100 Colorado Creatives: Sustainable designer and Westword Whiteout star Deb Henriksen
#97: Deb Henriksen
Deb Henriksen founded her clothing company, Equillibrium, more than a dozen years ago and from the start, she's focused on creating wearable, sustainable pieces. Her background in environmental consulting combined with a love for snow and skate activities drives her operations with a distinct force that made her a 2007 Westword MasterMind.
With Equillibrium's accessible punk aesthetic, the local brand is easily recognizable. And Henriksen's style will take the runway this Thursday, February 7 at Westword's first-ever Whiteout Fashion Show (#Whiteout13). In advance of that evening of hot fashion and cool art, we talked with Henriksen, who says that the market for locally-made goods is just as much about the consumer as the minds behind the designs.
Westword: What are you most excited about presenting at this year's Whiteout fashion show?
Deb Hendricksen: My final look.
Are you working on any project/collaboration coming up that you're looking forward to sharing with the community?
Yes, there are several exciting opportunities for Equillibrium sprouting in 2013. When they begin to gel, Denver will know...
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Alexander McQueen, because he created magic through high fashion. Sara Burton is doing a stellar job continuing his vision -- she obviously paid attention under him.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
The consumer, because they are awakening.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Not sure. I just want to see art thrive!
What's your day job?
Equillibrium -- CEO/ CFO/ Lead Designer, and Super Screen Print (my husband's business) -- Sustainability Director/CSR/Accounting.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Cover costs of living comfortably for me and my family, donate to charity, invest in Equillibrium to expand the brand globally and remain headquartered in Colorado, with the sweetest pool to skate in the LEED warehouse I built... I could keep going, but that is the short version.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Keep buying it!
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Hmm -- there are several. We have a potent pool of talent that just gets richer as this city grows. If I had to pick only one, it would be from the world I know best: fashion.
I would say it is Carol Engel-Enright, for bridging the professional business side of industry with the creative side of design and high fashion. That is something this town lacked in the late 1990s, and has matured into achieving over the past six years, with the help of her leadership at Colorado State University, DDI (Denver Design Incubator), and FGI (Fashion Group International.)
Use the hashtag #Whiteout13 to mark all your Whiteout Fashion Show conversations online -- and for a chance to win tickets! See Deb Henriksen's designs at Whiteout on Thursday, February 7. And find out about ticket deals here.