A conversation with fashion designer Beth Pilger, founder of Pilger Designs

PILGERDESIGNS was re-launched in the fall of 2013 by Beth Pilger.

Beth Pilger was born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia in the eastern United States.  An avid collector of vintage clothing and knitwear led to an exploration in fiber and felting, producing pieces with contrasting materials and unique elements. Beth studied fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design in New York and honed her skills through stints working as a costumer on Broadway/Off-Broadway, as well as the New York City Ballet. Her love of the imaginative process in both fashion and costuming drives her current design projects while she seeks to blur the line between art and design.

Pilger ‘s debut re-launch culminated with a runway show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam in January of 2014. Entitled Twisted Consumption, this hand-crafted collection of knit and felted garments garnered attention from Vogue Italia, as well as various other European press. Upcoming projects include a new womens hand knitwear collection scheduled to debut in the winter of 2016. 

Beth Pilger is based in Brooklyn, NY.

A conversation with fashion designer Beth Pilger, founder of Pilger Designs

TPM: When did you first realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

As a teenager I loved the DIY vibe and extravagance of 1980’s fashion, I knew then I wanted to design clothing.

TPM: When did you land your first internship and what was the most valuable thing you learned from this experience?

My first internship while a student at Parsons was with the New City Ballet’s costume department. I’ve been enamored with tutus ever since.

TPM: Define sustainable concept nowadays in fashion industry in five words.

Sourceable, wearable, scalable, profitable, inevitable.


TPM: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?

Failure is part of the process, it’s part of succeeding.

TPM: What is one thing you look at the models for your campaigns?

I look for models that have a captivating presence, that can enhance the designs.



TPM: What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?

Social media represents an important communication channel that reaches almost the entire global population. I love that social media can be leveraged for advertising purposes but at the same time can also feel very intimate.

TPM: What is your favorite and NON-favorite part about being part of the fashion industry?

My favorite part is the exhibition of the designs, whether it’s through a runway presentation or video. My least favorite part is not being able to create all the time. Cannot ignore the other aspects of running a label.

TPM: How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?

I want people to enjoy wearing something truly unique and hand crafted.



TPM: Can you tell us how your brand makes a difference in fashion industry?

Pilger Designs is about pushing boundaries in sustainability and couture garment making.

TPM: What do you think is the biggest challenge for a fashion designer?

The greatness challenge for a designer is learning how to effectively monetize our skills and craft. Most designers cannot sustain themselves solely on direct product sales. It’s a combination of direct sales, indirect sales (designing under another label), and resource leveraging.



TPM: There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?

I am thankful I have many people who inspire me on a regular basis. But none of it would be without my Momma. She is one of my best friends, a true mentor, and my greatest supporter.

TPM: How do you think sustainable can play an important role in fashion industry?

We’ve already begun to see designers and manufacturers thinking about sustainability. I believe more and more designers will try in some respect to incorporate sustainability into their work, whether it’s from product development or logistics. We know there’s huge waste in the industry and it’ll take a collaborative effort to make major changes that protect our environment.

TPM: Describe us you as a designer and how your feelings influence the creativity process?

I am a process driven designer. I still build and drape all of my silhouettes by hand.




TPM: Would you like to involve other accessories designers in your future projects?

Yes I love collaborating with other artists and designers.

TPM: How fashion PR agencies can help more the brands and what skills a good fashion PR should have in your opinion?

PR agencies play a crucial role in the fashion industry. They are there to advise the designer and brand on communicating the vision and products to the consumers. This guidance can help push the designer toward a better market presence.


TPM: What do you think about the opportunity of selling your collections online nowadays?

E-commerce is a vital aspect of any business, particularly for reaching a broader demographic. It’s definitely an advantage for custom creators who do not have the inventory or marketing dollars to have storefront or print ad space.


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