When Seattle-based Van der Pop launched in January 2016, it immediately caught our eye – at last, a cannabis lifestyle brand that embraces good design, form and function, and with a bit of tongue-in-cheek copy thrown in for good measure.
Behind the brand, is creative entrepreneur April Pride. After selling her first company in 2013, she launched APRIL PRIDE, her eponymous fashion label. Its signature pieces include THE DRESS, a one-size-fits-most halter and THE SKIRT, an heirloom-quality maxi made-to-order in Scottish wool tartan. As an entrepreneur, graduate of architecture school and Parsons and well versed in the unmentionable, she felt like she was in a unique position to re-imagine this neglected category of goods. Proven and sought after in the world of interiors and fashion, Pride is known professionally for uncompromising aesthetic standards. Van der Pop – finally – marries Pride’s love of high style and high times.
Kicking off our Trailblazers Series, we caught up with April to get her take on design, cannabis culture in Seattle and ‘classy stoners’.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s going on in your State? How are people adapting to the new ‘cannabis movement’?
AP – Keep in mind that Washington is extremely progressive – hence legalization, which attracts open-minded people that start movements and are quick to adapt. Having lived in Seattle for nearly twelve years, the before and after legal recreational cannabis is palpable. It seemed as though the second it was legal there were more and more frequent admissions amongst acquaintances. I’m not certain if the uptick in straight talk is because we’re all adapting or my perception is skewed – having traded an after-hours escape for my 9-5.
Q. If you could choose any ‘classy stoner’ (real or fictional) for inspiration, who would it be?
AP – I totally appreciate the directness of the term and, also, I think my choice, Lee Radziwill, would cringe at the thought of being described as such. I can imagine her at Capote’s Black and White Ball in 1966 and today in her Paris apartment alternating joints and cigarettes.
Q. Your products are both beautiful and functional – what is your personal ethos when it comes to design?
AP – I graduated from architecture school and our studio projects were predicated on kit-of-parts, which stressed efficiency in design from concept through construction. The idea being the less complexity the more predictable and, thus, successful outcome. Mies van der Rohe, Van der Pop’s “namesake” said it best: Less is more. This way of thinking is spot on with regards to design and cannabis consumption for the newly minted.
Happy Sack – from $395, available in two sizes
Q. Where do you find inspiration in Seattle?
AP – The people. Lots of freethinkers and free spirits. They live right, they do right and all the while have little concern about doing life the “right way.”
Q. Finally – can you send us a behind-the-scenes snap or a doodle?
AP – This is a wall of Notable Notes that I started when I launched APRIL PRIDE. Clients began handwriting and mailing thank you notes expressing their love of a new dress, skirt, etc. from the collection. It blew me away and still does every time I see it and read each.