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FGI Philadelphia Member Spotlight – Joanne Litz

Member Spotlight series will introduce you to different Philadelphia members so we can get to know each other better and feel more connected. The Steel Pony brand, designs comfortable, creative clothing for the independent thinker – let’s get to know Joanne.

FGI member since: 2011

Occupation: Fashion Designer and Co-Owner of Steel Pony along with Dennis Wolk, the Owner

Passionate about: textiles, fashion, yoga, the beach, my three cats, life. Enjoying life.

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Joanne and Dennis, 2014

Style icon: Alexander McQueen, Betsy Johnson, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Vivian Westwood

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

JL: I draw inspiration from the world around me which includes scouting around on the internet.  Everything is at our fingertips now.  I think though I draw the most inspiration from my dreams.  I find that is where my collections come to life.

How has FGI Philadelphia helped your personal and professional life?

JL: I am an introvert, FGI has helped me to work on getting out more and getting involved in the Philadelphia fashion scene.  It has inspired me to try to create more of a fashion community here.  I would like to see more working designers involved in the group.

 

Which designs are trending for Spring/Summer 2017 that you want customers to know about?

JL: We are not into trends.  Steel Pony is more of a lifestyle line but we do have some new things for Spring/Summer.  Now that I said that, I know pantsuits are trending.  We are doing the Cali Pantsuit.  It is a unique twist, combining the idea of a pantsuit and harem pants.  We are loving the freedom of all the size-free styles we created.  They drape on the body like they were made just for you.  We have some beautiful lace pieces this season but my favorite is the Kareena Dress.  It has a crotchet sheer bodice that is connected to a modal skirt. A great Special Occasion piece.  As always, we offer linen and cotton gauze pieces that are perfect for the beach.  This year I am using a cotton slub sheer gauze.  I love how it drapes.  It feels like you are wearing nothing at all.

The Wedding Collection

What’s next on your agenda for Steel Pony? 

JL: I know I am supposed to have a plan.  I did when I was younger.  Steel Pony turns 25 years old this year.  Over the years, we have done vending, wholesale, online selling, and now we have opened a brick & mortar. We do a lot of non-profit work.   I would love to see Steel Pony help to promote a fashion scene in Philadelphia partnering with some of the non-profits I feel passionate about.  Wouldn’t it be great to turn Fabric Row into many Ateliers where we can work and sell our work? A place where not only Philadelphian’s but people from everywhere come to support our work.  So, I have a lot of dreams of where I want Steel Pony to go; but I am happy that I have had the opportunity to do what fills my passion.  I have learned that money is not as important as enjoying the journey.  I don’t know that we have total control of that journey, so I am looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

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Gallery of Journey Bags designed by Dennis Wolk

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Journey Bags designed by Dennis Wolk

IMG_1265IMG_1256IMG_1266To learn about and see more Steel Pony designs, like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram & Twitter, find inspiration on Pinterest, and shop online at steelpony and Brand New USA. Most importantly, support local designers, small businesses, and Made in the USA by visiting the store on March 24th and 25th to shop their Semi Annual Studio Sale.  They are celebrating 25 years in business this year! New collections will be ready for order. Steel Pony is located at 758 S. 4th Street Philadelphia, PA  19147.

Photo Credits: Hope Jidenma