Eliza Starbuck: You might not know her name, but you may have seen her dress. Shes the designer behind the little black dress worn by the Uniform Projects Sheena Matheiken during her 365 day campaign to raise funds for the Akanksha Foundation , and now she and her company Bright Young Things is on a simple mission to raise awareness about hyper-consumerism and sustainability. (See photos of Matheiken's Uniform Project dresses.)
Starbuck started out working for some of the biggest names in fashion: J. Crew, Coach and Club Monaco - but soon became fed up with the industry. I didnt find it fulfilling in any way, she said. Working in commercial fashion was also antithetical to her personal consumer philosophy. I only buy clothing at thrift stores, or items that are really one-of-a-kind. Thrift stores are really my solution to quality at a good cost.
Plus, she says, shes always been suspicious of ultra-cheap clothing: How do you produce stuff incredibly cheaply without cutting corners? It just doesnt add up.
So Starbuck partnered with her friend Matheikens campaign and came up with the signature dress of the Uniform Project, which Matheiken wore every day for a year in an effort to raise awareness about consumerism. Matheiken paired Starbuck's LBD with donated accessories and items from her closet in order to create new and exciting looks. As the project caught on, Starbuck made more copies of the LBD and put them for sale on the Uniform Project site. They sold out in just under a week so Starbuck decided to promote her anti-consumerist message by selling them under the moniker Bright Young Things.
Her simple black dress can be worn with its buttons to the front or the back, over or under practically anything. Ive even worn it as a head wrap, laughs Starbuck. The dress is not particularly cheap it sells for $185, but then, thats all part of the plan. I didnt want it to be too inexpensive. I wanted people to think about whether or not they really needed it.
I want to design at a level where people understand that scaling back is something that anyone can do.Bright Young Things
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.