Fashion is far from a shallow or simple pursuit. The clothing we choose to adorn our bodies in is important and can serve as a source of light in a world often plagued with negativity. The same can be said for the art of designing clothing.
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Adrienne Shon, the refreshingly authentic and creative owner of festival clothing line, Little Black Diamond. Her unique designs provide women around the world with the opportunity to discover their confidence and empower their divine feminine. We got to talk about her latest collection, overcoming adversity, and the driving forces behind Little Black Diamond.
What is your signature festival look?
I’m short, like 5’1″, and I have short calves, so I love wearing platform combat boots because they make my legs look longer. All my life I’ve wanted to feel powerful, so my explorations in fashion have been a result of that. I like to wear aggressive, more masculine hats like cowboy hats. I don’t run around pantsless at night that much anymore so I’m a huge fan of our Assassin Leggings and Good Vibes Bells. Though my growth and exploration in fashion, I’ve arrived at a place where I feel like myself and I feel like I’m having fun with it, which has made me feel the most powerful.
That’s tough, but probably What the Festival in Oregon. Sometimes there’s this feeling of self-consciousness, uncertainty, and trying too hard to be cool in the Southern California rave and festival scene. I didn’t detect an ounce of that in Oregon. It was quite liberating and exhilarating. Imagine how much fun you can have when you finally stop giving a fuck about what other people think and just vibe together on a hilarious and epic level! Also, all the totems there are unparalleled with any rave or festival I’ve been to- the Plumbus and Bob Ross totems were my fav.
What does success mean to you?
Success means being stable in all aspects of your life. It means having the perfect live balance of work and play. It means knowing exactly who the fuck you are, what you will tolerate, what you will not tolerate, and what you stand for, then living by these revelations every single day of your life, and holding everyone around you to these things. And if they can’t keep up with these things, you kick them out of your life. Instantly. Success means being healthy and happy, physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m finally at the point where I know who I am. I’m still working on balancing work and play. I’m also not the healthiest person at the moment, but I’m dedicating this fall season to focusing on that and being out in the scene less.
What led you to creating Little Black Diamond?
Depression, anger, and a need to escape my reality eventually guided me to the much happier path I’m on today. I was sick of working 9-5 jobs, getting the soul sucked out of me, just to make some rich guy even richer. My family and friends helped jump start this business. I used to run everything out of my bedroom at my parents’ house. My room was filled to the wall with shelves of rave booty inventory. I even sold my bed so I could have more room for inventory. Then I took over the laundry room, the living room, and parts of the garage. When business picked up we moved out and started renting a warehouse, much to my parents’ delight because our house looked like an episode of hoarders.
How do you feel your clothing inspires women to fully celebrate their femininity?
We care about the fit and the quality of our clothing. Many of our competitors are out to make a quick buck and it shows once you put the clothes on the girls. The fit on their clothes looks super wack. Flattering every inch, every curve of every type of body is imperative in empowering the wearer. If someone orders clothing from our site we want them to receive it quickly (and they usually do). We want them to put it on and have it be the most flattering, comfy fit. We want girls to be like, “DAMN I look good!” And so we take extra time and planning to make sure that happens. I just don’t see many of our big competitors caring as much as we do.
The values of equality and feminism echo throughout your Fall 2017 collection. How are you and LBD working to spread those principles?
When we photographed this collection, we made sure to include badass women of color, women with different body types (from skinny to curvaceous), and even a gorgeous transgender model, Mara, who is also a porn star. I love how this one turned out and all girls involved were beautiful inside and out.
This collection is funky and psychedelic. From where did you draw your inspiration?
Color and vivid hues have been a very effective way for me to combat depression and negativity. It’s also eye-catching in the crowd. We’ve always been about standing out and being radically expressive.
What do you have to say to women afraid to wear clothing outside of their comfort zone?
Girl, I totally understand. No one is saying you have to dive in and rock booty shorts and bare pasties out of the box. Start by wearing something skimpy, and layer a long tunic or kimono over. Rock pasties underneath a slightly sheer shirt and just regular shorts or pants. Experiment at your own pace with your fashion until you settle into a groove that’s uniquely yours.
Who knows. The beautiful thing about our clothing is that it’s a great template for people to layer things on and make it their own. I love festival fashion because it is more personal and more unique than any other scene in the world. As people become more comfortable and more down with themselves through their personal expression like I have, their style will become more and more elevated.
Do you have any advice for people looking to turn their passions into a business?
Yes. Do not–I repeat–DO NOT go down this path unless you are a fucking fighter. And I mean really willing to fight. I’ve been bullied and threatened with lawsuits from a certain very large, very popular rave clothing company in the scene because they were threatened by our growth and success. I’ve been assaulted at a rave–pushed down to the ground and kicked in the face–by associates from yet another festival clothing company competitor. I’ve been betrayed, used by people who don’t give two shits about me, and only wanted free stuff or Instagram fame and exposure. Starting your own business is not for the weak of heart. I get a face full of dirt then get back up and I keep fighting because that’s what I do. If you aren’t a fighter, I suggest doing something else. If you really love what you do and you think it will help people live happier, more badass lives, and if you are willing to fight tooth and nail to get to the top, I salute you.
All photos from LittleBlackDiamond.com unless otherwise noted