.■ 11111• ■
Clothing designer Lauren Riback
is shown with her custom boxer
shorts and tank top.
BY LINDA BACHRACK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGIE BAAN
t all started back at Seaholm High School ... at least
the clothing design aspect of Lauren Riback's mul-
tifaceted art career. Riback, 22, who is attending
Parson's School of Design in New York City, made
low-slung, flare-leg fleece pants for her friends at
Seaholm, back when fleece warm-ups were all about
function, not fashion.
"My high-school friends and I got together and taught
one another how to sew," she says. Pretty soon, everyone
wanted the pants they were wearing.
When she got to the University of Michigan, Riback
sold an expanded line of her casual wear out of her dorm
room. She made fliers for the dorms and sorority houses,
and a full-fledged business was born.
"Everyone had a computer; I had a sewing machine,"
Now, through NNTord of mouth, her E-mail address is
inundated with orders from college kids around the
country. The cleverly packaged clothing line includes
tank tops, boxer shorts, long pants and Capri pants in
fleece and cotton. "They're perfect to sleep in. Then
you can roll out of bed and wear them to class," she says.
She also sews a line of baby clothes.
"It's all custom-order," says Riback. "You choose the
color, fabric, even the drawstring."
While growing up in Birmingham with her parents
and three older brothers, Riback received plenty of artis-
tic encouragement. "I made all the decorations for my
bat mitzvah," she remembers. "I drew huge Disney car-
toon characters and my parents were so supportive. Mom
helped me glitter. They still have one of my cows in the
She knew she could draw and, in fact, teaches art at
the Ann Arbor Art Center, and completed a wall-size
mural for a family in Ann Arbor. But the love of sewing
didn't develop until high school, when Riback sat
behind a sewing machine, the instruction manual in her
lap, and made her prom dress. "My grandma kept me
disciplined," she says. It was her first real piece of cloth-
ing and her first zipper — a silver and pink silk A-line
dress with spaghetti straps.
Although her degree from U-M is in photography and
graphic design, she'll study fashion design at Parson's.
"Anytime I have 15 minutes, I sew," she says. "Who
needs sleep? I'd rather indulge in my passions."
E-mail Riback at firstname.lastname@example.org or see her clothing
designs at Lori Karbal et al in Birmingham.
6 • SEPTEMBER 2002 • STYLE AT THE Jul