Bunny Holiday Makes Clothes For the Thotty Barbie In All of Us
If you take a gander at Bunny Holiday’s website, you’ll notice that her clothing is kind of like a girly, 90s, American Apparel dream. Well, that’s because she used to design and model for them.
After American Apparel’s scandy CEO got fired, Bunny left the company and started building her own brand. The result is the awesomely sparkly, shiny, and seductive clothing that you see on her site.
We caught up with Bunny to discuss what really went on behind the scenes of American Apparel, what it’s like being your own boss, and what we can expect from her collection in the future.
So how did you come up with the name Bunny Holiday?
That’s been my Instagram name for about seven or eight years, and it just came from my friends calling me Bunny Holiday at the time. It was a nickname and it’s because I loved to go on little weekend holidays when I could escape from working.
What was your favorite place to go for a weekend trip?
In California, I loved going to the Madonna Inn. It is so silly and fun and just going to the mountains is really pretty here, too. And I’ve done the beach thing too. Just to get away from the city for a second. The Madonna Inn is crazy. The theme rooms are really fun, just like the themes of the rooms are so funny. It’s really kitsch.
So, did you start out as a model or designer or what?
Kind of as both. Before I worked at American Apparel, I was doing some small model jobs. But then I started working in the American Apparel store in Toronto and then one day the CEO of American Apparel, Dov, came in, like just by chance because he toured the stores all the time. I was wearing a high-waisted legging that I had made out of American Apparel clothes, and he was like, “Those aren’t American Apparel.” And I was like, “Yeah it is, I just altered it!” and he was like, “oh, that’s amazing!”
So then they started making them, and that’s kind of how my whole thing with American Apparel started, and then I started modeling for them and everything, so yeah.
That’s awesome. So like in your case, Dov obviously helped your career, but a lot of controversy has surrounded him and American Apparel, so how do you feel about that?
I think it’s probably pretty natural. He puts himself out there, he doesn’t hide who he is at all to people, he’s a very open person, and I think that makes you a target if you’re like that.
Yeah definitely, in that industry especially.
But I appreciate all the help he’s given me and I’ve learned a lot through him and I just would say not to believe all of the horrible things you hear about him. He’s actually just a really creative, energetic person.
How did you learn to sew?
That kind of started when I was six years old with my aunt ‘cuz she is heavy into sewing and knitting, and we would make my Barbie’s outfits.
Omg! I used to do that too, I feel you.
Yeah, so it was custom Barbie outfits. I was like, “nobody else has this!” So that’s where it all sprang from and with her, I kind of made stuff with her, like my jeans and stuff, and she was a big influence in getting me into sewing and fabric and stuff like that.
Cool, and your collection looks kind of like something Barbie would wear.
Yeah, electro Barbie.
So, your line with American Apparel kind of inspired you to create your own line?
Exactly. Shit basically hit the fan when Dov was ousted there, and a lot of things changed really really quickly. It just made it a really uncomfortable working environment and I couldn’t really do it anymore, so I walked away from that. Even though I appreciate my relationship with them before, it became really really different really quickly for everyone.
Before, it was a creative working environment, everyone really appreciated that. And then turning those creative minds and heads, trying to get them to do the corporate thing, for me at least, it was really hard, and it wasn’t really making me happy. So I dropped that and since I knew I have ideas that can sell from what I did there. I mean I had number one sellers at American Apparel for years, so I just started my own thing off of that.
Do you find that it’s easier to kind of like do the corporate/business related stuff when you’re working for yourself, because you have to do it?
Yes, and it’s more you’re doing it for yourself, and you’re not being dictated by someone else how to execute things, so it’s definitely more free. I’m handling a lot more than I did before, but I think I’ve learned so much, even from leaving American Apparel. So I think it’s been worth doing my own thing. I’m still not a heavy corporate person, I’m just trying to generate sales off of creative ideas.
So what does an average day of work look like for you?
I start every day with a headstand, and then I usually have to come into the factory. I work out of a factory right now in Downtown Los Angeles, so I usually come here and meet up with my sewer, my sewing team, see where they’re at, give them pieces to sew, just check in on everything there.
I hand cut a lot of my samples so I have a lot of cutting to do, I’m usually doing some cutting, and then I work on web management, working on photos and web, and then I’ll have a photoshoot. Usually, somewhere like after 5 o’clock, I’ll start shooting. So yeah, the day is usually extended to like 8 or 9. And then after I shoot, more web management stuff.
How do you use social media to build your brand?
I need to work on using it more to be totally honest ‘cuz I’m so involved in my production right now that I feel like I can’t do everything. But I definitely use Snapchat to do little sneak peeks of me doing some actual hands-on work. You can see the cutting being done of the fabric or me with one of my sewers, or people sewing things. My Instagram I use just to get people excited about the clothes. It’s more my personality, my personal Instagram, but I hope that draws people into the clothes, and obviously sexy photos sell. Sex will always sell.
You obviously have a lot of followers from your modeling work and everything you’ve done, have you found it difficult to translate those followers into sales?
Yeah, it’s tough to turn that over but I think right now, I feel like I’m starting to gain a little bit of momentum there finally and it’s going to be easier. I just got a PR girl who’s placing my stuff on celebrities so that’s going to help a ton, even through social media and everything. It’s hard to turn followers into sales, for sure.
How often are you releasing new pieces? Are you doing it typical fashion cycle or are you doing it when you’re inspired and you have time to make something?
It’s kind of both. I did Spring/Summer ’16, so now I’m a little bit chasing Fall/Winter ’16/’17, but basically I’m just going with the flow of what I can release when I can release it right now. I’m not following any strict guidelines or anything, and we’re in Los Angeles so I feel like the fashion doesn’t have to be so strict since the climate doesn’t really change. I just put things together as I can, basically.