Land of Distraction Is the Emerging Brand With An Attitude

Land of Distraction Is the Emerging Brand With An Attitude

We talk to designer Danita Short about her new brand and the vision behind its glam rockabilly fare.

We talk to designer Danita Short about her new brand and the vision behind its glam rockabilly fare.

Text: Danielle Combs

Land of Distraction is the newest entrant into the fashion scene, storming in with a debut collection that will take you back in time. Founded by Danita Short, the contemporary brand takes heed from the laid-back rockabilly days of the 70s, bringing classic motorcycle jackets, flared denim, and oodles of corduroy together to create an effortlessly rock'n'roll collection with a flash of Americana influence. The campaign, shot by Leon Mark and styled by Jay Massacret, embodies this mood perfectly, taking models Dilone and Jess PW to the farmstead. Short and company celebrated the launch with a major party at the iconic Chateau Marmont, where Kate Bosworth, Angela Bassett, Jaime King, Kristin Chenoweth, and more danced the night away, previewing their favorite Land of Distraction gear.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting brand, we talked to Danita about the inspirations behind her first collection, what made her want to be a designer, and her plans for the future.

What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

Experimenting with style was always very important to me. I have enjoyed helping people around me to push them out of their comfort zone and empower them to experiment in how they dress.

Can you talk about how Land of Distraction was conceived?

I joined several business development sessions with our chairman, Laurie Venning, and during one of these sessions we came up with the idea of Land of Distraction. We put together a team of veterans including our Designer Director Christian Juul Nielsen and CMO Joshua Reed who helped bring our vision to fruition. We wanted to create a “Land” of our own that distracts people from everyday fashion and which embraces all genders, ages and races. Lastly, we wanted to create a brand that is seasonless while maintaining a timeless relevance.

What is the inspiration behind the line?

We are inspired by clothes and materials that are fun and playful with a sexy elegance.

In today’s culture, what does it mean to be a rule breaker?

Pushing boundaries and creating a juxtaposition between masculine and feminine. Distraction from "normalcy".

In your mind, who are the thrill seekers, the rebels and the travelers that have inspired you the most?

I would have to say live music (both country and rock'n' roll) and the rebel motorcycle culture have inspired me most in my adventurous nature.  There is not one particular artist but more the feeling of being at a live show, I love the classic sound of loud drums and guitars.  Some artists that come to mind (not exclusive to) are Bruce Springsteen, U2, Fleetwood Mac, Buckcherry, Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. The culture and style of people that classically ride motorcycles is raw, real and authentic, nothing is contrived and there are no rules in general, especially when it comes to fashion.  This environment became a vehicle for freedom of expression to me. As far as traveling goes, I grew up on a farm in central Alberta so vast space was a luxury I always had. I have always had a sense of curiosity about the unknown and began to travel the first chance I had. Again, it is not a specific person that has inspired me but more geographical cultures such as (but not limited to) South East Asia, India, Eastern Europe, Central America and of course California.

The 70s was a pivotal moment in time for women everywhere. How does your brand aim to help women freely express themselves? What are some ways women can use fashion as a vehicle? 

I think the main feeling of freedom from the 70s is something that a lot of women are seeking in the world these days.  There is a movement of empowering women right now happening globally and I want to enhance that.  Like in the 70s, I want our clothes to be fun, colorful and sexy and which can continuously be mixed and matched amongst future collections.

What is your creative process like when creating a collection?

I love traveling for inspiration and do a lot of vintage shopping.  Me and my team then create mood boards and the collection starts taking shape from then on.

The majority of the designs so far have stemmed one way or another from my life and inspirations of my travels thus far. Christian has been very supportive in taking my life and spontaneous ideas from my past and translating them into design.  He has guided me with research that is relevant to my inspiration and we have done a lot of traveling to find vintage to support my stories.  We work in a positive and creative environment surrounding ourselves with mood boards, colors and textures that take the collections to the next level.  This entire process has been especially rewarding for me. It was especially exciting watching the photos come to life during our brand launch on December 30.

What are the essential items from your line every woman should own and why?

Flair pants are essential for me. I love the dramatic energy I feel when walking in them.  Also, a cute t-Shirt that can be worn for any occasion. Lastly, forever corduroy!  It’s my favorite material so anything in corduroy is an essential.

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