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Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


It’s Greater Bay goods, making a difference


August 1, 2010/7.04


If a fashion café with a delicious menu of custom garments to order that are ready to be shipped in 10 days doesn’t give you a one-of-a-kind shopping experience then, maybe you should get out more. Erica Varize of Berkeley, Calif. designs urban women’s sportswear, allowing her clients to choose the fabric, style, and colour of garments from her line, all in one setting. But, that’s not all! She will style you, teach you, and even have your children loving your new threads.
   Varize’s perpetual passion for fashion is revealed by her casual hip clothing, which includes her use of radiant prints from Uganda and playful hues that give the downtown savvy woman a feeling of exuberance. The beauty of her line is that the clothing isn’t geared toward one body type and, much like the designs that she creates, her tape measure has no limits. She tailors a garment to your liking while you later leave her shop inspired and smiling. The garments are bold statement pieces that bring life to any wardrobe.
   What’s her secret? It’s simple. She’s a firm believer in giving back, sharing her knowledge, and expecting entirely nothing in return. For Varize, it all started with a clear vision, right inside of her home, to design her own clothing line. She quickly outgrew her work space at home, which lead her to open a studio boutique. EVarize, the name of her clothing line, expresses the stylish urban woman or one who simply loves to wear chic silhouettes in vibrant hues.
   In 2005, Varize started EVarize Fashion Café (EVFC) in Berkeley, which is an outlet for other artists, and handbag and accessory designers to network. The EVarize Fashion Café is the Bay Area’s first official cut-and-sew boutique. The style-lines on her knits are fluid with the body, and her crisp detailing of woven garments in the collection is striking and recognizable.
   Varize’s gregarious personality is the perfect ingredient for the fashionable main course that she serves her clients. Her boutique is filled with styles to salivate over as eager customers shop her line of diverse prints and sophisticated easy-to-wear garments.
   If you love wearable art for a great cause then, this is a line tailored for you. Varize is a designer who truly touches the world, giving 20 per cent of business proceeds to Project Uganda and affiliating with the Red Campaign, an organization to help with HIV–Aids awareness in Africa.
   As a mentor to children within the greater Bay Area, Varize offers a summer camp called Sew What. The Sew What camp has shown ambitious youth a future glance into the fashion world, providing hands-on experience and workshops in fashion design.
   As a result, Varize’s extraordinary effort of positive change within her community hasn’t gone unnoticed. She recently won the 2010 Best of the East Bay Designer Award and tied for Best Locally Made Kids’ Products. Her company has been able to thrive even during the present downturn in the economy because of her business ethic and keen focus of knowing her target market.
   This is an under-the-radar designer who’s a mother, wife and entrepreneur with a huge charitable heart. She encourages children and empowers women of colour to become the new “business as usual” for the future. For her, being able to clothe, inspire, and give back makes everything worthwhile.
   For more information or custom orders, visit—Tamara Madison

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corporate social responsibility / culture / design / fashion / Lucire
Filed by Tamara Madison

4 thoughts on ‘It’s Greater Bay goods, making a difference

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  2. Wonderful write up! I worked with Erica at EVarize as an intern, and giving back to the community is her passion. While working there, we set up a heel consignment so that her designs would have accessories to display with. This means she also fosters recycling. Great job! Erika Kelly

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