Meet St. Louis Fashion Insider Rikki Byrd

Join us Saturday, March 17th as we launch our Spring Collection, hosted by local fashion insider Rikki Byrd! Keep reading to learn more about Rikki - like her favorite vintage piece, favorite designers and who inspires her! 

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in fashion.

I'm a writer, educator and scholar. My interest in fashion stems from the long line of women from my mother to my great grandmother who have always known their way around thread and a needle. I have a Bachelor of Journalism from University of Missouri and a Master of Arts from Parsons School of Design. Currently I'm a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, where I teach courses on fashion history and fashion and race. 

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How would you describe your personal style?

Minimal. I like to stick with a uniform. For fall and winter I stick with denim and black (most times it's just black, a style I developed an affinity for while living in New York). I opt for color in the spring and summer – usually crop tops and high-waist shorts. 

What inspires you creatively?

I read a lot – from fiction to really bad captions on Instagram. I also have a good handful of people I follow on social media who keep me thinking of new things. Right now I'm inspired by Kimberly Drew (@museummammy), Solange Knowles (@saintrecords) and Antwaun Sargent (@sirsargent). I also have a great group of friends who are really creative and always keeps me on my toes creatively. Visits to museums and art galleries also keep me thinking creatively and critically. On a recent visit to Chicago, I learned about Howardena Pindell and now her work has me thinking of so much. 

What is your favorite vintage find?

Recently I purchased this pair of black tuxedo high-waist pants that I'm pretty sure I'm going to wear to a wedding this fall. I'm on the hunt for a black satin halter top to wear with them. I also love the vintage DKNY wool coat from my godmother who passed in 2016. She loved vintage shopping, so it's nice to have some of her items in my closet. 

Who's your favorite designer? 

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Kerby Jean-Raymond at Pyer Moss. He's found a way to bridge activism and fashion beautifully, so it is always great to see what he comes up with every season. He is also a big believer in collaboration, which I appreciate. Grace Wales Bonner collections are very special and smart. She sometimes includes a bibliography on her website for collections along with video features. Valentino's collections will always make me dream. 

What's your favorite item in your closet right now?

A pair of red over-the-knee leather boots from Zara with this unique architectural heel that I got for a steal on a trip to Florida earlier this year. I also recently purchased a pair of wide-legged, cropped and cuffed denim jeans that I can't wait to wear this spring. I'm waiting for a pair of rose gold Tretorn sneakers to add to my closet. And of course, my leather jacket that I always wear. 

What fashion faux pas makes you cringe the most?

When people ask "Who are you wearing"? There are so many other questions people can ask. 

Photos by Curtis Taylor Jr. (@mrbadbeard)