81 Poppies

Michelle Weisman of 81 Poppies

Michelle Weisman of 81 Poppies

Tell us your background in design. Where are you currently located? Why did you choose to move back to Austin?
I studied fashion design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. While at school, I started interning for Mint by Jodi Arnold; she hired me as her assistant designer upon graduation until 2005. From 2005-2010, I was the head designer for swimwear at Shoshanna. I also did freelance work for Anlo, J.Crew, DKNY, and Adam. I am currently located in Austin, TX. My husband and I chose to move to Austin for a lifestyle change, to have more space and freedom. We were able to buy our first house and start 81 Poppies, and my husband now has more space to work on his art/paintings.

How does working in Austin influence your line’s aesthetic? What’s the fashion scene like there?
Working in Austin influences 81 Poppies’s aesthetic in many ways: The styles in each collection are vintage inspired, versatile, and not too dressy. Austin is a very casual city; you rarely see women dressed up. Austin definitely has its own style; it can be very eccentric at times and runs the gambit from hippy influenced, to chic and sophisticated, to vintage rock and roller. There is a very vibrant fashion scene: Tons of up and coming indie designers are here; Austin fashion week in August is fantastic and brings out some very talented designers from around Texas; SXSW always has tons of fashion events going on; and Texas Style Council Conference brings in bloggers from all over to speak and present in Austin.

Tell us a little bit about your jewelry collaboration came about.
I met Micah Yancey Rust, designer of Bon Bon Jewelry line, in Austin last year at a pop up shop that I participated in for Texas Style Council Conference. We immediately hit it off and I just love her jewels–they are so well made and beautiful. When I was asked to be one of the featured designers to present my collection at Austin Fashion Week last year, I immediately asked Micah if she wanted to design some pieces that would complement the Spring 12 collection.

What sets Spring 2012 apart from your past seasons?
For Spring 2012, I honed in on what the 81 Poppies girl loves, focusing on pieces that are easy, versatile, and can be worn from day to night. I also brought in more texture with different fabrics such as the french lace, chambray, cotton pique, and mesh silk.

What’s the easiest way to stay cool in Texas?
Its definitely tough staying cool in the hot brutal summers here! But the best way is to wear light and breathable fabrics like cotton and silk. You can also hang out at the cool spring fed pools such as Deep Eddy or Barton Springs Pool.

Favorite thing about spring?
My favorite thing about spring in Texas is seeing all the wildflowers in bloom! You will be driving down the freeway and see pops of blue, yellow, orange, and pink that just are so beautiful they make you you want to stop, pull over and take pictures!

Any must-haves for this season?
A great pair of sandals–I am eyeing the JCrew Tova sandals. I am also lusting after a brightly colored handbag–something in red or bright blue!

Dream summer vacation?
I have been wanting to go to Napa and visit the wine country. I am sure it would be a little cooler than Austin in the summer:).

Best BBQ?
I would have to say The Salt Lick. It’s a must if you ever come to Austin!