Seattle may not be New York or Paris - but we are fortunate to have some fantastic fashion designers call our area home. From artisanal accessories creator Clare Hynes of Soli and Sun, to Afshan Abbas from Fuchsia - the lovely handmade flats giving artisans a foothold on their futures. Wendy Feller moved to Seattle from New York City many years ago. She is inspired by the beauty (and the weather!) of the PNW.
Refined recently connected with the talented outerwear designer.
Wendy Feller from Seattle-based clothing company FELLER - fall has officially arrived and it’s the perfect time to talk to you because you are known for making beautiful raincoats and outerwear.
Wendy Feller: I make outerwear that you can wear rain or shine. I would say they’re modern classic with a functional twist.
What makes your pieces special?
There are three main things that make it unique. The first is that they’re mostly printed. I design all the prints. The second is that they are sustainable. Meaning they’re eco-friendly because of the fabric. The third is that they have so many functional features to them. Such as zip-off hoods, two-way zippers, internal pockets for phones [and] zip-out liners for all seasonality.
What inspired you to start designing raincoats?
It all really began when I couldn’t find a coat for myself. I was looking for something that had a sophisticated print and there was literally nothing in the marketplace.
Does the fact that it rains nine months out of the year have anything to do with your designs?
[Laughs] Yes, of course. I wanted a raincoat that I could wear all the time.
You pay homage to the city through the names of your coats...
The 'Queen Anne Trench' was named so because I live in Queen Anne. One of my cross streets is Blaine so I named the 'Blaine Cargo Parka'. And the other cross street is Howe street so I named it 'Howe Fitted Coat'. Garfield is close by, 'Garfield Cape'. [Also] the 'Galer Cargo Jacket' which is one of my newer styles.
It must happen that you’re out and about and you see someone wearing one of your coats - does part of you want to go over and say ‘I made that coat’!
Part of me kind of does and then part of me does not at all. I just enjoy watching people enjoy them.
Why are you so passionate about what you do?
I get to do so many things in my business. I wear a lot of hats, and at the end of the day I really enjoy making other people happy with my designs.
How are you hoping woman feels when she’s wearing a piece of Feller outerwear?
Happy, I think mostly happy, that covers it!