Indianapolis’ Tokyo Twiggy Brings a Global Twist to American-Style Streetwear
When it comes to the fashion world, Indiana, like most of the Heartland, is more often associated with Carhartt and camo than couture and catwalks. Yet many of the designers who got their start in the Hoosier State, including Bill Blass, Halston and Norman Norell, continue to influence the creative minds of today.
With her flair for the dramatic and her focus on comfort, Indianapolis designer Jennifer Felts of Tokyo Twiggy is on track to take her spot next to these iconic trailblazers. This summer, her “Big Hero 6”-inspired collection, featuring hand-drawn textiles, asymmetrical silhouettes and bold patterns, wowed judges at the inaugural Indiana Fashion Week, securing her win as Emerging Designer of the Year and propelling her in front of a national audience.
A collection that crosses cultures
Tokyo Twiggy is a vibrant, fabric melting pot, honoring the different cultures Felts experienced on her travels abroad with Sister Cities International. She effortlessly blends elements, such as Japanese calligraphy and origami with American-style graffiti art and biker garb, to create custom, eye-popping streetwear that is wearable yet runway-ready.
“I want women to feel like themselves when they’re wearing one of my pieces,” Felts says. “I don’t want them to feel like they’re in the next Adidas tracksuit or dressed in a ‘brand,’ but rather in something that lets them express their unique self. Instead of having to represent a certain image, I just want them to feel comfortable and confident.”
According to Felts, she strives to create attention-grabbing pieces that women of all sizes and ethnicities can wear fearlessly, taking elements from the traditional streetwear genre and giving them a gender-bending edge with bright colors and unexpected pairings. From whimsical jumpsuits with anime-inspired imagery for nights at the club to patterned moto jackets that can be paired with anything from leather pants to dresses, her line offers that perfect mix of style and fun.
In addition, Felts’ gift for illustration and talent for textile design have made her the go-to for those who desire a one-of-a-kind piece. While she’s currently developing her next collection, she’s also focusing on creating couture streetwear, so anyone with an idea, but not necessarily design experience, can access custom fabric and styles and bring their vision to life.
The future of fashion in the Heartland
Felts’ win at Indiana Fashion Week has allowed her the opportunity to give the world a glimpse of the incredible Heartland talent that has existed under the radar for too long. As Indiana’s Emerging Designer of the Year, Felts will soon be traveling to meet with creatives at New York Fashion Week to further her work, as well as the work of her fellow local designers.
“Indianapolis has a really rich culture of creatives, in general, but we didn’t have the stage to showcase ourselves on a national level,” she says. “Indiana Fashion Week gave designers a platform to be seen and heard. I really think that even though we’re in the early stages, Indy is going to progress and be just as fashion-forward as Chicago in the next few years. I’m excited to be working with other artists and groups to keep the momentum going. As creatives, we need to keep pushing ourselves out there.”
To learn more about Felts’ work, purchase a piece from her collection or commission a custom piece of your own, visit the Tokyo Twiggy website.
Featured image courtesy of Shuennming Chang.