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November 28, 2017

Joining The Clan

The Dallas-based designer celebrating odd and artful beauty

Intrigued by more than the traditional notions of beauty, local designer Kendall Eckerd Falcon has turned her fascination with the odd and intriguing into a clothing line, Clan of Cro. Here, she explains how it all got started and the story behind the name. —Jewels Clark

What inspired you to start designing?
I suppose it was a lot of things coming together at the right time. I grew up learning to sew from my grandmother and got my first sewing machine when I was 8. I began by taking apart old clothes to make new pieces; I loved deconstructing things to learn how they were made. As I got older, I’d stay up late sewing projects of my own. I realized that not only did I have a love for design, but also the discipline to pursue it.

You define a “cro” as “a woman known for her oddities, artful insight, and expression through dress.” Where did the definition come from and what inspired the name Clan of Cro?
It’s a bit of a funny story. When I was living in L.A., I was at my favorite bar playing “wingman” for a friend of mine. He’s English and always refers to women as “birds.” I pointed out a woman that had walked into the bar and he said, “She’s a crow.” I asked him to explain and he said, “She’s beautiful—not just an ordinary bird.” This really stuck with me as a fitting way to describe women who’re odd, beautiful, and interesting all at once. Thus, Cro was born.

How did Clan of Cro first get off the ground?
I was lucky to have a little help from family and friends when I decided to take this on full time. For the sake of being totally transparent, I’ll say fashion is a tough industry and very expensive for young designers. I had to be scrappy and occasionally make changes in direction due to lack of funding. I began making all my own patterns and sewing everything myself, which really doesn’t leave much time for anything else—especially a social life. Now, I have a bit of help, but I still try to take on as much of that work as I can. I’m lucky to have had some successes early on, but I am continually growing alongside this baby of mine.

Where do you notate your design ideas? A sketchbook? Digitally?
Anything I can get my hands on really. If I’m in my studio, I reach for my design book where I keep all of my ideas for a new season or collection. If I’m out and about, I’ll write a detailed description in my phone so I can visualize it later. Often I’ll look back and be totally confused about my own descriptions, but sometimes that creates a new idea on its own!

Where do you source your fabrics?
Everything I use is second hand or deadstock, meaning excess fabric from orders that would otherwise be wasted. I source most of my materials in L.A., but I do occasionally find something beautiful here  that I can use for a very small run or a new style.

Who inspires your design style?
I’m not  inspired by any one person, but by so many women—women  in my family, my friends, and some I’ve never even met. I’m also inspired by vintage clothing. When I find a piece, I love to imagine what sort of woman it belonged to and what life it had before it became part of mine.

Where in Dallas do you like to shop?
I almost exclusively shop vintage or thrifted pieces. I like the idea of giving clothing a longer lifecycle. I also love B Stellar jewelry. I think Misty Incontrera’s pieces are so unique. I’ve used a lot of her designs for my own lookbook shoots and runway shows.

If you could work with any artist who would it be?
My husband Anthony Falcon. We do a lot of work together, but still have yet to do a true collaboration. He’s such an incredible artist and I’m consistently inspired by his work. We’ve had a lot of ideas for projects over the years; we both just need to carve out some time to begin.

What’s next? Anything planned for the holiday season?
This year, I’m offering a 30% off holiday sale from December 15 to January 1. I’ll also be adding a lot of new styles in very limited quantities—no more than 3 or so made per style—and I’m excited for that!

The Details: Clan of Cro, clanofcro.com