I am completely thrilled to be posting the first ever “Breakfast with” interview. I dreamed up this interview series a couple of years ago and finally found the absolute perfect person for interview numero uno.
I discovered Trixie’s T-shirt line, DONTGETCAUGHT, via Instagram a year or two ago, and was instantly drawn in by her femme-forward designs, creative graphics, and sustainable business model. Trixie is the too-cool-for-school fashionista with a conscience that we all need in our life. So without further ado…
- What got you interested in conscious consumerism and how do you work towards and promote that goal?
I’ve worked in fashion for 10 years and love the creative process, but I used to beat myself up with the fact that what I loved doing contributed to the exploitation of garment workers (who are most often women) as well as the exploitation of our planet and its resources. DONTGETCAUGHT is my way of being able to marry my art with my values. I design art that is female-forward and sex positive. We’re #rethinkingtheexisting by rescuing imperfect tees, reusing textile waste, & curating vintage cuties. I try to be as transparent as possible of my process. My hope is that when people are more educated about the production process and who and what it affects, they become more empowered to make better choices about what they buy.
- You’ve mentioned to me that you believe fast fashion is like an addiction. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Oof, I have so much to say about this. Earlier in my career when I was working a full time design job, I was so burnt out that I would shop till I dropped as a way for me to decompress. Fast Fashion allowed me to do that because I justified that I wasn’t spending that much money. The low price of Fast Fashion removes hesitation so you’re so much more likely to impulse buy, then do it all over again to chase that hit of dopamine.
In the end, I realized I had wasted more money on crap than if I had saved for a well-made piece by a cool brand I wanted to support that I would love and take care of for years to come.
I struggle with the predatory nature of Fast Fashion. New trends being pumped out, encouraging customers to spend or else they will be “out” and unfashionable if they don’t participate. This also kills personal style development in my opinion.
Fast Fashion has also trained the average consumer to think that clothes should cost less than a sandwich. The true cost of those impossible prices are a lot of cut corners including quality, and the aforementioned cost to human lives and our planet.
It’s tough because Fast Fashion has also been an equalizer, giving access to fashionable clothes to folks who don’t have as much means. People want to feel good about how they dress themselves, no matter their income. This was a huge factor for me when it came to pricing my pieces. The industry standard is that my tees would go for $65-$90. But I chose to go the direct-to-consumer route so I can cut some traditional costs and price them at $40 to make the clothes more affordable and accessible.
In the end, Fast Fashion promises more than it can deliver, and tries to distract you from the damage it continues to do.
- We have discussed a little bit about how the fashion industry is shifting towards being more ‘sustainable’. Do you think these changes are real and will last? Or do you think there is some greenwashing on the industry’s part because it’s trendy?
I think that greenwashing is definitely an issue. However, we should celebrate our progress because the fact that some of these huge companies are moving towards sustainability means they’re wise to the fact that customers are demanding this. You can also look at it from the angle that these bigger companies have much more resources and reach to change people’s minds. For example they’re introducing the notion of sustainability to their customer who may have not thought twice about it before due to access.
Nothing happens overnight. We have a very long way to go, but I also think we’ve come too far to go back. Especially with this pandemic, I think more and more people are realizing that their dollar has influence, and are being more mindful of where they put it. Progress not Perfection.
- What is the inspiration behind your designs? Do you come up with all of the designs yourself?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from sex ads! Haha, but really I love referencing images of powerful women. I also look at images of women created for the male gaze, and reclaim it by drawing from the female perspective and owning themselves. My SheDevil tee was inspired by Russian men’s prison tattoos. Beautiful and gritty, but usually depicting women in overtly sexual or degrading manners. So I reimagined the aesthetic from my point of view and SheDevil was born. I try my best to be as authentic as possible with my references. Like researching real vintage Japanese matchbooks when drawing the matches on the SheDevil tee.
As far as aesthetics I’m very inspired by Japanese culture as well as other Asian cultures, including my Filipino heritage. I also have a love for the tacky decadence of the late 80’s & early 90’s.
Like our name, DONTGETCAUGHT, I like to include themes and messages that feel like they’re from a revolutionary movement. That movement is for GOOD: the empowerment to make your own conscious choices to uplift yourself and others without doing harm.
I do all my own original art and my DGC partner and best friend, Lalene is my amazing soundboard. She helps me refine my eye and see clearly when I get overthink-y (always). She lives in LA so DGC is a bicoastal baby.
- A little more about you:
How would you describe your personal style?
Most days I’m a filipino uncle who’s comfy and influenced by Japanese culture, with a touch of 80s. Other days I’m a CEO in a short skirt….with a touch of 80s!
What do you love about living in NYC?
I love the energy of being surrounded by so many people who are trying to do amazing things. The comradery especially in hard times is unparalleled! Also access to really amazing FOOD. I live across the street from Acme Smoked Fish who make the most amazing smoked salmon.
What does your ideal day look like?
I start my day with some yoga and 40 mins of exercise. I do my gua sha and face massage after taking a steamy shower. I love to cook so I make myself some breakfast and a matcha latte and stare out the window into a backyard that I don’t have access to. I meditate 20 minutes before I take some time to read or browse through 80s and Y2k fashion magazines for inspo. I sketch and draw new ideas for DGC art. I pack myself a lunch (like homemade onigiri) and walk to the park by the water near my apartment for a break. On my way back I stop by some of the vintage shops by me like Feng Sway and Dobbin St Co-Op to browse and look at pretty vintage things. I come back to plan the booth layout for an upcoming maker’s market for DGC or sew. A quick happy hour cocktail (watermelon margs) with friends who inspire me. Back home, I make a quick dinner of filipino chicken adobo and arugula salad for my partner and I to eat as we watch Beetlejuice. I read a few chapters of a fiction in vintage silky pajamas. I get a FULL night’s sleep.
Alt answer: in a DGC tee and sweats all day binge watching The Office & having seamless delivered for all 3 meals. 🙃
Cheap Chic by Caterine Milinaire & Carol Troy. Written in the 70’s, it’s the BEST guide to building your closet and honing in on your own personal style.
What is getting you through quarantine?
The support and response to DGC on IG, my partner, care packages from my mom, cooking. I feel really grateful.
And of course, what are you eating for breakfast during this interview? 😉
Two ramen style soft boiled eggs, arugula and avocado tossed with roasted sesame dressing, sliced pear and a matcha latte!
I really hope you all love reading this interview as much as I loved putting it together! I definitely recommend following DGC on IG for inspo, as well as to be the first to know when prints drop! You can check out the website here.
Oh, and PS, I also had the opportunity to style a couple DONTGETCAUGHT tees – stay tuned for a video coming later this week!