The designer talks inspiration and her fall collection.
Upon arriving at Georgetown’s CUSP, Amanda Uprichard is easy to spot. This is owed to her ensemble—a hot pink top of her own creation and jeans, paired with a Gucci belt and zebra-patterned heels. “I love fashion! I usually wear all-black, so I think shoes really make an outfit. I love when they make a statement,” says Uprichard, a Parsons School of Design graduate.
Uprichard was at CUSP to celebrate the launch of her fall line and to share styling advice with fans. She launched her brand after graduating Parsons, and it soon gained traction from celebrity followers like Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari, Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o and Tori Spelling. It wasn’t long before national retailers took notice.
Though her brand has grown, Uprichard prioritizes consciousness. “We’re always environmentally sustainable. We make everything in America, and we’re an organic business,” she says. “We’re all thinking of things in our head to make the samples, and we make everything and literally ship it in our office. People don’t do that anymore!”
The brand’s ‘everywoman’ styles have met with positive acclaim, too. “It’s happy, clean, positive and sexy. The clothes are comfortable and easy, but you want to get noticed,” Uprichard says of the brand’s aesthetic, which has been heralded for luxurious, versatile styles.
To the designer, the Uprichard ‘everywoman’ is fearless and fun. “I like to think she’s the girl with the big hairdo that loves dressing up, has a kid in her arm, and she’s going to get into this racing convertible and take off really fast—with her kid in the backseat, maybe,” Uprichard says, when asked who the ‘Amanda Uprichard girl’ is that she designs for. “But that’s my girl—she loves fun, family, taking risks and chances, and will not accept no for an answer.”
“It’s always the girls of New York—the girls in my office, the girls you see on the street, my daughter, all the young girls,” she continues. “I don’t really have abstract design inspirations, like trees or buildings. I’m always inspired by the girls on the street or that work for me, and the ideas from my head. There are ideas that have been there for years, waiting to come out.”
Since her brand first launched, Uprichard has cultivated those ideas impressively in the digital age. “I’m pushing the envelope lately. I want to do more fun stuff, and it’s always a challenge,” she says. “What’s always going to sell is the basic pieces, but I still design fun stuff, like our see-through printed tops, and lately those have been successes, which I think is part of social media. People want to wear fun clothes, take pictures and look good—they don’t just want to have a plain shirt on to go to work!”
Though her career is filled with highlights, Uprichard values real-world interactions the most. “I love going to stores, like I am now—this is a highlight,” she says. “I really love walking down the street and seeing people in my clothes. It happens often, and I love it.”
From her newest collection, Uprichard is especially proud of her textured pieces. “I love the organza blouses with the puffy sleeves; I love everything with the big sleeves. I love all of the silk, draped, sexy stuff, and the fun, crazy stuff. I love everything, but my favorite piece at CUSP is the super chic black dress, which is classic and can be worn with anything!”
As her brand expands, Uprichard hopes to further its technological reach and her product range. “We’re expanding the growth of the website, and reaching out to more customers to tell our story. We’ll continue to make great new products; I’ve had all this beautiful fabric I’ve been saving that I’m going to turn into accessories. We’re using leftover fabric bits to make these cool, recycled fabric handbags. Those will be ready in about a month, since there’s a lot of cute cloth handbags trending this fall. We’re also making lingerie, recycled from leftover silk and fabrics.”
In the meantime, her line has already become a Cusp hit. “I’ve personally sold Amanda’s line in the past, and it’s a great fit for Cusp,” says Nikki Hartshorne, the Georgetown boutique’s manager. “We have a great student clientele getting ready for the workforce, interviews and events, and her styles—like the ‘Cherri’ jumpsuit we have, that’s versatile for the evening, after 5, and before 5—are at great price points for them. We’ll have this in our store for just shy of a month, and we’ve already started to sell. It’s been great.”