“No need to stress about look. It’s all about content,” reassured Jeremiah Williams before we met at his new office at the east end of Indy’s Massachusetts Avenue. But as the new Director of Retail Operations for Pattern, he’s a big part of both the look and content of a brand that is transforming the Midwest fashion industry through monthly meet-ups, collaborations and partnerships, and the award-winning Pattern Magazine.
Indianapolis is coming into its own culture, and fashion is quickly becoming an important part of that new identity. Jeremiah compares the growing momentum of Indy’s fashion to the similar growth of foodie culture and the craft beer community. “Everyone drinks well – as a city, we created that culture. It’s the same with fashion. Let’s drink well, let’s dress well next,” he said. “Every year we move forward and say, 'What’s next?' and we find that there is always room to keep moving forward.”
People who aren’t in Indianapolis often don’t realize what’s here, but Pattern is changing that. It stands out, it’s interesting, and it does what it does well. So well, in fact, that the magazine is sold in six countries. Consumers from Los Angeles to London can find Pattern Magazine on newsstands and appreciate it without realizing it’s written, designed, and photographed in the Midwest. “Indiana is no longer a fly-over fashion state,” says Jeremiah. “There are brands that have stood up and shown that it can be done in the Midwest, and given us permission to be proud of Indiana and the culture and presence that is being created here.”
Pattern has always been comfortable competing at an international level, but the brand is still shaped by the local community. “We realize some trends and editorials won’t be as successful in the Midwest,” Jeremiahreflected. “We’re not trendsetters here in the Midwest, but we have a unique style. Indianapolis is trendy in a very realistic and sensible way.”
Still – Pattern pushes the boundaries of fashion in the Midwest, which makes the location of their forthcoming retail store on Mass Avenue perfect. The street houses some of the areas best-known local retailers, and the east end is experiencing rapid growth. The new Pattern store makes sense in this environment, using the reputation it has already established as a local brand to introduce national brands and styles the city has not yet seen. “Having an outside influence will help challenge the culture, while freshening it up and still bringing in consumers to the area.”
“We’re just doing fashion well,” says Jeremiah when asked about how chooses what brands will fill the store. “It’s not a coincidence that local apparel will be sold in our store – we believe local brands can compete on a national level.”
The 1300-square-foot retail space that opens in August is a collaboration with Carmel based Luur Design. Shoppers will find a very clean, European feel with an entirely modular layout that allows Pattern to completely rearrange the room and open up for events, as well as runway and trunk shows. The apparel will be a mix of high and low-end products. “The styling brings everything together,” he said, “It makes it very cohesive between the magazine and the products in the store.”
The consistency of the Pattern brand from page to products is now Jeremiah’s responsibility. “Polina [Osherov] is the creative vision - the Pattern brand. Eric [Strickland] is the spreadsheet guy. I’m the middle man that puts the two together.” The recognition of Pattern and the success of the magazine sets a high standard for the store. “Jumping into the retail world like this – it’s the thorn in my side that gives me heartburn at night. It’s very nerve-wracking for me,” he said.
But despite having a mere 8 weeks to learn the ropes of retail management and open the store, things are looking good for Pattern and Jeremiah.
The Pattern store will be open August 1, with an opening celebration from 5-10 PM. The store space will be open for shopping, with a pop-up event space next door for socializing and join our celebration for the party.
Visit the store and check out www.patternindy.com.