Brittney Lynch, a 2012 graduate of Iowa State, has found herself designing for a high-end fashion company, something she originally didn’t see herself doing.
Initially, Lynch pictured herself designing for an athletic wear brand as she was an avid wakeboarder throughout college.
Lynch loved to sew clothes when she was younger. She said she got it from having a mother and a grandmother who loved to sew. Whenever her grandmother would clean out her closets, she would often give Lynch the extra fabric she had, which Lynch would use to make clothes for her cousins.
“I was around sewing a lot,” Lynch said. “I was always experimenting on their sewing machines and then I finally got my own and I literally sewed so much that I broke it the first day that I owned it. It was plastic so I think it was half my fault.”
She continued sewing through high school and took home economics classes, where her teachers had to make the sewing classes harder for her.
From then on, Lynch knew she wanted to be a designer. As an athlete who loved being outside, she had dreams of working for an athletic wear brand such as Roxy or Volcom.
After graduating high school, Lynch decided to pursue her dreams through Iowa State’s apparel, merchandising and design program.
Although Lynch spent countless hours in the sewing labs making garments for her classes, another big part of her college career was her participation in the wakeboarding club. She made apparel for all of her wakeboarding friends at Iowa State and other colleges they competed against.
“A lot of my best friends that I’m still friends with now, [the people] I met from the team,” Lynch said. “Now we’re going to waterski weddings where it’s like the whole gang's back together because you end up being friends with teams from Madison and Lacrosse, and teams in Minnesota and Colorado. It’s a cool little community of people that get together and you’re almost with them more than you’re with anyone else."
When Lynch graduated from Iowa State, she was offered a job in Iowa but declined in order to pursue her dreams.
“I told my parents that I knew if I took this job I would never leave Iowa and kill my dream of being a fashion designer,” Lynch said. “I told them if I didn’t at least move to California and try, I would regret it. They told me they wanted me to be happy and if that is what I wanted they fully supported it and would help me move. So I moved out to California with no job.”
Lynch's risk paid off as she soon got a job at AG jeans, a contemporary denim company. While there, she worked her way up from design assistant to designer.
After five years working for AG jeans, Lynch moved to RE/DONE, a clothing company that recreates and restores vintage pieces and turns them into luxury items.
RE/DONE began as a company that restored old Levis. Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur, the owners of the company, wanted to be able to take old jeans and make them into new luxury jeans consumers would want to buy.
Since its establishment, RE/DONE has become more than just a jean restoring business; the company now has its own contemporary clothing line.
This line allows the company to sell more items because often times, with luxury reconstructed pieces, they can only make 50 to 100 products because of the workload required for each item.
As one of two lead designers, along with Jessica Dorfman, Lynch spends a lot of time vintage shopping for pieces they can reconstruct and design, and that’s exactly what they were doing when they found out their latest line made it into Vogue.
“We were literally vintage shopping and a friend had texted our other designer a photo from the line and we were just screaming,” Lynch said. “I’m sure other people were looking at us wondering what was going on but we were just freaking out.”
After the many long nights spent working, Lynch felt a sense of accomplishment after seeing her and Dorfman's work featured in Vogue.
“It just makes all of the hard work and everything you put into it, completely worth it,” Lynch said. “Like we’ve had some crazy nights and some crazy long hours… as soon as it dropped on Vogue, literally everything before that day, didn’t matter.”
For now, Lynch is happy at RE/DONE, but one day in the future she would like to own her own design company.