We don’t ever hesitate to do it with our music and food, but when it comes to shopping, we don’t ask ourselves enough – “what’s the story behind this piece and where does it come from?” Creators of People Places Things, Alexis and Bebe, are taking fashion down a path it’s never been. They began their journey because they’re obsessed with humans, the diverse spaces people occupy, and the objects people acquire. Connecting stories of places through the things they curate and the people they meet along the way – all while building a global community.
They dive deep into what they find, gathering from the unknown, unrecogized, and under-appreciated designers from around the world. From thrifting, market hopping, food tours, historic walks, and the countless steps on their forever progressing pedometers, the brand turned fashion and travel into a global treasure hunt. They’re a multi-channel platform featuring global independent designers and brands, offering curated items, while immersing and connecting them to culture and country. The bottom line is they’re changing our thought process about fashion, design and style – and doing it in a dope way that we have to applaud. We caught up with the dynamic duo to learn more about People Places Things, and how they’re opening fashionistas eyes in a whole new way.
First off let’s get right down to it, can you explain why you started People Places Things?
Alexis & Bebe: For many reasons. We saw a need for the accessibility to global, rare, affordable luxury, one of a kind fashion pieces. A desire to bring culture and stories back into our fashion and clothes as well as slowing down the fashion manufacturing impact. We geniunely have a love for people, traveling, and fashion. We wanted to create a company where we could live out our wildest dreams daily! Wow what a big surprise we got (laughs).
Seriously though, it’s pretty cool what you’re doing, being able to see exactly where the clothes started with the designer all across the country. Do you think people need to care more about where their clothes come from and why is it important?
A & B: Yes, yes and yes. So many people don’t understand the sacrifice that $6 shirt cost the single mother in China that has not seen her daughter in two years because she is pushing out fashion fast for pennies, in a condemnable building slaving 12 hours days. Our styles are hand made in small workshops, overseen by caring and fair individuals. The care that the workers stitch into our clothes is evident in the durability, touch and longevity.
Wow, and sadly there is a lot of that which goes on, that we aren’t even thinking about when shopping. What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned while being a part of this brand and getting to know designers and fashion companies on a deeper level?
(continued from above) Another big lesson for us, we are learning to just do things our way and in our timing. Making our own rules. Being comfortable with yourselves when you are continuously doing things out of your comfort zone is so important. We enjoy building relationships, the hunt of beautiful items, and the many cultures around the world. Our methods are different in comparison to other e-commerce multi-brand online retailers, so understanding who we are and not comparing how we run our business to how they run theirs helps keep us sane.
That’s v true, you guys take an entire new route, which is why we love you. What are some trends you see coming to the states that you have found are popular in other countries?
A&B: Platform oxfords: Popular in South American countries; they have always been low key on the scene in US, but we are noticing them actually trending now.
Tassel accessories and jewelry: Every place you look, we are seeing colorful strings of fabric hanging from earrings, necklace and other accessories, which are another South American, Spain origin.
Lace socks: We saw this trend start emerging last year, but this year we are starting to see it being worn more and done correct. A Japanese Harajuku street fashion staple.
Love it all. We’re all for girl power, and we can see you are, too! Any advice on how women can lift other women up in the industry and how we can work together?
A & B: Just supporting other women, whether it’s local, international, or an Esty seller. Knowledge sharing, connecting each other to resources and people, and being positive and available to the women in your tribe when they need a listening ear or help with a project.
Can you give us a run down on how you select your designer/fashions that you feature?
A & B: It’s a combination of things. We heavily rely on the buying behavior of our customer base. We look at when they are shopping and how, when, and why. We combine that with designers that meet our customer’s functional and emotional needs with their apparel, jewelry, shoes, and accessories. Our customers are diverse in their needs, from sustainability to luxury and one of kind, our community of designers are selected based on their values of quality, hand-crafted, unique designs. It’s our fashion law of attraction.
WRUW is fully behind diversity – what do you think the fashion industry needs to do to create more diversity, and do you think it’s on its way to become more diversified?
A & B: We think the fashion industry is pacing with the rest of the world and other industries when it comes to diversity and inclusion. There are more women of many cultures that are being recognized compared to years prior, that’s just one example. It’s great that diversity is present, but the industry has to create environments where everyone has access to the same opportunities and genuinely feel valued and respected in their fields.
Can you tell us why diversity is so important to your brand?
A & B: We want to showcase the world, that the world is super diverse. People don’t know what they like until they are exposed to it, that is where we come; the joy of standing out in the crowd but feeling like you are right at home at the same time is the emotion we hope that our collections inspire.
(continued from above) So providing that feeling and that momentum to our customers and designers to go out in the world promoting diversity and inclusion through their fashion choices.
You’ve seen a lot of creativity – what inspires your company and yourself?
A & B: It’s in our name – people, places, things. That is where our creativity, our passions, our drive comes from. We thrive off of meeting new people, learning about a country or a place and beautiful things. The desire to expose geographic regions and their culture and beauty to the many people around the world is what motivates us daily. There is magic and beauty everywhere, why should we not all be participating in it.
What advice do you have after seeing so much inspo and creativity up close and personal to those trying to make it in the creative field?
A & B: Be intentional about your craft, do what you love, make mistakes, and just keep being inspired by everything around you. I mean there is a big world out here for us to live in, so why not explore the world through the things you love. Be open to failure, over and over again. But don’t be afraid to launch.
The series of iPhones were just failure after failure – but they still launched. They is always more details, something to be added, anxiety, and highs and lows; no matter still create and just add it later. Don’t wait for the perfect moment.
By: Staci Wuokko