22 March 2007

panda head interviews...

redeem's website describes their aesthetic as "elegance mixed with grit;" a walk through the shop reveals men's and women's pieces that combine urban appeal with beautiful (and perhaps more importantly, INTERESTING) craftmanship. lori parkerson opened her 14th street store just five months ago, but by carrying hard-to-find lines (try locating another alex + chloe necklace within 200 miles. i dare you!) and facilitating events like february's prevue revue, she's already established redeem as one of the coolest independently owned boutiques in the city.

how do you go about choosing brands to carry?
I just look for lines that appeal to me aesthetically - or ones that are doing things a little differently. Stuff that I can get excited about. I also try to find brands that have a bit of a story to them. While there’s strength in brand recognition, I definitely like supporting up-and-coming lines. Some of these young designers are completely brilliant, and it’s nice to be able to get behind them—contribute to them realizing their own dreams.
what's your favorite item or line in the store?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! Right now I’m loving Spring ’07 stuff from Corpus and Anzevino & Florence because they’re so ahead of the curve. They’re both west coast brands who do a lot of unisex type styles - such cool and unexpected details mixed with complete simplicity. One of the girls who works with me in the store says Corpus’ men’s line almost makes her wish she was a boy - it’s pretty stunning!
where did the name come from?
I originally wanted to do re-purposed vintage, maybe throw some old furniture in, etc... Over the years, the business plan evolved to just carry new clothes, but I stuck with the name because I loved it so much. It also fits in well with my own personal faith. Who doesn’t like the idea of redemption?
any philosophy behind redeem?
The store’s tagline is “It’s never too late to change.” It’s a multi-faceted philosophy, certainly - It’s never too late to change your outfit…your personal style… your career to pursue your dream (as in my case)… your life in general. We’re definitely hoping to create a shop to counter the typical DC conservatism in fashion — redeeming style in DC!
how did you choose your location?
I’m a DC native, and I’ve enjoyed watching the 14th and U Street corridor change over the years (much of DC for that matter!). I like being able to be a part of a neighborhood, to add to a real community - Isn’t it nicer to be able to walk down the street or hop on the bus and come to your favorite shop than to have to fight the crowds in Georgetown? The people in the community have been amazing - so supportive and warm. I never really considered any other part of the city.
what excites you about being in the district?
For Valentine’s Day, BrightestYoungThings.com posted reasons people love DC… one guy summed it up best - “It’s not New York.” “It’s not LA.” It’s exciting to be in a place where small changes are still recognizable and people appreciate them. I love the fact that DC is still realizing its potential--- being in a growth phase is always gratifying.
what's your take on DC style?
I think it’s coming along. I think in the past it’s been defined, naturally, by the political culture- very buttoned-up… but our customers continuously comment on how glad they are to have us in the neighborhood and how refreshing it is to see something different open up — so I think, generally speaking, folks are looking for things to loosen up and get a bit more edgy.
is there anything you'd like people to KNOW about redeem that you aren't usually asked?
It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream…Thank you for supporting us!

interview and photo: morgan. lori wears a cashmere cardigan and check-v t-shirt, both by corpus and available at redeem. redeem is located at 1734 14th street NW.


Blogger Candid Cool said...

cool interview. cool cardigan.
and from what i've seen of corpus so far, i'm in love with the men's line too.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Davidof said...

I like the photo! Cool background

1:58 PM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

Love your interviews! :)

She reminds me of Liv Tyler. Stunning cardigan.

12:58 AM  

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