Written by Imani Wj Wright
"Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” —Vivienne Westwood
If we look at some of the most influential and renowned figures of all time, there are several factors they tend to have in common: discipline, creativity, and persistence, to name a few. And along with the aforementioned, the ones we typically hold in the highest regard seem to carry one distinction that supersedes any sole product or admirable gift- cultural impact. Now, how one may define “culture” is debatable in many facets, but the overarching idea remains.
So, when I observe creators like elpē. founder, Kelly Blake, my mind goes in several directions. How often is she creating? What new moves does she seem to be making? What are her goals that she doesn’t publicize? Elpē, an acronym for Elevate love push equality, is a fashion line founded by Blake, and has gone from tees to stylish shoes and sleek athleisure wear. Oh, and how could I forget to mention their exclusive Cat Suits, (which can be seen in the vibrant picture above)?
Blake took some time to speak with us here at SwanoDown, and gave us a peek inside of the ever evolving life and mind of a steadfast designer as herself. One thing was abundantly clear, she’s not here to suffice the status quo.
Being that SwanoDown has a heavy basis in music journalism, of course we had to sprinkle a bit of music related content into our conversation with Blake. Having collabed with Johnell Young from Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and Erika La’ Pearl, makeup artist for HipHop artist, Cardi B, she understands the inseparable connection between music and the fashion world. But why is that? Why does that relationship exist so abundantly?
“Music and fashion are so closely intertwined because they are both art forms. They’re also expressive forms of art. Just as the seasons change, and just as feelings change, so does music, so does fashion. When people are feeling down, they’ll wear a different type of clothing, they’ll listen to a different type of music. When people are up, they’ll wear more upbeat clothing, and listen to more upbeat music. So, they really are hand in hand as ways to express oneself,” Said Blake.
Listening to Blake is a treat within itself. Aside from a vocal timbre that almost demands her to be on the radio or some kind of podcast, her thought process is blazing with almost constantly poetic outlooks on art. The authenticity of Kelly’s rigor and artistic aptitude are on full display.
“When people look at an elpē. piece, I’m hoping in their mind they’re saying: “Let me get to the nearest place where I can get an elpē piece… I envision elpē. as a mix between streetwear, and athletic wear. I want it to be your go-to athleisure. I know there are other athleisure brands, but I want elpē. to stand out as people’s main thing. When people are going to the gym I want their first thought to be wearing their elpē. jacket, or elpē. shorts or elpē. shoes,” Blake explained.
Elpē’s range of colors and apparel selection are beyond alluring, and will continue to expand with Blake spearheading the line.
Stay up to date with Elpē using the link Below.