Erica Lang, 25, of Commerce Township, is the founder and chief artist at Woosah Oufitters, a naturally-inspired art and apparel brand located at 131 S. Division, Grand Rapids. The locally-made, limited edition designs are inspired mainly by “woodcuts and the outdoors.”
What’s one of your earliest memories of fashion and style?
Ever since I was a kid, I felt an inner rebellion towards “girls” clothing. I would sneak into my brothers’ room and steal clothing to wear to school. I thought it was so much cooler and definitely more comfortable. Looking back on those days, I realize nothing has changed. I still steal my brothers’ clothes, except now they steal mine, too.
What, style wise, is most inspiring to you right now?
I am really into unisex and androgynous clothing. I have a hard time understanding women’s clothing designs. I would like clothing made for my gender to suit my needs and I think society assumes women are not as active and hard on their clothes as men are. This is so false.
Do you have a celebrity style icon?
Ellen DeGeneres. She always looks so well put together and her clothing reflects her personality. I like that it’s androgynous and it actually fits her. As for a brand, Patagonia. I like that they design their clothes with simplicity, function and comfort in mind. I look up to them when creating guidelines and goals for my own brand, Woosah.
Is there a perk to living in West Michigan and being involved in the fashion industry?
Space. There’s so much space here to start something huge. Grand Rapids has its roots in the furniture industry and a lot of those beautiful historic warehouses sit vacant. I would love to see Grand Rapids take advantage of that and start an American Made full service cut-and-sew facility. There’s a huge demand for made-in-the-USA products. Why don’t we start a cut-and-sew facility here in Grand Rapids?
Are you working on a new project right now?
Swim Trunks. I am working with Chelsey Sawallich, a fashion studies major at KCAD. We are creating an entire cut-and-sew line. I am also starting to carve pattern blocks that can be tiled to create an endless and ongoing pattern for fabrics which garments can be made from. I am super stoked about this new pattern technique I’m learning.
More at spreadingthewoosah.com.