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Tamar Wider is the jewelry designer responsible for The2Bandits' rustic Americana accessories, which have made us want to go west since its launch in 2009. Come spring, she's branching into new territory with an apparel line called Camp Collection—camp as in the woods, not as in the mind of RuPaul.
The inspiration came from her own camp experience, "a hippy dippy camp called Camp Sabra in Missouri," which she attended every summer from when she was eight to 15, she told Racked over the phone. "You learn so much about yourself just from being away from home. It's summer, you have freedom, you're with your best friends."
The clothing itself is "super duper literal to camp. Like army shorts, army shirts, jumpsuits, crop tops," which together become "outfits that you feel so comfortable in. You wouldn't necessarily go to work in these clothes. It's the outfit you want to wear to a concert or a festival."
As for where the Bandit girl and the Camp girl intersect, she says, "You can wear them together. They come from the same breed. The Bandit girl has more southwest bohemian vibe and the Camp girl is casual chic. But both girls feels very comfortable in their own skin. She's a leader not follower."
The camp theme taps into a relatable nostalgia, clearly, but also on a sort of rebellion that only being away from your parents when you're a kid can afford. "Oh god, I got into so much trouble at camp," Tamar remembered. "I did everything from giving myself five piercings with a safety in my cabin to raiding the boys village all the time."
The range is 18 pieces and made from gingham, chambray, twill and linen in "earthy palette of rust, olive, acorn, white and navy." It's constructed entirely in California and will retail for $28 to $198. You can buy beanies, sweatshirts, and some choice koozies right now, but the full collection is due out in February 2014. (For the record, the similar-seeming Camp Brand Goods is unaffiliated with the brand, Camp Collection spokesperson assures us.)
To get yourself started, the quintessential Camp pieces according to Tamar are the "kit jumpsuit. It's so easy to wear. It's sexy and casual chic, and it's one piece. You can throw it in your backpack and go. And obviously the camp sweatshirt. Everyone can relate to the word 'camp.'"
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