HF#11 Turning An Art School Hobby Into A Thriving Fashion Business with Lydia Crespo of Argaman&Defiance

How Fitting
How Fitting
HF#11 Turning An Art School Hobby Into A Thriving Fashion Business with Lydia Crespo of Argaman&Defiance

Argaman&Defiance creates everything from apparel to bedding to bridal by hand in their studio located in St. Charles, MO. They use a variety of surface designed techniques such as fabric dyeing, print making, and fabric painting to create the Argaman&Defiance collection.

Lydia Crespo attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) graduating in 2010. She received the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship from SAIC upon graduation. Crespo used the funds from the fellowship to start her business, Argaman&Defiance. 

Crespo is a two time published author. Her design work as been recognized through awards, fellowships, and scholarships.

In 2018, the Argaman&Defiance studio moved to the Foundry Art Centre located in St. Charles, MO.

Argaman&Defiance collection is available in over 50 boutiques throughout the US. A&D has designed for Urban Outfitters, West Elm, Target, and Huckberry.

Crespo has featured on Show Me St. Louis, NBC Morning Chicago, WGN’s Around Town Chicago, and Craft Room Crash speaking about her collection. Most recently Argaman&Defiance was highlighted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Made in St. Louis”, Design STL “A Day in the Life”, Chicago Magazine “Best of Chicago”, Chicago Tribune “16 Things We Love”, and marthastewart.com. Listen to Crespo on S2 Episode 11 and S3 Episode 1 of the Go-Forth Podcast, and Episode 3 of the Creative Living Podcast. 

In her spare time, Crespo writes about the creative process and cultivates her creative community. She encourages everyone to stay curious. 

Lydia Crespo of Argaman&Defiance

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How her interest in textile dyeing during school accidentally turned into a business
  • The art school lesson that sticks with her to this day
  • What Lydia’s creative process looks like
  • What Lydia sees as the key to blending the creativity of art with the business of design
  • How she found the ideal customers
  • How Lydia landed wholesale partnerships with dozens of boutiques as well as big box retailers like Urban Outfitters and West Elm
  • The ways that hosting workshops – in person and virtual – has impacted her business
  • What it’s like working in an arts center alongside working artists of many media
  • The differences between designing for wholesale versus direct to consumer

People and resources mentioned in this episode:

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