URCREATIVES is a new interview series where we introduce you to Millennial entrepreneurs and creatives who are doing incredible things in the art, fashion, tech and start-up industries. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Garrett Hilfendorf, designer and owner of Elk Head Clothing in Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Elk Head specializes in well-made, refined pieces for the everyday gentleman.
DF: How did Elk Head Clothing came into existence?
GH: Elk Head is the product of my lifelong passion. I wanted to take quality elements of the high end haberdasheries and apply them to every day garments that everyone could wear. I saw a need for clothing that had universal and timeless aspects with a modern and versatile appeal.
DF: Were you always passionate about fashion?
GH: I was, it started from a young age. As a little boy I remember being in kindergarten and disliking the outfits my mom dressed me in, so I would wear my jacket throughout the day.
DF: From where do you draw your inspiration for your designs?
GH: In terms of color schemes, definitely the outdoors. I like to use a lot of earth tones. Silhouette wise, I use designs that are timeless and can endure the contemporary lifestyle. I want to provide garments that are versatile and unique in their details.
Photo by Jamestown
DF: What has been the most rewarding experience since starting Elk Head Clothing?
GH: Seeing my concepts come to life and seeing the customers’ response. Since opening the storefront at Ponce City Market we’ve had a lot of great interaction with customers, from Atlanta and elsewhere, and the positive feedback about the product has been overwhelming.
DF: What has been the toughest lesson you’ve learned since starting Elk Head?
GH: Being able to wear multiple hats within in the business, not just focusing on product development and looking at the big picture for the brand.
DF: What words do you live by?
GH: Go for quality.
DF: What are 5 things you’d tell your 20 year old self?
GH: Focus on what makes you tick and pursue your passion.
Surround yourself with good company and like-minded people. Don’t stop taking risks.
DF: Have you experienced the quarter-life crisis?
GH: A little bit. The development phase of Elk Head took awhile, so I was constantly questioning if I was doing the right thing and if I was on track, career-wise. I wouldn’t say it was a full on crisis, though.
DF: What are 3 items every man should have in his closet?
GH: A pair of selvedge denim, a quality oxford shirt, and some versatile leather shoes.
DF: What are your 3 favorite things about living in Atlanta?
GH: I really enjoy the nightlife and social scene, things like Piedmont Park and the BeltLine, and the constant evolution of the city.
DF: Name your 3 favorite bars or restaurants in ATL.
GH: The Brewhouse Cafe, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, and Superica.
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