What do you design?
Women’s clothing, specifically, garments that are less casual and require quality fabrics.
Define the word beauty.
Beauty is one’s aesthetic interpretation of wholeness.
When did you decide to become a designer?
I never actually made the decision to become a designer. It is my life’s path and I am merely following it. I have always known that this was my calling.
When did you fall in love with fashion?
I fell in love with fashion on May 13, 1983 at 5:18am – the date and time of my birth!
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a personal expression of one’s self to the world. It communicates how one sees them self, how they want to be seen by others, their current state of mind, their emotional status, political beliefs, passions, etc. It is the most effective tool to communicate with the outside world, without speaking one word.
From whom and where do you find inspirations for your designs?
I look to historic fashion and more recently nature for my inspirations.
What is your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is to create feminine garments that are different from the norm, yet still wearable. I work to highlight each woman’s best feature regardless of their body size or style in order to make them feel like Rockstars from the outside to the inside.
Do you have a typical type of person in mind when designing and if so, does this evolve with each season?
I love designing for women that are willing to take risks, step out, and be seen.
What were the first items you remember designing?
The first garment that I had produced from my design was my Junior prom dress. Another note worthy garment of my making was my dress for my High School graduation party – it was created out of a shower curtain! I didn’t want to have a graduation party, so I only agreed to attend my party if I was able to make my dress out of a shower curtain – my mom actually allowed me to do it! It was a smashing success
Who are your influences?
I am influenced by historical figures – Dior, Esther Williams, Grace Kelly, Queen Elizabeth, etc.
How do you see your brand developing over the next couple of years?
I would like my brand to expand significantly with more production while maintaining my quality of craftsmanship and materials. At this time I make only one-of-a-kind garments. I plan to make my garments available in limited runs at local boutiques. I dream that my brand becomes a household name with distribution in at least three continents.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is casual, comfortable, and classic – spiced up with killer shoes! I purchase garments that can be worn for many seasons in many different looks and then alter them to fit my mood with accessories.
Who would you like to thank for your success?
I attribute my success to my mom and my grandma. They taught me how to sew, how to be a successful female, and how to do it all with grace and ease.
What is the one item you never leave home without?
I never leave the house without sunglasses – even on rainy or overcast days!!!
One question you wished we had asked?
If you were to be any cartoon character, which one would you be and why? Strawberry Shortcake. She has tremendous style which has evolved with her image over the past 30+ years. She has obvious staying power and hasn’t lost her ability to stay sweet throughout her career!
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I am looking forward to the day in which I can share my vision of design and help women find pride in their appearance – despite their perceptions of their bodies.
Which designers currently working do you admire most?
I currently admire the designers willing to step up and lead the movement to end the skinny model trend. I personally prefer my models to look healthy. The fashion industry’s obsession with unhealthy models only perpetuates the body and self image issues facing the women in our country. Kudos to those willing to stand up for changing and empowering women’s perceptions of themselves!
What is the biggest mistake you have made with your business so far?
I feel the biggest mistake I’ve made so far is not taking enough risks.
What are your thoughts on the show “launch my line”, do you think you can compete and come up with designs that will potentially give you and Seattle the exposure it needs?
I have no doubts that I would be able to compete on a show such as “Launch My Line.” I know that a show of its magnitude would give myself, or any other designer, the platform to share their personal (or geographical!) design style on a grand scale.
What item of clothing do you wish that more women wore?
I wish that women would wear more skirts and less sweats!
If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
I would either choose to experience Queen Elizabeth’s court or Dior’s New Look.
If you could collaborate with one big name international designer, who would it be and why?
I would choose to collaborate with Salvatore Ferragamo – his revolutionary shoes were an inspiration to how women presented and felt about themselves.
Which fellow designers/brands do you admire locally?
I very much respect Luly Yang. She was a pioneer in this area for high end women’s wear.
When you think of Seattle fashion what comes to mind? How would you define Seattle’s fashion style?
Seattle fashion is unique. It is an atmosphere where anything goes due to the diverse population, and it is accepted as there is a lower incident of judgment in the community.
What excites you about the future of Seattle Fashion?
Seattle fashion is exciting as I feel that it is really taking off – there’s only growth from here! And it’s catching the attention of other markets. People are turning to the designers from Seattle for inspiration.
What would you say are the benefits for Seattlelites of buying from local designers?
Local designers understand and connect with the Seattle culture. Seattle is a place like no other, and until you truly live here you never understand Seattlelites. Plus, buying from designers in the area means that customers can work directly with the designer to commission one-of-a-kind garments.
Do you have any advice for anyone entering the field?
My advice to anyone wanting to pursue fashion design is to find your inner strength. There is always going to be a critic that tries to make you small. Belief in yourself is what is going to allow you to overcome this and keep going.
The advice I would impart onto a fashion student is never to take yourself too seriously! If you’re not having fun, then you’re not doing it right!