How Savannah Latimer turned a painting hobby into a clothing line

Savannah Latimer is fresh off of turning 21, and the dancer-turned-designer has her own namesake clothing line Vannity the Label, inspired by her painting hobby.

We chat about how she created her clothing line, why her friends inspire her and why you can choose your icons.

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What made you start Vannity the Label?

I started because I just love painting and clothing. I was painting on my own clothes for fun. My friends were starting to love all of the stuff I was making. Then, I started painting things for my friends and eventually, it kind of got to the point where I was like, “Well, I’m basically doing this all the time now. So, I should try and sell it to see if I can make a living out of it.” I started a website and it kind of took off. People started buying stuff online. It worked out. [laughs]

Aww, I’m so happy for you!

This is my first season doing limited edition pieces, too. I was surprised by how well it did because everything was one-of-a-kind. Every piece is totally different and I was a little nervous. People seemed to be liking them.

I have to say that it’s not easy to do it. When it comes to selling upcycled vintage pieces, everyone wants the same aesthetic, but the way you do it is deliberately individual. It feels so personalized because you count your friends as your muses.

Thanks! I try to make each piece unique. I get inspired by so many different things. My brain is never in the same space. My vision is never the same.

Why and how do your friends inspire you?

They all inspire me differently. I have a couple friends that I love hanging out with ‘cause of their energy. There’s a couple girls I’ve been hanging out this week – Kimmy and Misi – because they’re “go with the flow” girls. Every time I hang out with them, I leave feeling so uplifted and high on life. That, in itself, is an inspiration to me. Then, I also have other friends like Courtney [Eaton] – she’s such an artist. She creates all these different things – she’s an actress, she can play the piano, writes music and she’s a painter. She inspires me because she’s so diverse. I feel like everyone is so unique and so different… in their own way.

Speaking of music and painting, who are your role models?

For music, I constantly love listening to whatever random thing I found on Spotify’s]Discover Weekly. But, recently, I’ve really been getting into this song called “Way Back” by Amber Mark. It changes weekly. For art, Charmaine Olivia – she’s this amazing artist. Her work is so beautiful and vibrant. It’s so unique and I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life.

Can you tell us about your definition of influence?

An influencer in my opinion is someone who inspires others. For me, I like to show what my fashion is right now or what beauty products I’m using. If I find some cool health trend, I want to share it with my followers so that they can have the chance to try this great stuff that I’ve been using. It’s a good way to show each other and work with each other.

I think social media is taking over the world. As an influencer, I’m working with social media all the time, so I have to limit myself. I make sure that I have a day or two where I don’t use my phone at all – I either spend time with people that I love or go outside. It can take over your life. [laughs]

I have to say so, too! It’s easy to become addicted to Instagram. What are the top three things on your Instagram addictions?

Art – I think his name is Abstract Sunday, where he’ll have a piece of paper that fell on the floor, paint around it and make it look like something. He’s one of my favorite things that I am obsessed with. The goop stuff (the slime) – I’m obsessed with that. Fashion and bloggers – I’m obsessed with looking at new trends, ‘cuz they’re so bold and try out all crazy things. It inspires me to be more courageous with my own fashion sense.

How did you develop your bohemian aesthetic?

I feel like I change so often with a few phases. The bohemian thing started when I was a kid. I love the ‘70s and am obsessed with… the flowy dresses and the glitter. There’s no one specific thing that got me into the whole bohemian look. I feel like everyday, I’m trying to dress how I feel. Fashion truly is about your confidence and how you feel that day is a huge impact on your style.

What is an icon these days?

It’s hard to say an icon because there are so many, amazing icons. It’s not the same as Marilyn Monroe. I think because of social media, it’s hard for us to pick one. We can follow whoever we want to follow. It’s the whole world now that has an opinion.

When it comes to fears, what are the top three you manage to overcome?

Not caring what people think when you wear something outrageous – it was something that was big for me in middle school. Speaking out loud in front of a huge group – I had to do that not too long ago and it ended up being totally fine. A third one is probably when I was really little, being in the front of a dance group. That scared me and then, I did it and I was totally fine. Every single time you’re afraid of something, you just have to do it.

Photography by Jeffrey Thawun

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