One of the things we strive to do here at The Geek Lyfe is to bring awareness to awesome brands doing great things! One of those brands is Lorica Clothing and we got the chance to interview Elie Hutchinson, the creator of the brand, recently on their incredible clothing line focused on cool designs!
The Geek Lyfe: For those who might be unaware, who are you and what is Lorica Clothing?
Elie: Lorica Clothing is a fashion brand that takes “fashion is a cycle” to another level — which is to say, we’re bringing the 12th-16th centuries back with designs based on historical armors! My name is Elie Hutchinson, and I’m the designer and do-mostly-everything-else behind Lorica. 😉
TGL: What is the origin story of Lorica Clothing?
EH: Lorica started as a creative outlet for my ample spare time the summer after my last year of college. I needed a project to fight off the existential angst that comes with applying for a Real Person Job for the first time and merging my loves of fashion, art, and history seemed the best way to keep myself busy! I took sewing and pattern-making classes in a neighborhood studio, read lots of books and made many more google searches, and eventually was able to find domestic manufacturers to see my first prototypes made. It took a few years and late nights, but eventually I launched a Kickstarter to test whether or not my idea had legs. Lo, and behold — turns out there’s a world full of women who, like me, grew up wishing that casual full plate was a feasible choice for everyday fashion! The campaign was a hit, and I’ve been spandexsmithing ever since.
TGL: What separates Lorica Clothing from other brands?
EH: There are many quirky legging brands out there with beautiful all-over art, some of whom even have armor-ish designs, but none specialize in historical accuracy the way Lorica does. Fantasy armor is beautiful, but personally I think the real thing is even more mind-blowing because it actually exists! I do my best to replicate extant pieces in as exacting detail as I can, and I love telling their stories. When I show at conventions and fairs, people are always surprised to learn that there’s a date, name, and history attached to each piece.
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TGL: Out of all of the years that you’ve been apart of Lorica Clothing, what has been one of your favorite moments?
EH: That moment the Kickstarter funded was something else. I remember it clearly — I was at PAX East, playing a game of Tsuro with my friend Ben, and I had the Kickstarter page up on my phone. In the days leading up to PAX, the campaign had stalled after all my friends and family pooled their support, and I thought, “Wow, this is it. This is my network. And it’s not enough.” But that weekend, one blog picked up the story, and then another, and suddenly it was on fire. The pledge total ticked up by the hour, then the minute, then the second. And during that game, as we laid our tiles on the board, I saw it hit $10,000, and I murmured to Ben, “We just funded.” I was too stunned to even be excited. But I remember feeling so proud. Sometimes you need to be reminded that the things you make ARE pretty cool, to people other than yourself, even!
TGL: Which product is your personal favorite?
EH: I love all of my children, but the Henry VIII leggings will always be my favorite. They were the last of the original three designs I finished, and I feel like they were the sum of what I had learned from finishing the first two. I had such a hard time confronting that filigree — I’m not one of those artists who doodle pretty shapes in the corners of my journals, so designing decorative elements really just wasn’t something I felt confident about. I even posted a facebook status to the effect of, “TO ALL MY ART SCHOOL FRIENDS, HELP, I CAN’T DRAW FLOWERS AND I’LL PAY YOU TO DO IT FOR ME.” Fortunately, no one bit, so I had to learn how to do it myself! And I think it turned out splendidly.
TGL: What has been one of the challenges you have faced while running Lorica Clothing and how did you overcome it?
EH: Learning how to invest wisely was honestly one of my biggest hurdles. I took some financial gambles early on, some of which paid off, and some of which very much didn’t. I think one of the biggest challenges as an entrepreneur is knowing which risks are ones worth taking, and which ones are just reckless. It’s a process, unfortunately, I don’t have a magical answer for acquiring the wisdom to discern one from the other!
TGL: Where can we find out more about the brand and everything Lorica has to offer?