Chic petite AMIE: Meet Erika Maria Gomez, Founder of S64
I’m working hard to fulfill S64’s mission, which is to empower and celebrate #PowerfullyPetite women through clothing that actually fits and inspires confidence!
That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce Erika Maria Gomez of S64 (s64petite.com, IG: @s64petite), a San Francisco-based apparel brand designed exclusively for petite women. In this interview Erika was kind enough to share her insights on petite style, passion for launching her own brand, and some of her favorite pieces for this season.
Erika, tell us more about yourself and S64! What inspired you to launch this brand?
I’m a curious, driven, and petite (5’2”) Venezuelan-American (grew up in Venezuela, moved to Texas as a teenager). For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled to find clothing that fits properly. Shopping has always been a frustrating experience! The reality was either picking from a limited, uninspired selection in the back corner of a store, shopping at the children’s/teen’s section, spending a fortune on alterations, “hacking” the fit of my clothing (cuffing, wearing midis as maxis, etc.), or wearing ill-fitting clothing. When I discovered that the average height of American women is just under 5’4”, I decided to take action. How could petite sizing be an afterthought for most brands if petite is the average? In 2017, I began working on S64, a modern brand made specifically for petites. I’m working hard to fulfill S64’s mission, which is to empower and celebrate #PowerfullyPetite women through clothing that actually fits and inspires confidence! When I’m not working on S64, I’m usually hanging out with friends, exploring San Francisco’s hidden gems, taking a dance class, or reading.
It’s a cute and unique brand name. Is there a story behind it?
S64 is a playful nod to those of us who are “sub 64 inches” tall. I hope to help shatter the misconception that petite means you wear a size 0, petite women come in all shapes and sizes…they’re just 64 inches or below. :)
What are some challenges that you had to face in order to make S64 a reality?
My background is in marketing and operations, not fashion. The steep learning curve was daunting at times. I learned everything about the design process, sourcing fabrics and trims, and manufacturing in a short period of time. This is also my first company, so lots to learn as a new business owner too. That said, I love learning new things! It was a welcome challenge. I also feel fortunate to have a strategic advisor who is supportive and works closely with me to develop the business.
What’s your fit and sizing strategy and offerings that really make petite ladies look their best?
S64 clothing is designed with the petite woman in mind from the start. The pant styles we selected are usually difficult for petites to wear off the rack. To nail the sizing, we worked with petite fit models during the development process. This results in shortened inseams, a shorter rise, and higher knee placement. The optimal petite fit!
What can we expect from S64 in the future? Any future ideas you can share with the petite AMIE readers?
We’re just getting started! We’ll be developing a capsule collection (not just pants!), prioritizing pieces that are versatile and difficult to find in petite friendly proportions.
What’s your favorite piece from your current collection?
This feels like picking a favorite child :) , but the pants I wear repeatedly are the Sonia wide leg pants. I’ve always dreamed of owning a pair of wide legs that didn’t overwhelm my frame. The pants are elegant, they don’t wrinkle easily, and they’re machine washable.
How has being a “petite lady” shaped your personal style?
Being petite has made me a stickler about fit! I tend to go for a tailored, feminine, and classic look.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
The Sonia wide leg pants and a silky blouse for evening events. The Gloria culottes, Maya skinnies, or a pair of dark wash jeans plus a sweater for work and weekends. A petite friendly jacket (you always need a jacket in SF!). I usually top off my outfits with booties and dainty jewelry.
Who is your main fashion inspiration?
I don’t think there’s someone specific I always look to for fashion inspiration. I’m inspired by confident women! Confidence makes any outfit look fabulous.
Words you live by or quotes you love?
I’ve been practicing gratefulness, mindfulness, and self-love. Quotes related to those values speak to me. One quote I lived by this week: “I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.”
Ready for a round of quick fire questions? Do you prefer…
- heels or flats? Heeled booties!
- mini or maxi? Maxi.
- bikini or one piece? Bikini.
- earrings or necklace? Earrings. I opt for simple, diamond studs most of the time.
- perfect hair or perfect makeup? Perfect makeup. Although I don’t wear much of it, I prioritize it over doing my hair every morning!