Would you mind introducing yourself and your brand to our readers?
My name is Cindy Estes, I am the mother of four children ages 12-17. I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Boston MA when I got married. I started the brand to create a flattering outfit for my first daughter when she was 1 year old — something that would stand up to the washing machine and the dryer. I found I didn’t have enough time or space to line dry and keep up with the spills.
What was your background prior to starting Seam?
I studied as a graphic designer and worked as the in-house designer for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for 6 years until I came to Boston and worked at a design firm until the birth of my first child.
How did you develop your skills as a fashion designer?
Trial and error. My mother used to make intricate Halloween costumes so I knew the basics. When my first child was 2 years old I thought I would try a bear costume for him and I found that once I puzzled through the pattern it came naturally. So when my daughter was born I just started to cut and sew and changed patterns based on what I needed for her – ease of movement, ease of care, ease of diaper changes.
At what age did you first notice fashion around you?
I can’t really remember. My mother and grandmother were both fashionable women so it was kind of in the DNA. My grandmother never wore pants and even in a wheelchair had her heels on.
What sort of clothes did you enjoy wearing as a child and what did you hate wearing?
I was in a uniform from K-12 and hated it. It was uncomfortable and unflattering and it took away any ability to problem solve what worked best on your body.
On the love side, I remember a light blue pantsuit in the 70’s that I stained and was devastated.
After leaving the design firm I missed the creative outlet and producing clothing for my daughter filled that need.
With the name I wanted something simple and with four letters since I have four children. I liked the idea that the word ‘Seam’ suggests bringing something together – my interests (design) and their needs (clothing).
Do you have a particular muse for your children’s collection?
My daughters – their needs are a driving force for any style. At 12 months, my daughter was perfecting her walk and needed a dress that was short enough so she wouldn’t trip as she pulled up – so I designed a tunic with a corresponding pant. At 3 years I noticed she never wore skirts or pants on her waist, they were always pushed below her belly so I designed the rise and length to accommodate that. A 10 years, she needed a little more coverage on top but wasn’t ready for a bra, so I worked on designs to solve that by layering fabric. I love finding ways to help my daughters feel comfortable and confident as they walk out of the house.
Can you tell us a bit more about the new SS16 collection of Seam?
We are calling it Luxury + Linen and have sourced some of my favorite fabric lines to come together for this spring. We have a double gauze, an india woven and a linen/cotton that have the most amazing patterns and textures. I love combining fabrics in a way that make each one come alive.
What are the 3 must haves from the SS16 collection?
Hard to choose because it depends on what lines appeal to your daughter, but I would say the Catie pant, Tilda top, and Tilly dress.
How does it feel to see a child wearing one of your creations?
My favorite is to hear that a child can’t take it off or that seam is a go-to for teens when they aren’t allowed to wear their standard t-shirt.
Do you like to children to be mini me’s?
No. I would like them to find their own fashion voice which will require some exploration.
If you could dress any celebrity’s child. Who would it be?
I have been so entertained by Sandra Bullock all of these years, I would love to pay forward the laughter and send seam for her daughter.
Making clothes that help girls go into the world feeling comfortable and confident. And designing a new season – when I carve out the time to disappear into a collection it feels great!
What is your greatest strength?
Puzzling through the answers on a pattern or design.
What is your greatest weakness?
Keeping track of inventory.
Do you have children?
Do they wear Seam? Where else do you shop for you children?
I have 2 boys and 2 girls. I made a few pieces for the boys but only when they were very small and I haven’t gotten it into production yet. The girls wear seam but not exclusively, I like a mix of lines for myself and for my girls. For the 15 year old daughter, we shop consignment, deals at TJMAX runway and basics from Madewell. For the 12 year old, it is mostly a JCrew and Nordstrom mix. I want both girls to value well made garments so I am trying to teach them to shop for quality and use fast fashion only to test trends.
If one of our readers is in your city, Boston, for 24 hours. What things would you recommend they do?
Maybe a few too many but here is what came to mind
The museums: MFA, ICA, Isabella Stewart Gardner
Great for kids: Aquarium and Science Museum
A restaurant with great food and a play space for kids so adults can enjoy a leisurely meal while the little one’s play: Full Moon restaurant, Cambridge
Great restaurants on Fan Pier that overlook the water: i.e.Temezcal
Kayaking on the Charles
Beautiful old concert venues – Jordan hall, Boston Symphony Hall
Strolling through Boston Gardens and Ice skating on the Common
All photo’s taken of Sharon by Candice Cohen for Seam www.candicecohen.com