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The Flipside of Fashion

A local fashion designer is flipping discarded clothing into trendy, sustainable pieces for women. Learn more about her designs and where to see her next collection.


IMG_7100Like many fashion designers,  from a young age, Jennifer Felizardo was turning the ordinary into her own unique creations. “I would make dresses for Barbie dolls from socks,” she says. “I’d hate wearing Sunday school dresses and cut them up the middle and make them into pants using a toothpick and floss. It would drive my mom crazy.” So began Felizardo’s career in fashion and foreshadowed a lifelong passion of repurposing the discarded into something sustainable and beautiful.


Fast forward 20 years later, where along the way she continued her love of design and taught herself to sew, the beginnings of Phlipped Fashions started while chatting with a coworker during her job at David’s Bridal.


“I said ‘I wish you could flip clothing like you flip a house,’ and a light bulb just hit,” she explains.


From that point on, Phlipped Fashions was born. It originally started as a school project for Felizardo’s business class in 2012. She would repurpose old clothing into something trendy and fresh, and sell it at a fraction of the price of most clothes found in department stores.


Felizardo would go into Goodwill looking for “hideous” clothing, something that few people would pick up and purchase. The challenge then became turning it into something wearable, which could be pants, a shirt or even a dress. She began to Instagram her creations and received enough positive feedback to continue her school project into something more. In fact, Felizardo says that social media has had a huge impact on her career. Since moving to Ohio from Pennsylvania last year, she’s been able to find Columbus fashion designers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It’s an easy and fun way to find out what’s happening on the fashion scene in Columbus, and familiarize herself with the designers and places to know in town.


After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Retail Management from The Art Institute of York-Pennsylvania, Felizardo eventually turned her hobby into a business, one that she’s found both fulfilling and exhausting.


“When I was in school for business they didn’t tell you that you need to eat, sleep and breathe your business,” says Felizardo. “I love my company and I’m always thinking of new sketches. You need to be 100 percent in it for it to work.”


She’ll present a line at Alternative Fashion Week April 19-26 and cites music as an important inspiration for her designs. She says she has been playing the song her models will walk down the runway to nonstop while she works.


She describes the line as “springy/girly,” but admits she’s more of a jeans and t-shirt girl herself. However, Felizardo is happy to fashionably walk the line between the two styles. She says as a young child she used to conjure up an imaginary character, a girl that was both powerful and pretty, one who wore the latest trends, yet still maintained that tomboy attitude.


“I still look to that girl I created in my head and think, ‘Would she wear this?’” says Felizardo.


She finds the majority of her clothing at Goodwill, Ohio Thrift and vintage stores around Columbus, but it’s not just used clothing that gets “flipped”.  The craziest thing Felizardo has repurposed into clothing so far has been lace curtains into a lace overlay skirt.


Next year she’ll apply to be in CMH Fashion Week, and eventually plans to have a store of her. She runs Phlipped Fashions herself as a side business, but hopes one day to focus on only being a designer. On her website she cites recycling as an important part of her life, and maintains that you don’t need to always purchase new clothing to stay fashionable.


“You can buy used and something that’s been redone,” says Felizardo. “I can flip you something in a week and you still have something completely new that no one else has seen before.”


For more information on Jennifer and Phlipped Fashions, you can check out her websiteFacebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.


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