|Local designer catches the eye of Elle and Urban Outfitters|
It’s almost inevitable. At some point, any emerging individual worth their salt in deprecation will regale company with tales of their prior inefficacy. For the stylish and the models among us, this often takes the form of a monolog about some past perfect awkward phase. Here is Kristy Hoffman’s:
“Growing up I was always a tomboy—my older sisters were the beauties,” says the 33-year-old mother poised to become Baton Rouge’s next fashion sensation. “I have broad shoulders, I’m taller than the average girl. I felt like I was a monster, honestly.”
A former IT student and real estate agent-turned-stay-at-home mom, Hoffman never studied clothing design or marketing, and only recently learned basic stitching.
But she is a live music fanatic, and her fashion skill is her singular, creative vision for ramping up everyday accessories and clothes to something closer to the surreal styles seen at massive music and art festivals across the country.
Now Hoffman has partnered with friend Cathy Nabours to launch a new boutique line they call Cousin Cupcake—a simple juxtaposition of their nicknames. Hoffman creates the accessories and Nabours, an Austin-based realtor, handles business and marketing for the fashion start-up.
This summer, with tickets in hand for Indio, California’s massive Coachella festival, Hoffman flowed with the current headdress trend and created a series of feather-filled headbands to go with the festive, feline-inspired sequin masks she and her friends have been wearing to concerts for years.
Elle magazine spotted Hoffman, Nabours and their friend Gloria Erickson walking the grounds in Cousin Cupcake pieces and published portraits of all three on elle.com.
A rep for Urban Outfitters ran across the Elle images on Facebook and asked Hoffman to produce more for the retail store. Urban Outfitters is expected to roll those out next month.
“At this point, the entire Cousin Cupcake line is handcrafted, so we’re carefully exploring options of production on a much larger scale,” Nabours says. That scale will help expand the line’s reach beyond area boutiques.
Acknowledging the costume-like nature of her current work, Hoffman thinks it might go over well at Halloween. But she wants to stretch into clothing and more everyday accessories, too. Handmade peacock feather earrings dangle from her lobes as she explains:
“The feathers are big now—just like ‘80s stuff is—but my line won’t be about that,” she says. “Though it will be about more about natural things. I’m big into asymmetrical, Helmut Lang stuff.”
Hoffman calls herself a budget fashionista. She wants ordinary women—even moms or former “monsters” like her—to realize they can change their personalities and their attitude daily, depending on what they are wearing.
“This has been an unexpected whirlwind,” Hoffman says. “People always say, ‘Do what you love, and you’ll be successful.’ I never thought that doing these little pieces, it would take off.”
Hoffman plans to launch a blog for street fashion and style tips before the end of the year, and Cousin Cupcake’s complete fall line is available now at cousincupcake.com.
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