Oneita Parker is a lifelong creative who brings her entire heart to every artistic endeavor. A fashion designer by trade, she's designed the costumes for over 30 feature films and makes all of her own clothes (!). What's more, lately she's been using her talents to create gorgeous, one of a kind reusable masks as her way to help others during the times of COVID (you may already know that our team is a huge fan). Get to know more about Oneita, including how she discovers her favorite gems in LA, below.
I graduated from FIT in New York with a degree in fashion design. Both my parents are artists. My mom was also a fashion designer and is now a photographer. My dad is a fine artist specializing in painting and ceramics. I began sewing and designing when I was 8 years old and have never looked back. When I moved to Hollywood in the late 90’s I began working as a costume designer. To date, I have costume designed over 30 feature films and even a few projects for television.
A couple years ago I decided to return to my roots as a fashion designer and launched my own line of wearable art, which featured high end jackets, pants, and dresses. I did that for two seasons and now make bespoke pieces at my studio in Downtown LA. Some of my clients are celebrities and musicians. A few pieces can be seen on my website.
Now, on to The Proper Bunny! My wife and I started The Proper Bunny because I wanted to bring to market a whimsical, more accessible collection. We are starting small with Proper Bunny graphic tees and Afropanda graphic tees. I actually have about 16 more designs plus new characters, but due to Covid19, sourcing is limited, so we are waiting to launch the additional designs. And, then there are the MASKS!!! Like everyone I wanted to help. I have a stock of stylish, comfortable, 100% cotton prints and solids that I have collected over the years from all over the country. These are textiles I love! I believe in comfort as much as I believe in color. I make all of my own clothes. I want everything to fit comfortably and feel good against my skin. And, now I am sharing that feeling with others by making the masks. It’s the perfect way to share my aesthetic at a time when we all need comfort.
"Like everyone I wanted to help. I have a stock of stylish comfortable 100% cotton prints and solids that I have collected over the years from all over the country. These are textiles I love! I believe in comfort as much as I believe in color... [making the masks] is the perfect way to share my aesthetic at a time when we all need comfort."
From color itself. I also draw inspiration from plants and weather, also architecture. Most of what inspires me I find on walks and believe it or not, while driving on surface streets in Los Angeles. I grew up in Northern California and love this state. There is so much natural beauty here even in LA, but you have to know where to find it.
"There is so much natural beauty here even in LA, but you have to know where to find it."
Again, oddly by driving around town. I don’t take freeways on purpose so I can see more of the city and discover new spots.
Slowing down. Taking deeper breaths.
She is the love our lives! Neither my wife nor I had ever had a dog. In fact, my wife was fearful of most dogs and absolutely scared stiff around pit bulls. Now, she loves them and seeks them out. Bunnybear appeared on our porch one weekend in 2014. She was hungry, limping and sweet as hell. My wife was out on the porch as if she found a kitten. Now, we both cannot imagine life without her and want to adopt pit bulls for the rest of our lives. They are truly the best dogs.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Oneita! Your creative process is so inspiring, and we can't wait to dive into some of your favorite podcasts.
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