A Minnesota Summer in Seven Pieces


A Minnesota Summer in Seven Pieces:
Hackwith Design House


It’s no secret that designers who focus on what really matters to them are the ones who find true creative success. Local fashion designer Lisa Hackwith, who started Hackwith Design House in 2010, is taking her work in a new direction, a move that was inspired by making clothes for her own closet in addition to her commercial work. Besides saving money by creating almost her entire wardrobe herself, she has found that focusing on what she loves has given her more direction as a designer. So this spring, Hackwith Design House is changing course. 

Traditionally Lisa has released twenty-piece collections, but her most recent one has been pared down to seven pieces that can be mixed and matched to create whole outfits, or stand alone as a signature piece. “Before, I’d always think about the boutiques I was sending my collections to. It influenced my designs, because I could picture them selling there,” says Lisa. “But for my spring collection I just did what I wanted and only did pieces that I could live in and that I would love.” 

Hackwith Design has gained an international audience with this collection, with most purchases made from Europe. However, it is Lisa’s local support and Midwest roots that she thrives on. With all of her family nearby and the backcountry only a short car drive away from her downtown St. Paul home, Minnesota was a natural choice, even though it is far away from the world’s fashion epicenters. 

In fact, it is the combination of her rural childhood and love for the city that inspired Lisa’s most recent collection. “For my spring line I had this idea of clothes that seamlessly work in the city and the country,” Lisa says. “My husband and I go to my parents’ cabin almost every weekend in the summer, so I kept picturing clothes that would work easily for both, from being at the lake to going to a farmers market downtown. I usually try to get a variety of tops and skirts and dresses and try to see the pieces working together.” 

Lisa loves working with soft fabrics and toned down colors: “Comfort is intrinsic in everything I make. Every piece I make tends to be something you’d wear a lot, over and over in many different ways. That’s why they’re a little bit more neutral or muted colors, because you can mix them with anything. Every piece I design is meant to become a favorite.”