make clothes and costumes for me and my sister. I would show her photos from my magazines and together we would make patterns and design clothes.
As a teenager, I was very serious about ballet - I studied at Joffrey and The Pennsylvania ballet. When I decided that it wasn’t my final career choice, I found my way back to fashion. I graduated from college in NYC, and met a Denim Wash Director who needed an assistant at The Gap. I think when something is so innately a part of who you are, it will find you.
How did you end up in your current role?
I had previously worked with our Creative Director at J Brand, and she brought me in to meet with the team. AGOLDE had just recently relaunched and I was really excited to jump in and work on something from the ground up. We were able to be really creative and experimental with how we could shape the brand and it’s been so amazing to see it grow.
“Sketching at home before heading
to the studio”
“I’m currently reading Cassandra at the Wedding.”
What are the most important factors for the AGOLDE brand?
Our biggest focus right now is on sustainability. As a brand we are thoughtful in the way we produce our denim across the entire manufacturing process. A few of those methods include laser technology, ozone wash machines, and high-efficiency dye and washing machines. We also control our production with a very tight distribution and use cut-to-order in order to minimize waste and avoid over-production.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
For me creativity is not something that can be forced or calculated. I’m someone who is obsessively researching all the time. Isolation is also an important part of my personal creative process. I love our dynamic work environment but I also make sure that I have enough time on my own to sketch and experiment with new ideas.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
I really only take time in the morning or evening because my brain is constantly thinking, researching and dreaming. My creativity tends to fuel my energy all day but when I get home in the evening I love to zone out with a book or trashy reality TV.
Do you have a favourite piece from AGOLDE’s new collection?
The Bea bodysuit and pierced leather jeans are some favorites of the season. I love the asymmetry and mix of fabrications.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Emma Corrin. Her style is amazing and I’m always excited to see what she will wear next.
“Heading out to karaoke with friends wearing the Bea Cutaway top and Recycled Leather Pinch Waist ‘90s fit pants.”
“Dinner with friends at Musso and Franks, my favourite LA eatery.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
I am almost done reading Cassandra at the Wedding and it’s great.
What do you usually do for dinner?
I’m not a great cook to be honest! For dinner with friends I love classic LA restaurants like Musso and Franks.
What time do you go to bed?
I’m usually in bed by 11 but have the bad habit of watching a bit of TV. I love a good true crime documentary.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Scoop up my dogs and take them with me.
What do you dream about?
Lately I have been daydreaming about architecture and interiors - I’d love to design furniture one day. If I dream at night, it’s usually something like being chased by a snake or forgetting to wear pants in public!
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