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“Embrace Your Edge”: Emerging designer of motorcycle-inspired brand “GARB.” takes home a win from Phoenix Fashion

Phoenix may have found its best emerging designer.

Designer Katie Anderson, founder of the brand “GARB.” took home from the Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer Bootcamp. 

The award was for the best new brand to come out of this cycle of the boot camp and Phoenix Fashion Week felt that the, “chic, edgy and fashionable,” line created by Anderson was fitting for the win.

The Emerging Designer Bootcamp is a six week long workshop experience for up and coming designers in Phoenix to build their skills in social media marketing, brand development and clothing design. They build their own brands from scratch. Each designer came up with a fashion line to fit their new brand and displayed them at the Emerging Designer pop-up event on Feb. 25. 

The event was held at Trevor’s Liquor, and all three designers from the 15th cycle of the Emerging Designer Bootcamp promoted their new clothing lines. 

The social media marketing for GARB. encourages the consumer to embrace their inner edge by rocking “power pieces,” like the “Kate” jacket, which features a zipper in the middle that brings it from a moto-style jacket – reminiscent of Anderson’s “biker” roots – to a cropped vest. Anderson said it was her personal favorite. 

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Biker Chic

Anderson has always taken inspiration from the style of rock and the stars of the genre, in the making of GARB, this element of her style blended with the “liberating and freeing” feeling she got from riding motorcycles. She began riding about 10 years ago and the freedom she felt was a true part of her inspiration when designing GARB. 

The feeling of liberation that she wanted to convey was associated with motorcycle riding culture to Anderson that she decided to focus her line on a look that goes hand in hand with riding. “Always a leather jacket, your closet staple,” she said. 

Anderson believes in the leather jacket as a “power piece” meaning it’s something that can be brought to an outfit to act as a source of bold confidence. The “Kate” jacket she designed is a restatement of GARB’s personal tagline, “embrace your edge”

The reason she created the leather look was because it’s the piece that made her feel powerful. “I wanted to make pieces that really inspire women to own who they are and have the power,” she said. “Expression is very healing, that when we’re able to express ourselves, that’s how we’re meant to live and dress.”

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How it started 

Anderson wasn’t always a designer – she began her career in fashion as a stylist, a job she described as finding outfits that make women feel good.

It was through this work – helping put together women's wardrobes – that she learned the importance of “power pieces” like the classic leather jacket. It’s also where she learned that “so many women struggle with self worth and self love.” 

Once she decided to start GARB, a brand of her own where she could cultivate the concepts and looks that make women feel their best, she made confidence and empowerment the theme of each piece she designed.

Anderson attended New York Fashion Week in October, 2023 and began pursuing her own design work after getting a taste of the things she was so passionate about. She found her way to the bootcamp at the end of January through a Phoenix Fashion Week stylist. Shortly after, she launched her brand and showed off her work in the February pop-up event. 

Anderson kept her brand’s marketing simple yet engaging with posts that spoke to the core values of GARB.. She recognized that at such a pivotal point in the birth of her brand, “the bootcamp was so valuable.”

How it’s going

On Feb. 25, GARB. displayed several looks including a long light denim coat with zippers added on the wrists as well as her coveted “Kate” jacket - the transformable leather jacket vest duo - also detailed with stylish, chic zippers. 

Anderson’s hard work up until this point paid off when it came time to announce the winner of the best new brand to emerge from the bootcamp and GARB was awarded the title. Next, the brand hopes to appear in the Phoenix Fashion Week runway stage next fall. 

“I am honored and very thankful,” Anderson said after receiving the award from Phoenix Fashion Week. GARB. has officially had a successful debut in the Phoenix Fashion Week arena and will gain other opportunities to grow fueled by this win. 

Phoenix Fashion Week encourages local fashion enthusiasts to keep their eyes out  for updates and drops from GARB. via Instagram.

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