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Her Story

 "I will not go where the path may lead. I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail."-Strode


Red Dress was inspired from a love of fashion and a fear of stagnation. We didn’t have much money growing up so I studied fashion and style. I read magazines, watched a show (long gone now) called Runway and it would show a different designers runway show every Saturday. I sketched outfits, covered my notebooks in cutouts and literally dreamed of a day when I could wear those pieces.


I got my first fashion job in college at a store called McKays. I apprenticed with the owner and he introduced me to the markets where everyone goes to place their orders. He actually let me pick styles for the store and even do window displays with no supervision. It was wonderful to act like it was mine and treat it as so. I learned SO Much from that job only because he let me participate in the stores appearance and success.

 I wanted to fill a void in the women's market. Sure, I could go to the mall and see stores that carried merchandise I either could not afford or that would increase my chances of having at least 5 other people wearing the same outfit I was. But I also wanted to create this place that would bring color and confidence and happiness to a woman's day. 


 Sometimes just having that one fantastic new outfit is all a woman needs to turn a bad day into a good one, to give a woman the confidence she needs going into an interview or to give that stay at home mom a reason to smile after that rare moment she treats herself. So I started handwriting all the thank you cards that went in our orders, packing it up like the present that it was and sending it off in hopes that it brought a smile to the woman it went to. I wanted to give women like me a bit of "happiness" in a world that could all too often make her feel like she just wasn't "this" or "that." I began asking our customers what they wanted to see in my store and on the website. It had never been done before. Imagine going into your nearby department store and asking the store manager, "Hey, can you order me a caged wedge...or a palm print maxi?" I listened. I took notes. And I went on a hunt for their wishes and wants. To make it feel like it was just as much their store as it was mine. 


 No doubt, it has been the most challenging and fulfilling experience of my life. From a little store on ebay in 2004, to a little store on Baxter Street in 2005, to the website you are on now in 2009, Red Dress has since evolved into her own person, yet always an extension of me. From the way Red Dress looks to the clothes that are picked...my soul is on display. 


Diana Athena


me in my red dresses