ARTIST INTERVIEW: Shobha Philips of Proclaim
Artist: Shobha Philips
Shobha Philips started Proclaim after growing frustrated with the lack of diverse nude options in lingerie. She spent years researching and learning the industry before launching in 2017. Proclaim is based in Los Angeles and offers a wide array of nude intimates in eco-friendly fabrics with the intention of inclusivity.
The Echo Park Craft Fair is celebrating our 10 year anniversary this Holiday, 2019. Can you speak to how long you’ve been doing the Fair and how the EPCF community has contributed to the evolution of your work and business?
This will be my very first Echo Park Craft Fair and I couldn’t be more excited! While I have never been a vendor, I have attended in the past and have always been inspired by the work of the makers in this community.
Please tell us about the current work you will featuring this Holiday and speak a bit to how you/your work as evolved over the last decade?
I will be featuring my latest bralette and underwear collection, made from super soft and sustainable Tencel fabric in our signature nude tones. It’s a new material for us as we continue to expand and explore different eco-friendly fabrics. I love this material because it has the lightweight and luxurious look of silk, with the durability and softness of cotton. Using sustainable fabrics is a core element of my design and has been incorporated into my collections from the start.
The ethics of production are on our minds a lot recently – questions of sustainability, fair labor, location, and artistic integrity. How do these concepts come into play in your craft and your business? What choices do you make that take into account these ideas?
Ethical production is something that I care deeply about. When creating a product that is fundamentally designed to include women of color, I needed to address some hard realities of production in the fashion industry today. Women, and particularly women of color, make up a large part of the labor force and are all too often exploited by low wages and unsafe working conditions.
I have always produced locally at small batch operations that pay fair wages, where I can develop a relationship with the people who create Proclaim pieces.
It’s also important for me to produce locally to support my local economy and to reduce the carbon footprint of our supply chain. Our fabric mills and dye houses are in L.A. as well.
Can you speak a bit to your process? What inspires your work? What techniques do you use to produce your designs? What is the history behind those techniques, and does that inform how you utilize them in your process?
I started Proclaim because I could never find nude bras in my skin tone as a brown woman. My collections are designed with inclusivity in mind. I am inspired by women of color who break barriers. I want to design for women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. Proclaim pieces come in a range of nude colors and inclusive sizing (S-3X). I want women who have typically felt ignored or forgotten by the fashion industry to see themselves in what I am creating.
What is your underlying philosophy/core vision for your work? And what impact do you hope your creative work will have on your community?
I believe in making pieces that people can feel good in and feel good about. I am inspired by minimalist design that is both functional and beautiful. I will always strive to create pieces that are inclusive, with care and consideration for my impact, both on people and the planet.