The New Sophisticates

Madison designers make their sartorial mark—from edgy to elegant

MAGGIE BARBER Josephina James

Design training: Two years as an art major and I have a degree in apparel design from UW–Madison. I also interned at Erdem, Burberry and Zac Posen.
Design aesthetic: Textures and color. My newest collection will be relatively simple designs with textures and shapes.
I’m inspired by: Textures and designers Sonya Rykiel and Lanvin.


Design training: I took a sustainable design class at UW as part of my masters program; it connected environmental conservation and design for me.
Design aesthetic: Classic, feminine looks that show you can be sophisticated and still be kind to the planet.
I’m inspired by: Nature—particularly environments that might be in crisis. I also like Rodarte and Stella McCartney.



MERL KINZIE clyde’s rebirth and mo vintage

Design training: I saw that one of my favorite bloggers designed jewelry. That inspired me to try my hand at it.
Design aesthetic: Eco-minded, vintage and pre-loved materials. So it’s for people who appreciate the green and handmade aspect.
I’m inspired by: Other bloggers and real women. Women who take inspiration from magazine editorials and make looks their own.




JESSICA NEUMANN Jessica Catherine Designs

Design training: The Illinois Institute of Art–Chicago gave me a foundation for clothing construction.
Design aesthetic: I’m a wedding gown designer for the fashion-forward bride.
I’m inspired by: Apparel I see in films, or people on the street. I love to mix vintage/retro with modern styles to incoporate a sophisticated, yet edgy look.

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