High school besties Camilla Eckersley, 42, and Davora Lindner, 43, form the core of fashion house Prairie Underground, one of the best, brightest, most innovative and perhaps most commercially successful brands to come out of Seattle in the last decade. The duo started designing in 2004 and since then have launched 35 collections—four a year, with 30–35 garments per collection. Taking into account size runs and colors, that’s more than 150 individual garments per season. Their line has landed in more than 200 independent specialty boutiques nationwide and online, including 40 Hot Mama stores throughout the Midwest (as well as one in their native Nebraska), and in the Sundance catalog. All the while, they’ve maintained a dedication to sustainable materials (from hemp jersey to cotton elastic twill and beyond), managed to keep their manufacturing local (the dye house they use is in Los Angeles; the Seattle one closed in 2009) and grown their staff to a team of nine full- and part-time employees. While best known in some circles for their Prairie and Cloak hoodies (form-flattering sweatshirts favored by on-the-go women who rely on them to throw over anything and still look amazing), Eckersley and Lindner design a broad range of clothing—from coats to jeans—all of it distinctly casual, structurally interesting and decidedly unshackled by trends at large. FIND IT: Horseshoe (Ballard, 5344 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.547.9639; shophorseshoe.com) and Show Pony (Fremont, 702 N 35th St.; 206.706.4188; showponyseattle.com)
Seamless in Seattle 2013 Winners
Seattle has always been a quietly fashionable city, thanks in part to our broad hybrid of cultural influences (Scandinavian, Asian and, most recently, African). Our Wild West rebellious streak means we don’t feel the need to conform to the fashion world at large (we’re much too practical for that), and the innovative thread that inspires our creative brain trust extends to our independent fashion design community, stimulating a groundswell of new talent in recent years. Since 2007, Seattle magazine has supported our small but mighty design scene through Seamless in Seattle, a fashion design contest that boosts the profiles of and possibilities for student and emerging designers. This year, the contest’s sixth, we opened up the competition to accessory designers and established designers to reveal the breadth and depth of talent in this town. At stake: a $2,000 grand cash prize, two Brother sewing machines, courtesy of our generous sponsors Quality Sewing & Vacuum and Brother International, and a feature in these pages. A record-breaking 40 talented designers applied. Read on for the six winners, five finalists, three editor’s picks for well-established local designers who have made a national splash, and a glimpse at the present (and future) state of Seattle style.