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EMMA ALTMAN: YOUR NEW FAVORITE FASHION DESIGNER

March 8, 2024

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

In the heart of NYC’s fashion scene, we sat down with the fabulous designer Emma Altman. The first question was a blast from the past: “If you could design an outfit for any fictional character, who’d it be?” Emma’s response? “Anyone from Clueless (1995), especially Amber!” Her answer perfectly mirrors her designs— retro, playful, and vibrant!


Emma burst onto the scene debuting at New York Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter 2018 show, and she’s not slowing down. Her cruelty-free designs, brimming with nostalgia, are capturing the hearts of fashion enthusiasts everywhere.


In this article, we learn about Emma’s whirlwind fashion journey. Peek behind the curtain of her runway shows, explore her commitment to vegan and cruelty free designs, and discover her mission for inclusivity. Get ready for a ride through the vibrant career of a designer who’s all about celebrating individuality and confidence.

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

If you’ve ever wondered how a young artist can evolve into a fashion designer, Emma’s story is a testament to the power of sudden inspiration. It all started with a simple encounter in a doctor’s office during the early 2000s. The image of a girl rocking wide-legged, safety pin-covered denim jeans was etched into Emma’s memory. She knew instantly that fashion was an art form – a canvas where individuals could express themselves.

At just 12, Emma began her journey into fashion. Inspired by her life long love for art and the newfound realization that she could customize her own clothing, she started sewing. Emma then attended the Rhode Island School of Design, but a big turning point came when she secured the coolest internship with the iconic Betsey Johnson. It was here that she honed her skills and learned the intricacies of the fashion industry, paving the way for her own career.

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

Emma’s designs are a vivid reflection of her love for nostalgia. Drawing inspiration from various eras, she creates collections that transport us back in time. Whether it’s the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, or early 2000s, Emma’s designs encapsulate the essence of these decades.

But it’s not just about aesthetics. Emma takes it a step further by immersing herself in the music of each era while designing her collections. This musical time-traveling experience infuses her creations with a modern twist, giving them that distinct look.

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

Emma’s most recent collection, showcased at SS24 New York Fashion Week, was inspired by the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas. Her love for the city’s iconic symbols, like dice and sequins, shone through in the collection. Emma upcycled used dice into earrings and incorporated them into her garments. The collection sparkled with sequins and gold, creating a lush, sparkly, and fun environment that embodied the spirit of Vegas. 

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

The chaos and magic behind crafting a runway show or fashion presentation is not an easy task, but it is fun and fulfilling. Emma recalls her time with Betsey Johnson, where she learned the importance of precision and quick changes. The logistics can be overwhelming, with venues, models, hair, makeup, music and wardrobe changes. But Emma’s shows are also a testament to the importance of fun. She encourages her models to enjoy themselves, express creativity, and radiate confidence on the runway.

[Photo By Mia Cepeda]

In her latest collection, Emma upcycled used dice into stylish earrings and transformed a thrifted five dollar dress into a fashionable two-piece ensemble. Her commitment doesn’t stop there; she also donates fabric scraps to fellow designers, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

[Photo By Getty Images]

Growing up in an animal-loving household, Emma’s brand reflects her love for animals. Her mom’s involvement in volunteering at the Bronx Zoo shaped her beliefs, and “adopt don’t shop” became a family motto. Emma’s brand is proudly vegan and cruelty-free, showcasing her commitment to ethical fashion. She finds inspiration in using faux options to create texture, comfort, and creativity in her designs.

[Photo By Rachel Monteleone]

In a world where diversity and inclusivity are key, Emma’s runway shows, presentations, and lookbooks are celebrated for their diverse cast. Her designs are all about empowering people from all walks of life. Her goal is for everyone to feel confident and ready to take on any challenge when they wear her creations. Emma’s custom orders cater to all sizes, and she embraces body positivity, ensuring that people are seen and heard.

[Photo By Rachel Monteleone]

The fashion industry has evolved with the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Emma acknowledges the need to stay relevant while remaining true to her brand identity. Her distinctive color palette and her alignment with current trends in nostalgia make her brand stand out. People-watching in New York City is one of her favorite pastimes for trend-spotting, which helps her infuse her brand with a modern twist.

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

For those aspiring to make their mark in the industry with sustainability and inclusivity, Emma offers valuable advice: be authentic. Find your mission and stay true to it. In a world where trends come and go, authenticity and passion are the driving forces behind a lasting and impactful brand.

[Photo By Joshua Eichenbaum]

Emma’s creative journey continues with exciting projects on the horizon. As the spring season approaches, she’s working on new clothes and accessories. Stay tuned for more of Emma’s signature designs that celebrate individuality, confidence, and sustainable glamor.

Emma Altman is more than a fashion designer; she’s a storyteller who uses clothing to transport us to different eras, a crusader for vegan fashion, and a champion of inclusivity. Her journey is a testament to the power of staying true to one’s vision, no matter where your passions may lead you. With her designs, she empowers us all to embrace our individuality and celebrate the beauty of sustainable, cruelty-free fashion. Emma Altman’s brand is not just about clothing; it’s a movement that inspires us to be confident, creative, and compassionate.

To support the brand, check out her

website 

instagram 

 tiktok

“If you could pick one item from your childhood to seal in a time capsule, what would it be and why?”

Emma Altman: “Even though I was a 90’s kid my parents got me really into 80’s cartoon shows like Care Bears, The Popples and My Little Pony. As a little kid I was gifted a 1983 My Little Pony Carrier Case with 6 Ponies in it from our local Postal service neighbor. I would put the Pony Carrier in the time capsule because I feel like it encapsulates my love of animals and nostalgia.”

WRITTEN BY: SHELLY RAY

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