There is a softness about Kendall Eckerd Falcon’s designs that is hard put into words. Her clean lines and expressive silhouettes speak for themselves. Since she started her own brand, Clan of Cro, Kendall has developed her very own model of femininity – one that survives time. Through vintage inspired collections, she pushes us to rethink the lifetime of objects and fashion.
Where did you grow up and how do you think your upbringing influenced what you do now?
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but grew up in a town outside of Dallas, TX. Where I grew up felt much like a bubble – where everyone buys the same things and dresses in similar ways. I always felt like a bit of an odd ball in the way I would dress but looking back it wasn’t really anything outside of the norm. When I think of the way I grew up I mostly think about my family. My mother is still my best friend and has always encouraged me, my father has a mind for business and has instilled an intense work ethic in my life. My older brother has also always been a big influence in my life, he’s a writer with sharp wit and the warmest heart. I feel lucky to have grown up surrounded by hard workers, creative minds and encouraging words.
How was Clan of Cro born?
Upon finishing school, I was working as an assistant designer for an independent label based out of LA. It was a very small team and I was lucky to receive a lot of responsibility within the company. I was thrown into a lot of situations where I didn’t have experience but had to come to solutions. This really taught me that the only way to learn is to do and when I felt the timing was right I dropped everything to focus on creating Clan of Cro full time. Starting with branding and a lot of designing, I began to define my principles and what my purpose was for my designs and my company.
Who were the people who inspired you to become a designer?
My grandmother is an incredible seamstress. She was the first to introduce me to a sewing machine at age 9. Every time I would visit her we’d start with a few designs and ideas, go down to the fabric store and lay everything out in her studio. She taught me about patterns and how it all comes together. I continued to sew throughout my life but it wasn’t really until my late teenage years that I thought about it as a career. I had a high school fashion design teacher who encouraged me to look into schools and it was pretty much decided from there.
Has sustainability always played a big role in your life?
I wouldn’t say that it always has, no. When I was young it wasn’t something I thought too much about, especially how wasteful fashion can be. I have always been drawn to vintage clothing and objects and preferred to buy things in that way to fill my life. But it wasn’t until studying fashion in school and in beginning my own label where I learned about production and what fast fashion is really doing to our industry. Not only is it wasteful but these incredibly fast cycles of cheap and disposable fashion are hurting designers who truly have a vision and a voice in the language of clothing. It’s hurting our art.
Do you think things have changed now? Do you sense a new popular emulation in sustainable fashion?
I do feel that it’s slow, but people are starting to pay attention. In a time where everything is on the Internet, it’s easy to research what you’re purchasing, where it’s produced and who made it. The information is there, we just need to continue pushing people to care and make changes together.
You also select vintage pieces. How important is vintage in your vision of sustainability and why?
It’s important to look at clothing with a past. Buying vintage is such a great way to keep a sustainable wardrobe. Even if you have fast fashion buying habits, you can seek out vintage or thrifted items and when you feel it doesn’t add value to your wardrobe anymore, it can be recycled and add value to someone else.
In a society where objects have become replaceable, do you think vintage can influence the way we value objects?
I think vintage is so important. For nostalgia, for history, for human connection. Whether it’s an object passed down in your family or something found that created a connection in some way. I personally love the mystery in old objects, I love to image what it’s life was like before it was a part of mine. It’s a beautiful way to feel connected to the past.
Is it a thought that inspires your own design?
My designs are inspired by different things and different times. One running theme is the women in my family.
Every collection that you design is ran as a limited edition. Why did you decide to proceed as so?
It originally began by the simple fact that I was a team of one and wanted to keep up with all aspects of the business without getting behind on sewing quantity. I knew I wanted to include a sustainable approach and wanted each piece to feel special in a way. I'm able to that by using vintage and dead stock textiles. Now that Clan of Cro has grown with still a very small team, I'm able to keep my original concept of limited collections with slightly larger volume. In the beginning each style was only made in a run of about 5-10 and now we're able to do 30-50 per style.
Where do you see Clan of Cro in 5 years?
I hope to be able to do more collections in a year. I'd like to put out a new collection every month, still very limited in quantity but many more styles. I'm also working with a few stores on exclusives and I'd like to do more of that. To offer stores in certain areas exclusivity to specific styles, and collaborate in ways to give their customer and mine a completely unique experience. I’ve also thought about retail, brick and mortar. As I’d also like to expand Clan of Cro categories. I’m working on ideas for footwear, accessories and home items for the future.