Interview by Charlie Price
Edited by Tiaja Pierre
Your looks are very feminine and youthful – I like to call it a hip princess look. How do you view your style and brand?
I love to embrace femininity and feel that being a woman is the strongest thing you can be. I think that princesses and femininity is something society has made shameful but I think it is quite the opposite. I have never viewed my princess as the damsel in distress but more of an amazing woman who will grow up to be a queen, a woman who is in charge of her own destiny and a women with a bit of edge. I design for people who are not afraid to be different and stand out, who like elegance but balance it with youthfulness, fun details and colors. I will always be obsessed with the idea of Marie Antoinette and love to think that in another century she would have worn my designs.
If you could dress any super-famous woman, who would it be?
Outside of Marie Antoinette, I would love to dress Zendaya. She is a risk-taker, she loves clothing and has fun with her fashion choices. She is regal, feminine yet quirky and whimsical. I love that she is a role model. On my list would include Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monae and TWICE!
Who are your style icons and what legendary designers have influenced you?
My style icon is myself. I really would wear every single piece that I make if I had enough time to make them for myself. Outside of that, Marie Antoinette, Audrey Hepburn and Tracee Ellis Ross’s love child…Dior is my ultimate favorite designer. The femininity of the designs, the textiles, the craftsmanship, I’m obsessed. I love the brands ability to transport us to another dimension. The artistry is everything and has left a tattoo on me since I began my career as a designer.
You are so well rounded with your career. I know you actually love sewing but you are also hyper organized and quite business minded. What is the aspect of fashion design that brings you the most pleasure?
I actually really love pattern work. I feel that is when you get to problem solve and I get to use math, which I love. I wish I had more time to do patterning as it is creating the map of the design and often times is when I feel the most creative.
You develop elaborate stories behind each collection. Where do your ideas come from and how do you manifest them in your creations?
I am always taking my girl on an adventure. She is brave and daring and so each story has multiple elements that are combined to create the collection. My ideas come from my alter ego. I am quiet and shy and reserved. I really don’t fit this stereotype of a designer that society has painted. I often escape into my own mind. My imagination is limitless and I love the fantastical. Runway gives me the freedom to express what is in my brain that words cannot. In a cheesy way, it’s my love song.
What does being a citizen of The West mean to you?
It means having a family that is accepting of a multitude of styles and aesthetics and giving us an outlet to create. It means walking your own path and embracing something different. It means hard work, dedication and being a pioneer. To put it simply, it means a lot.