Meet the Designer: Danielle Urban
At the beginning of 2018, we invited our community to submit dress designs as part of our design challenge! The winner of that challenge was apparel design student, Danielle Urban. Her wrap dress design stood out as well as her explanation for why she designed it the way she did: “To me, a wrap dress with flounce sleeves represents that feeling of a dance party. As I have come to appreciate my freedom, it has become increasingly important for me to recognize my privilege, and to advocate for people that do not have the privilege and freedom that I have. I want to use my voice for those who do not have one, and my designs to provide work and healing for those who are on a path to freedom.” Eight months later, her design has come to life as part of our Dressember Dress Collection!
Danielle, tell us a bit more about your dress design!
My dress is a midi length wrap dress with a ruffle detail on the sleeves and a tie around the waist. I chose the wrap style because I think it's flattering on all body types, and I think it's just so fun! I hope people can spin around in my dress, have a dance party with people they love, and feel free.
"I hope people can spin around in my dress, have a dance party with people they love, and feel free."
*Channeling my inner Julia Andrews from the Sound of Music.* What made you decide to enter the design challenge?
I admire what Dressember does and stands for so much that it feels like an incredible gift to be able to partner with them. Participating in Dressember for the first time two years ago helped me fight my own cynicism and apathy when it comes to the injustices in our world, and showed me that doing something, however small it may seam, can shine a light in darkness.
Did you sneak a fashion pun in there? We are into it. What's your biggest design inspiration when you design apparel?
A major inspiration for me lately has been colors I've found in nature. I recently took a trip to California, and another through the San Juan mountains, and on both occasions my eyes were wide open, trying to take in the beauty and depth of color. I also continue to be inspired by the work of other designers and brands, two of my favorites right now are where Mountains Meet and Miranda Bennett Studio!
Those brands look fun! As a student preparing to enter into the industry, what do you want to remember?
As I am an apparel design student right now and am on the cusp of launching my career, I am reminding myself to listen. Right now I am especially listening to voices in the industry that are talking about ethical and sustainable design practices. As I enter the industry I want to be conscious about how my actions affect all people in the supply chain as well as our planet, and that starts with listening and learning.
"As I enter the industry I want to be conscious about how my actions affect all people in the supply chain as well as our planet, and that starts with listening and learning."
You're going to do big things for the fashion industry, we just know it. Who is a woman who has inspired you in your life?
I feel so lucky to have so many women in my life that I admire and look up to. One of them that I'm especially grateful for right now is my mom. She is one of the most selfless people I know, and I admire her kind spirit and heart for the people around her, whether they are her family or strangers.
Any wisdom you've received lately that you would like to share with us?
"Present means that we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity, even in it's plainness." This quote is from Shauna Niequist's book, Present Over Perfect, which is filled to the brim with goodness.
Putting that on my reading list, thanks! Before you go, what is the craziest thing you would do (or have done) in a dress?
Last January I learned to ski and fell in love with it, so you can catch me on the slopes this December in a dress!
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.