Meet the Designer: Blythe Hill
Blythe Hill: that name is probably not new to you. As founder and CEO of Dressember, Blythe was the creative mind that came up with the idea of launching a dress collection to give Dressember advocates ethical options to wear during the month of December. In 2014, she linked arms with Katie Martinez of Elegantees to make this idea a reality. Blythe's designs always mirror her unique style. Last year's "The Blythe" featured groovy elements including a keyhole back and bell sleeves. This year, the "Blythe II" combines a turtleneck with a maxi dress to provide you the comfort and warmth every Dressember advocate desires to survive the winter.
Blythe, can you believe how far Dressember has come since you were granted 501c3 status in 2013. What do you love about what Dressember has become?
When I started Dressember, I had no idea how many opportunities for collaboration would open up, but that is now one of my favorite things about it! I love seeing women come together to contribute their skills and talents, their voice to this fight. Dressember has taught me that truly, every voice matters.
This isn't your first dress design but it is different than some that you have designed in the past. Why did you design it the way you did?
In the Dressember 2016 collection, we had a turtleneck swing dress that is still one of my favorite designs we've done. I decided to modify that design -- add length, add pockets, and make the neck more of a fitted turtleneck -- for a new and improved fall/winter dress option. I love the contrast of a fitted neck, fitted shoulders and sleeves with a loose, billowy flow from the chest to the floor. It is sure to be v comfortable!
"I love the contrast of a fitted neck, fitted shoulders and sleeves with a loose, billowy flow from the chest to the floor."
Comfort is key. (Side note: when I first started at Dressember, Blythe told me she was a big fan of 'athleisure wear.' That's when I knew this job was a match made in heaven). Blythe, what's inspiring you these days?
Lately I've been trying out embroidery, so have been really inspired by the works of Tessa Perlow (@tessa_perlow). I've also found myself inspired a lot by @thecartorialist lately -- it's been fun seeing her artwork around our new office (The Row, DTLA).
That reminds me, we should totally do an office tour someday! Now back to the interview. We're constantly seeking inspiration from the women around us. Who are some women that you admire?
Two names come to mind: Nada Jones and Julie Jones (no relation). Both of these women have served as coaches and mentors to me in my journey as a leader and as an entrepreneur. I've known Julie my whole life, and have always been in awe of the grace and class she displays while undertaking being an incredible wife, mother, coach, and entrepreneur. Nada is a boss in her own right. She and I have worked together for about a year and I am constantly in awe of her ability to map out strategy, connections, and logistics to put a dream or a vision into action. These two are truly in a class of their own -- hopefully they'll be able to meet each other someday soon!
Boss ladies learning from boss ladies. I love it. I know that leading Dressember to where it is today has been a journey. What would you tell yourself if you could go back to the beginning of your career?
I think I would tell myself "you were born for this." There was so much fear and self doubt I had to work through (and still struggle with), but on my best days I know this is what I am meant to be doing.
"I would tell myself 'you were born for this.' There was so much fear and self doubt I had to work through (and still struggle with), but on my best days I know this is what I am meant to be doing."
I, personally, have learned a lot from you, and I'm honored to work with you. Last question, you had to know this was coming. What is the craziest thing you have done in a dress?
Most recently, running a 5K in a dress! I didn't get to run at our LA 5K event, but I trained anyway and ran in a dress! It presented a great opportunity to talk to a few strangers about Dressember.
Ah, 5k memories! While you might not want to wear "The Blythe II" on your next run, I can guarantee that you will want to live in it the moment that you put it on. You can find "The Blythe II" and other great styles in our latest collection.
It's bigger than a dress!
The Dressember Dress Collection offers dignified jobs to women who have overcome human trafficking in Nepal. Pre-orders are available now for an early November arrival and 15% off until October 1st!
About the Author
Madeline considers herself a bit of a nomad, having split her time between three continents over the past few years. Now, digging her roots down in Southern California, Madeline spends her time crafting content for the Dressember campaign, doing yoga and exploring National Parks with her husband.