Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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What's been your greatest career achievement since leaving Runway?
I think my greatest career achievement has been reaching for my dreams wholeheartedly on a scale I never thought possible. It’s hard to do you know? I think having the courage and opportunity to dive into a higher level of the fashion industry, where it’s based [that being NYC] in itself is what I’m most prideful for. Dreams and reality are two very different things and giving it my all out here, regardless of my future, is a huge success within itself.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Do you think your work on the show was representative of your style?
As much as it could be given the circumstances. My goal was to be as consistent as possible while competing so my aesthetic, work ethic and talent/potential could be read by viewers and potential investors, buyers, etc. That way, regardless of winning or not, I could find a home for myself creatively and career wise. That more than anything else was the top priority for me.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Why do you think Portlanders seem to make it on the show so often?
Portland is one of the few independent fashion communities in the nation, so it’s a perfect place for scouting for a show that is on the search for independent fashion designers.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Why did you choose to leave Portland?
I wasn't ready to settle down into Portland long term, I wanted to experience more in my life first. I've always wanted to experience New York's fashion scene in order to better understand what place in the wider fashion world felt right for me. I needed to take the risk, pursue my deepest dreams in order to understand the realities of them. I think often times our 'idea' of our wildest dreams and the reality of them are two totally different things. It was important for me to take advantage of the opportunities handed to me, so I could better understand if I truly wanted that life. Portland did so much for me, but I was so young. It was a necessary move in my pursuit of happiness.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Do you think it's possible to make it as a fashion designer if you stay here?
I think its much easier to be based in Portland as an acces- sory designer; it’s more chal- lenging for clothing, but not impossible. I felt I was isolated from the resources like wider production possibilities, easier access to sourcing agents, and definitely the community of like-minded designers.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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What could we do here to improve that?
That's a tricky question. My personal opinion is that Portland is not New York, it is unique and a great house for the independently spirited designer. Embracing what Portland is and what it represents has always been deeply woven into its community, as well as the reason why like-minded creatives flock there. I think refining the resources that Portland already offers, and supporting the community that is there, is and will continue to be what makes Portland special. It’s not New York or LA, and shouldn’t try to compete with them. It should do what it does best better and stay true to the values that are in place.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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What's the next big thing around the corner for you?
I’ve got a lot of pokers in the fire and a lot of different directions I could go in. Sorting through opportunity, while fulfilling my orders on time is top priority right now.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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If given the chance, would you do it again?
Of course. I wouldn’t have done it in the first place if I didn’t think it was worth the risk. You can’t win big if you don’t risk big.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Gretchen's upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Gretchen's upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
Images from Gretchen Jones upcoming F/W 2013 collection.
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