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What's Up Magazine

Lacey Wheatley of Kalivoda, 25, Fashion Designer

Jan 04, 2011 09:57PM ● By Anonymous

Lacey Wheatley of Kalivoda finds inspiration from textures and fabrics. She can take an old piece of clothing and make it into something new. A cashmere coat, the panel from a pair of lace curtains, a geometric red-and-white knit skirt—are just a few of the items in her stash of materials destined for reconstruction. “I make what I like,” she explains, “And, fortunately, other people are liking what I make, and the people are local, which is great. I don’t see myself living in New York and I’m not looking to be on that runway. I just want to create. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a person walking down the street wearing something I designed and to see firsthand that I’ve added a little lift and fun to their wardrobe.”

Lacey grew up in Severn and was inspired by her grandmother’s amazing attic with vintage fashions. By middle school she began learning how to sew and started inventing her own fashions. She graduated from Old Mill High School, and earned an Associate Degree from Baltimore Community College in Fashion Design.

In August of 2009, Lacey became an artist resident at the Studio of the Arts (SOTA) in Annapolis as part of their incubator program, designed to help encourage young artists. She particularly likes the opportunity to work collaboratively with other artists and being part of an artistic community. Her husband Winship, a songwriter and musician, is also part of the SOTA program. “People communicate through what they wear,” she explains.

Looking ahead towards the future, she hopes in 10 years to have more people sewing with her and to have a complete wholesale boutique line to sell. Currently, Lacey is a manager at Vivo where some items she has created are available. Her pieces are also sold at Olivers. “My higher-end, more over-the-top pieces eventually will be sold online,” she explains. An opportunity to do more traveling, and more shopping at thrift stores to find more raw material from which to create, are all on Lacey’s agenda but having the time to just create unique pieces of art that can be worn is her passion.

—Nadja Maril