Pacha Play began when the clothing line's local mastermind, Edica Pacha, wanted to expand her work as a photographer and installation and performance artist.
"I started sewing as a way to get a little more creative and interactive with some of the work I was doing. I just started making clothes for people -- first, for my son -- and the word spread," says Pacha. Spending the better part of a decade making one-off pieces has exhausted the popular designer, though, and now, she's set her sights on a Kickstarter project, in the hopes of boosting production of the line -- one that she calls "urban Jedi street fashion."
See also: - Reader: CREEP! shows the creep of Kickstarter - Burning Man flame effects specialist DaveX on how to play with fire -- safely - Womenswear Wednesdays: Technical writer Lauren Jestes on her colorful summer style
Pacha describes her designs as "rough and tumbly," while retaining clean lines and a tailored look. "All the pieces are stretchy and made for movement, particularly the men's stuff -- which uses a stretch cotton twill," she says. The pieces are "meant to last and you can play hard -- but also look nice."
She also shares that the thought behind the design isn't just about movement -- it is also about embellishment on the body through fashion.
"A lot of [my work] hits on our archetypes and these deep elements that we tap into through mythology and our creative embodiment through adornments," says Pacha. "Guys like my stuff because they feel like a bad ass in it -- it has this warrior-ninja quality to it, but they are more of these ancient-future pieces that have an old, tribal quality mixed with a futuristic quality. The women's stuff has that as well, but I've tried to soften it and create more adornment-type pieces. So there is also that warrior aspect, but also this goddess aspect."
The reason for the Kickstarter -- which has an $11,000 goal and twenty days left -- was to step up the line into a full-on production. With the money raised, Pacha could utilize a group of seamstresses in Los Angeles and a sewer in Denver to build the foundation of her line.
"A lot of my pieces have stitch work and detail work, and I want to be able to get those bases created on a really consistent basis," says Pacha. "If I can do that, it gives me a consistency in small, medium and larges in particular colors, so when a store orders or I put something up on my website, then people know, okay, she's got this in stock -- and they can count on it. Whereas right now, when a piece goes up, it sells."
She says that online, word-of-mouth, limited boutique sales and her own creative community have been the source for the line's popularity and demand thus far. But once a line of production can be created, Pacha Play would likely be available to sell in stores outside of Colorado -- and that's what Pacha is aiming for.
"A lot of my stuff gets channeled through the transformational festival community of Burning Man, and other interactive arts communities that really like to embody and dress in this post-apocalyptic, neo-Victorian merge of creative element within each of us," says Pacha. "So, my clothes really started taking to that particular genre and scene and I've been selling it at West Coast festivals for the last six or seven years."
Beyond the crowdfunding effort, Pacha has already made strides toward bigger fashion markets, by taking advantage of jobbers -- wholesalers that sell smaller amounts of quality fabric affordably, for a line the size of Pacha Play.
"I am all about using super soft, quality fabrics that I get from jobbers," says Pacha. "They work really well for a mid-grade line like mine." The designer makes trips to Los Angeles to take advantage of this textile market, and in turn, make her clothing accessible, price-wise.
"For me to mill something, I would have to mill thousands of yards -- and that is just not doable," says Pacha. "But I can go in and buy a hundred yards of a really nice fabric and that makes it more sustainable for me. I think it is one of the more sustainable practices happening in the fabric market -- jobbers are the ones who are recycling everything that big designers are using, and getting it out to the public for an affordable price."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
To find out more about Edica Pacha's Pacha Play or to make a pledge, visit the line's Kickstarter page.