It’s not everyday that you come across a designer that is humble, funny and wicked talented but team that with inspirational and motivating and in a nutshell, you have an amazing person.
One such person that fits the bill is Dallas designer, Abi Ferrin. The Dallas favorite is known for colorful, easy dressing pieces and multi-tasking designs in body conscious fabrics that fit and flatter the female form. Favored by Vanessa Williams, Vanna White, Holly Robinson Peete, Heidi Klum, and loved by the Dallas glitterati, the area designer has been dubbed one of the fabulous to watch. It was a pleasure to catch a glimpse into the world of Abi Ferrin.
Housed in the recently renovated, Southside at Lamar, Abi Ferrin’s The Revolving Door Studio fits right in with the soulful yet youthful feel of the up and coming modern arts mecca in Dallas. The environment in her studio is an embodiment of Abi’s personality – Bright, modern, inviting, unpretentious and feminine. Luxe textures contrast the aged hardwood floors and create feel that makes you just want to sit and stay awhile, as my daughter so happily did.
Flowing, feminine fabrics in a kaleidoscope of colors happily greet you from racks and mannequins and invite you to come and touch and learn more about delve into the world of Fashion+Freedom+Purpose that is emblazoned on the wall in Ferrin’s signature magenta pink. Talk with her a few moments and it becomes clear rather quickly that there is more to this Dallas stunner than fashion.
When asked why The Freedom Project? Ferrin tells a story that is heart-wrentching and inspiring at the same time. It started several years ago, as she was coming out her own experience in an abusive relationship. Left with no money and limited resources, Abi realized that she could do one of two things… host her own personal pity party or start identifying those who’ve had it harder than she has and do what she can to help. Her sister, while on a mission trip introduced her the problem and under-recognized issue of human trafficking, for sex and/or forced labor.
Horrified by the harsh and brutal reality of the crimes, primarily against women, that have ingratiated itself into the culture of the Cambodian community, Ferrin realized that her choice was clear. Make a difference.
It is no surprise that when her sister identified a group of men and women that had been rescued from this system of near-legalized slavery creating buttons and notions as a means to fund new lives for themselves, a brilliant idea struck. Ask the men and women working hard to rehabilitate their lives, if they would create a custom set of coconut shell buttons for the collection and use proceeds from the button-embellished garments to fund the project bearing the name of Freedom. In a cyclinal fashion, the buttons became a talking piece to get the conversation started about The Freedom Project and treat it as a step in the direction to keep the momentum moving. The idea stuck — Freedom is inspiring that way — and now, since the company’s inception in 2003, a button has been sewn into the tag of each Abi Ferrin piece. Fast forward to now, Ferrin visits Cambodia frequently and replenishes the stock of empowering buttons and spends time getting to know the men and women served by the program.
It keeps the conversation moving, keeps her focused, the change in action and the “Fashion with a Purpose” collection growing and evolving. As the line continues to grow and evolve, the opportunity for impact and developing the Freedom Project follows the same trend.
The potential for greater impact has grown even more since Ferrin was selected as the local featured designer for the NFL’s Professional Football Players Wives Association Superbowl festivities in Dallas and Nordstrom stores nationwide have now picked up Abi Ferrin’s line. The lauded praises continue to flow in.
Congratulations to the Dallas based team and we look forward to seeing the heights that the team at Abi Ferrin will continue to grow. To purchase your very own Abi Ferrin piece and share in the conversation, visit here to shop on-line or visit your local Nordstrom.