We are headed back to the West Coast (hello beach in winter!) to bring you this Three Looks with Danielle Williams Eke, who is the Design Director of luxury size inclusive e-tailer 11 Honoré.
This past June, the company launched their in-house private label The 11 Honoré Collection. It was designed by Danielle and blends 1980s power dressing and modern minimalism. We are huge fans of the collection and Danielle, who has been vocal in the BLM movement and continues to help amplify diverse voices in the fashion industry with the Jahari Fashion Mentorship Program. More on all of the above — below!
How would you describe your style in three words?
Eclectic. Modern. Ease.
Who was your style icon growing up?
I don’t know that I had an icon growing up, but once I started studying fashion Tracee Ellis Ross easily became a muse of mine. I love her eclectic style and how she has evolved her style over the years. Through her style she exudes strength and sensuality but in the most approachable way possible.
Most treasured piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
I have a beautiful Hermes scarf that was gifted to me a few years back. It doesn’t come out often but is definitely a piece I love.
Your 11 Honoré Collection is described as “modern minimalism with power dressing.” Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the collection and why you wanted to take that approach to the design?
Women are my number one inspiration when it comes to approaching design season after season. It’s imperative that I understand my customer and her current lifestyle so that I can design clothes that are relevant to her and her daily life. We wanted to focus on modern wardrobe staples because we feel like those are the pieces that really carry you through life. The necessity for this approach has been emphasized especially due to the current climate. Our lives have changed so drastically and our collections reflect that. Where typically for Holiday I would be designing a line of sequin adorned dresses and festive party tops, this season I took a more minimal approach. Focusing on subtle shine and cozy casual styling that can be worn comfortably at home but that can also easily transition to outside. It’s about doing more with less. Classic pieces that can transition from day to night, indoor to outdoor and season to season.
What do you think the fashion industry is doing right, right now, and what do you think it’s doing wrong?
I love that the industry is moving towards sustainability. At 11 Honoré we are still working to unlock how we implement sustainability. Our biggest roadblock has been sourcing capabilities but as the industry evolves I am seeing more and more resources and options become available. The way we have approached sustainability is by designing pieces that you will have in your closet for years to come and many pieces that are essentially seasonless. It’s about quality over quantity which in turn reduces waste.
I think the industry still has a lot of work to do around Diversity & Inclusivity. I have grown up in this industry and it’s been a slow journey to see an industry accurately reflect its consumers. 11 Honoré has been such an important part of moving the industry in the right direction in terms of inclusive fashion. We are challenging the norms that the industry has built around High-End & Contemporary fashion being for one segment of the population. 60%+ of women in the US are sizes 12 and above. These sizes should be represented in all areas of the industry.Along with size inclusivity I think racial diversity is still lacking in the industry. From internships, freelance jobs and full times jobs, I have very rarely seen people who look like me in the rooms that I enter. This can be a very lonely feeling. I don’t want the next generation of fashion creatives to have this feeling which is what led me to start the Jahari Fashion Mentorship Program. The goal of the mentorship program is to connect students of color with industry insiders of color to enhance their professional and personal skills through individual and group mentoring sessions. It’s time for the industry to move toward true Diversity & Inclusion and I’m excited to be a part of making that happen.