With February's London Fashion Week now in our sights (so soon!!??), I managed to squeeze in a few sneaky Q's with Los Angeles based designer Alana hale who will be presenting her latest edgy yet hugely wearable AW11 collection at the A La Mode show in February. She's an inspiration to all young designers and a true gem in today's fashion industry showing that if you believe you can make it, that's all you need. Ladies and Gents, I give you Alana Hale...
So living in such a vibrant city, you must be constantly bombarded with ideas! Where do you get most of your inspiration?
Being a creative person I am constantly inspired. It would be a lie for me to give you an easy, straightforward answer on this. What has most inspired me up to this point is old Hollywood icons, renaissance art, wardrobes of European royalty throughout history and old world architecture. That’s just naming a few- the list grows everyday. My inspiration is constantly evolving and that’s what keeps the looks fresh.
What prompted you to start your own fashion label?
I’ve wanted to have my own fashion label since elementary school when I learned what it was. I would play dress up, put together outfits, and noticed every little detail of the other outfits around me. And when one of my mom’s friends, who was an amazing seamstress, offered to make me whatever I wanted to play dress up in, well that was the birth of my life of design. I designed fur and sequin cocktail dresses, tulle ball gowns and wild hats- not knowing I’d one day rework those very outfits for a runway show.
After design school I worked as an assistant designer for about a year and a half and when I felt I had learned all I needed to, I branched out on my own. I certainly hadn’t learned as much as I thought I had but I wouldn’t change a thing. Having my own fashion label is all that makes sense… I can’t see myself doing any different.
Can you describe the woman you are designing for?
The Alana Hale woman is fun, vivacious, sensual, fashion-forward, and confident in a way she doesn’t dress for anyone else but herself. These clothes are for innovators and most certainly no girl who wants to blend into the crowd.
|Alana would love to dress Blake Lively|
Which celebrity would you love to see wearing your designs?
Blake Lively would be the perfect poster-child for Alana Hale. She is the Alana Hale woman: She’s America’s fashion-forward sweetheart with such magnetism that everything she puts on turns to gold. I think Carey Mulligan and Alexa Chung have incredible style and would love to dress them.
And among the “Dream Team” would be Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Anna Dello Russo, and Daphne Guinness. They are on my all-time-best-dressed list because every outfit is impeccable and you can really tell they love fashion.
|Stylist Rachel Zoe loves Alana Hales work|
So until Blake Lively wears your designs, what has been the high point of your fashion career so far?
The highlights of my career so far have been when Paula Abdul wore a look from my Holiday Collection on the season finale of American Idol and when Rachel Zoe reportedly said she “loved my collection.” The American Idol finale was immeasurable exposure and for a brand-new designer a huge honour. Rachel Zoe is a huge force in the industry; she has such influence and style. I hold her opinion in the highest regard.
Where do you see your designs in 5 years’ time?
What I see evolving within the next 5 years is the connection with my customer, to establish a bond and loyalty. I want my customers to know me and for me to know my customers. In 5 years time I also see the label’s recognition going up significantly, and to eventually be a household name. And lastly, I see the line going global. Within the next 5 years I want my collection to be available to the Alana Hale woman of the US, UK, France, Italy, Japan and Hong Kong.
Wow ambitious! What advice would you give to other aspiring independent designers?
No matter what critics say, stay true to who you are as a designer. An idea that has earned you criticism, can one day be the very thing you become famous for. I am a very strong believer in staying true to my vision. Conforming is the kiss of death.
I would like to wish Alana all the best with her latest collection at London Fashion Week Feb 2011. Personally I'm SO psyched to see what she brings to the show!
Press and buyers wishing to attend the event should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Alana Hale's previous designs can be viewed on her website here www.alanahale.com