Regina Oswald began designing when she was 9 years old. In 2001, she immigrated to the United States from Uzbekistan. This month, she celebrates her brand’s second anniversary. “Every time you put on a garment of mine, you feel loved,” Oswald says. “You feel the thought, love, and care that went into the production.” Oswald avoids creating trendy pieces—instead, her designs feature minimal detailing.
How did you start designing?
My grandma was a seamstress, and she taught me how to sew. I would make clothes for my dolls out of the remnants of her fabric. I started making clothes for myself, and I used my school as a runway. I was dreaming of becoming a fashion designer really before I understood what a fashion designer is. It brings me so much joy to create.
How would you describe your pieces?
They’re versatile and timeless. My first collection was inspired by my own closet. I felt that I always needed pieces to connect all other pieces in my closet, so I decided to create them. The essentials collection is made up of wool, silk, and cotton from Italy, Japan, and South Korea. My biggest goal for women is to have something they can wear year after year, and they can invest in something that brings value to their closet; they’re staple pieces. In January, we introduced linen tweed sets. Every piece that I bring to my collec- tion can be mixed and matched with my previous collections. It’s kind of like a beautiful, continuous story.
How are your designs sustainable?
I decided to use natural fabrics—we try to stay away from synthetic as much as possible. The textile industry is one of the biggest pollutants of the environment, so it’s important to me to create something that will stay in your closet for a long time. I’m not producing just for the sake of producing. I produce something when I’m inspired.
Where are your pieces made?
I use a factory in Garden Grove, and I go there personally and see the energy of the people who create my clothes. The (pattern and sample) developers are in Costa Mesa. I try to keep everyone close to me so I can have my personal touch into everything that’s created.
Tell us about the charities you work with.
We collaborated with Susan G. Komen and created pink silk scarves and with United Way Orange County and created orange silk scarves. The scarves can be used as masks, and a portion of the proceeds went back to the charities. The third organization we work with is a cause that is very dear to me—the Children of Armenia Fund. I’m Armenian. They have done a phenomenal job creating an environment where Armenian children can get all they need to thrive. We created bracelets, and all the profits were donated to them. We are partnering with CASA and CHOC this year in addition to the organizations we work with already. We’re planning to host trunk shows and donate a percentage of the proceeds.