Daughters of Simone began as a collection of lacy and bohemian but always elegant reconstructed vintage gowns from the ’60s and ’70s curated and perfected by my sister, Brittany Castanos. She has majorly mastered the art of reworking vintage pieces, and up next for her is her own collection of nine vintage-inspired but completely original wedding dresses. The look is still a touch boho (and you know how we love hippie wedding dresses around here) but these are created 100 percent by Brittany. Read on to find out about Daughters of Simone’s evolution from vintage to vintage-inspired, and how a less-than-inspiring job paved the way for a labor of love.
1. Where did the name Daughters of Simone come from?
The name was inspired by the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. She lived in a time when women weren’t free to express who they were as individuals and yet she went against all the conventional standards set up for women. I really admire her. Even in a time when I am so much more free than she was ever allowed to experience I still feel those old traditional pulls. So to see someone like her dig in her heels and say, “to hell with it” is very inspiring. Women like her have built a bridge between those traditions and today’s generation. Women now don’t have the same pressures to get married like they did 60 years ago. Marriage has evolved to become a beautiful thing between two people and Daughters of Simone aims to capture that spirit.
2. Tell us about your transition from vintage to designing your own gowns.
Our vintage gowns are our company’s heart and soul. We love how each one is one-of-a-kind and how sentimental they are and we will continue to carry them. But sizing and sourcing specific styles can be difficult, so we started toying with the idea of designing them ourselves. From there it became a labor of love, moving styles from the past and bringing them into the present.
3. Where can we find your gowns?
Our gowns are currently available on both our website and etsy site. We also hold fittings in San Francisco for those who want that goose-bump feeling of trying on their gown in front of their mom and favorite gals. The champagne is ALWAYS on ice!
4. Tell us a little bit about you, what is your background in design?
I’m really just a girl who found herself doing something she didn’t like to do. In other words, my job off the graduation train did not fulfill me… After a lot of thought I decided to listen to everyone who has ever said “you can do anything you set your mind to.” You should always take your hobbies seriously. If you love it, you should be doing it. For me, my hobby started at the age of four. During “nap time” my sisters and I snuck out of our room and caught my mom sewing teddy bears that she wanted to surprise us with later. Instead of scolding us and sending us back up to our naps she proceeded to teach us how to cut and layer the fabric and then how hand stitch it all together. My love for vintage clothing came about in high school. My best friend, Alexa, would come to school in all these rad outfits and people would always ask her where she got this skirt or that belt… She always responded confidently, “At the thrift.” Soon after Alexa gave me my first introduction, to the interesting experience that is “the thirft”, I was pretty well hooked. Eventually I started to look at the clothing not for what is but what it could be, and then sew it accordingly. At the time I thought of it as making the clothes that I couldn’t find in stores but now realize that I was beginning a future in what I really belonged in. And so after a lot of hard work, vulnerability, sacrifices, and still more hard work to be done, here I am.