Erin Robertson

Erin Robertson is an_artist and designer interlaced in Provo, Utah. Robertson was embroidered upon Boston, Massachusetts in 2005, and by (2011) she had stitched herself into the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she was bound to study Fashion and Fiber Art, and where her work was well-suited to the tastes of the CFDA Scholarship award committee. In 2016, Robertson made a seamless transition to the cast of Project Runway Season 15 - and didn’t fold under pressure in her pursuit of victory. She made it work - the fun way. 

Pinned nowadays to her newly-drafted studio headquarters, Robertson yokes together a tight-knit community of interdisciplinary / multimedia artist friends in Boston. Needled by looming environmental and political issues, she threads sustainable works in collaboration and dialogue with the world-class hub of innovation, MIT. At the apex of art and technology, lies the greatest point of cultural leverage & necessary invention.  Like the mythological seamstress Arachne, an Erin’s tapestry is simultaneously satirical & sublime - a serious joke.
Robertson’s work - intricate, amusing, with perversely sophisticated appeal, seeks to surprise and delight. Surfaces shimmer with intentionally exaggerated sculptural embellishments that weave an almost self-satirical skein of coded logic, tailored to the female gaze.

Erin Robertson is a fine art fashion designer and textile artist from Provo, Utah. Robertson moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2005 to become a dental assistant, but her mentor, Dr. Porsche, encouraged her to seek out a more creative path. During her time as a student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Erin double majored in Fashion and Fiber Art, and was awarded the CFDA Scholarship for fashion students during her sophomore year.

Erin's artwork is influenced heavily by collaboration with her tightly-knit community of multimedia artist friends in Boston. Immediately after graduation in 2016, Erin joined the cast of Project Runway Season 15. After winning the season, Erin has returned home to Cambridge, MA, to focus on private commissions and her application to MIT, where she hopes to study sustainable textile technology.
by Rachel Raczka

After winning $100,000 on ‘Project Runway,’ she’s ready to collaborate in Boston

Fashion designer and Massachusetts College of Art and Design alumna Erin Robertson is used to the question “When are you leaving Boston?” But the 30-year-old Utah native has no plans to relocate any time soon.

The winner of Project Runway Season 15, which wrapped up in December, recently put down roots at the Piano Craft Guild building in the South End. A psychedelic flora and fauna mural painted by her friend and frequent collaborator Jordan Piantedosi covers the door to her airy 1,200-square-foot loft, a one-bedroom unit that’s more work space than living quarters.

Robertson’s Project Runway prize bounty included $100,000 to start her business, $25,000 in cash, and a Lexus, but it’s the Brother Sewing and Embroidery studio that gets the most attention now. In her quirky creature- and color-filled home, Robertson will design and sew— and collaborate with local innovators and artists. Up first is a project with MIT Media Lab researcher Jifei Ou. 

You’re staying in Boston, but why?
Now that I’m starting to get into my business, it’s allowed me to step back and think about what I care about doing and what I want to be doing. I’m excited to be [in Boston] because it’s good to be close to technology and students at MIT who are doing innovative projects. They’re on another plane, but it’s so connected to what I do.

I met Jifei [Ou] at MIT’s Being Material symposium, and he was showing off 3-D-printed fur. I had never seen soft material created by a 3-D printer. So now we’re working together and creating a garment. I’m hoping what I’m doing can inspire other [fashion] people to work with engineers and scientists. I love science and tech, but that’s not my study. I can’t engineer a sustainable textile alone. But I can be proficient with what I’m good at and work with someone who can do the engineering. And, together, we can start thinking about sustainable textiles. 

Will we see products or ready-to-wear from you soon?
I don’t want to be on a fashion calendar. I want to make [collections] when I want to do them. Fashion needs to slow down. There needs to be meaning and love rather than just producing to be bought. Jordan [Piantedosi] and I are going to make a collection inspired by nature. We want to make couture outfits [inspired by creatures] that are fun and shiny but also educational. 

What vibe are you going for in decorating the studio?
I want it to be as colorful as possible. In the past, I’ve only worked in studio spaces with fluorescent overhead lighting, and now I can install cool Philips Hue lights that I can change to be any color I want. It’s really bright in here, but they allow me to always have pops of color.

You’re depicted as a snail on your front-door mural, and there are more snails lurking around the loft. What’s their significance?
It’s the only emoji in the animal section [of the emoji alphabet] that’s facing toward the future. The rest of the creatures face to the left — toward the past. There are a few others that are facing upward, but the snail is full force the opposite direction. And it’s even more epic because it’s a snail. [When] thinking about slow factory, slow food, and those other movements — they’re almost always represented by a snail. Going into my business, I want to be slow fashion, and I want things to be handmade. The snail is my reminder.