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Clark (whose trendy jacket-clad back is seen here) and Henderson were both head-over-heels for the design of the Quirk Hotel and Gallery; Henderson said it reminded her of a Wes Anderson film and there's no better way to describe it. (Photo courtesy of Caleb Clark and Rebecca Henderson)
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Pins and things, all part of the Enemy of Fashion and Weird Empire collections. Lots of #flair for your denim jackets or messenger bags. I'm into those cat pins for sure. (Photo courtesy of Caleb Clark and Rebecca Henderson)
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Pink mirrored sunnies or a custom Ouija board? Decisions... (Photo courtesy Caleb Clark and Rebecca Henderson)
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Sometimes you just have to cry - a lot. Mascara tears and all. Henderson knows it and isn't ashamed (and doesn't think you should be, either!) (Photo courtesy Caleb Clark and Rebecca Henderson)
I dug them both immediately— it may have had something to do with their declaring my eyebrows “really good” (a compliment of the highest order for a fashion girl like myself). Caleb Clark and Rebecca Henderson from Enemy to Fashion and Weird Empire, respectively, were in town from Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend for a trunk show at the Quirk Gallery.
Clark moved to North Carolina after being hired as the Creative Director for NASCAR in the mid-2000s. The job didn’t fulfill his maker tendencies, however, and he began his blog Enemy to Fashion to channel that energy. In 2008, he got his hands on an industrial sewing machine and made a line of 20 bags, made from recycled military fabrics. Those initial 20 bags soon turned into a full-fledged line that was being sold in 68 stores worldwide and in 2012, Clark quit his job at NASCAR to focus solely on Enemy to Fashion.
The Enemy to Fashion brand has since expanded to include pins, jewelry, coats, leggings, and t-shirts. Many of their products are stamped with the brand’s mantra: “Positive Vibes Only”. The “mainstay” of the brand, however, is actually a design firm that Clark created on top of the product line. The firm does creative design and development work for a number of different brands, both mainstream and independent. They help with the technical design, pattern-making, manufacturing and copywriting for these brands— and that’s where Henderson comes in.
After moving back to Charlotte from Richmond once she graduated in 2010 with a sculpture and extended media from VCU, Henderson began copywriting and consulting with Clark at Enemy to Fashion. In the summer of 2015, Henderson began her own product line, Weird Empire, inspired, naturally, by her time spent with Clark and his brand.
Weird Empire has the cute-subversive vibe down pat with pins that read “male tears,” “ugly cry club” and - of course - lots of cat imagery. There’s also a line of handmade letterpress cards with entirely funny and slightly offensive sayings printed on the front (not your mother’s Hallmark, in other words). I picked up a Drake-ism card that reads “Started from the bottom, now we here…lower than the bottom, redefining what the bottom even means.”
This weekend was Caleb’s first time in Richmond and he says he was immediately taken with the historic architecture and the local, small business vibe our city embraces. The pair managed to sneak in a quick culinary tour while they were here, stopping off at Strange Matter, Comfort and Saison. Of course, Henderson grew to love the city during her time as a student at VCU and worked at ada gallery, and the Richmond-born Thief and Bandit clothing line while she was here.
While Empire to Fashion has participated in pop-up shops locally in the past, the Quirk Gallery show marks the beginning of what they hope to be a regular calendar of traveling trunk shows for both brands. I’d love to end this post with a Quirk/quirky pun but I fear both Clark and Henderson would have my head for it.