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Stories

Highlighting the region’s most interesting people, places, and projects, and the inspiring stories that shape our unique design landscape.
Interview

Pop Up Magazine's Maureen Towey

Maureen Towey, an artist working across many mediums, is the on-set director for the beloved Pop-Up Magazine. With their most recent iteration, "At Home," Towey and her team was faced with new challenges. She spoke with us about how they pivoted.

Interview

Kate Widdows

Allyson Marrs

Neon has a following. And Kate Widdows is a loyalist. She’s an independent letterer and typographer who designs everything from typefaces and record covers to GIFs and, you guessed it, neon signs. She’s also found a way to merge the two, having pioneered animated neon lettering for the web, work which has been exhibited internationally at design festivals and art galleries. We asked Kate a few questions about reaching peak neon fan status, and how that appreciation transitioned into her own bright work.

Interview

Natasha Jen

Allyson Marrs

Design thinking is bullshit. It’s an opinion and a talk notable designer Natasha Jen is well-known for. And, sure, it’s a phrase that entices, piques curiosity. But it’s the experience behind the opinion—the years of exploring cultural intersections and divergence, design systems, philosophies, failures—that has made Natasha Jen a Name in the design world. Or rather, she has earned that reputation for herself.

Interview

Fabi Reyna

Allyson Marrs

Mexican-born and Portland-based Fabi Reyna is a guitarist and the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief—the result of being fed up with women’s roles in music magazines (you know the types: wearing clothes as thin as the guitar strings they’re not playing). She Shreds was started in 2012 as the world’s only print publication dedicated to women guitarists and bassists, a platform where “people can listen, see and experience what it means to be a woman who shreds.”

Interview

Alejandra Oyervides

Allyson Marrs

Alejandra Oyervides launched her Ale O Moda label in fall 2018, debuting at Fade to Light, a Portland fashion show known for its unique experience. The introduction was fitting, as Alejandra has since won UpNXT’s Emerging Designer Award and its People’s Choice Award for a style that’s modern...almost futuristically so. During Design Week Portland 2020, Alejandra will present her first solo runway show, where her newest collection will be on display, with past collections set up as an exhibit.

Interview

Melvin and Nick Lee

Allyson Marrs

Run by father-son team, Melvin and Nick, Studio Signs Co. is tethered to Portland’s history. Founded in 1963 by Dean G. Stanley and taken over by Melvin in 1984, the shop has experienced waves of the industry’s changes throughout the decades, yet has always managed to stick to its artistic promise: made by hand.

Interview

Abibat Durosimi

Allyson Marrs

Abibat Durosimi is the President and Creative Director of Tabiba Styles, an agency in Portland specializing in makeup, hair extensions, and natural hairstyling. Her newest venture, BLOOM Beauty Collective, is lifting up fellow creatives while giving back to the community. We learn more about Abibat’s process and her plans for BLOOM’s big runway show at Design Week Portland this April.

Interview

Luise Gnizak

Allyson Marrs

Meet Luise Gnizak, our 2020 DWP Design Fellow. This German native and Portland transplant is a graphic designer and art director, whose studio, Studio Werken, has done work for art and cultural institutions worldwide. We asked about how her European roots influence her work and what she’s most looking forward to tackling for the festival.

Interview

Marcela Dyer

Allyson Marrs

Known especially for custom orders, as well as revitalizing vintage clothing, Marcela Dyer is a fashion designer devoted to the feel of fabric. Her upcoming collection, Wild Woman, a collaboration with textile artist Laura Renée Maier, is focused on a message rather than solely the event that inspired it: the 2017 Women’s March.

Interview

Adam Arnold

Allyson Marrs

Ready to wear. Made to measure. Adam Arnold is a local fashion designer who makes garments known for their impeccable fit. Part tailor, part designer, fully custom—Adam does everything analog, and for the past 20 years, he’s been in business for himself, dressing clients and guiding them through the intricacies of the made-by-hand process.

Interview

Evan James Benally Atwood

Allyson Marrs

The greatest influences on my work are] queer Indigenous critiques on our modern society, the recovering of an Indian perspective on history, and the need to document some of our most marginalized community members fighting for what most of us take for granted. Read about Evan's incredible photographic and artistic endeavors, aimed at elevating those very communities.

Interview

RaShaunda Brooks

Allyson Marrs

While their mission began with music—Y.G.B has also curated for Portland’s My People’s Market—the group has grown into artist advocates and a uniting voice for the city’s marginalized communities. We spoke with Y.G.B. organizer RaShaunda Brooks about the group’s impact now, and how it might expand in the near future.