If you consider yourself a fashion fanatic–your favorite show is Project Runway, you’ve had a Vogue subscription for a decade, and you think you could hold your own as a guest columnist for WWD during fashion week, chances are you’ve dreamt about starting your own fashion line.
Today’s Woman We Love, Los Angeles-based designer BreeLayne, did just that. After sketching her own clothing since childhood, and later working at fashion houses like The Row, she took a leap of faith and acted on her dreams of starting her own label, launching her first collection late last year. Her tailored collections fuse inspiration from her lifetime of travel, and her love of leather and luxury recycled fabrics in a way that is both modern and timeless. We’re calling her one to watch.
HOW DID YOU START OFF IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
I spent my summers in Paris and New York growing up working for various companies and in art/sewing classes after playing dress-up ever since I could walk. I was never without a sketch pad and was never a child who watched television. In fact, I chose not to have one because I was always putting on shows, whether that meant literal fashion shows or just me being an artist!
WHAT LED TO YOU BRANCHING OFF ON YOUR OWN?
I’ve always been really independent and driven…it just was a natural progression. I also think that because I’m so creative, it is really hard for me to fit into any sort of box and it just seemed like the right time for me to do so.
WHAT PIECE IN THE CURRENT LINE IS THE BEST REFLECTION OF YOU AND WHY?
That’s a great question! And a really hard one, too! I’m not sure I can pick just one. But for my newest season, I would say it is between the Harley Jacket or Dakota Top because, to me, they blend both hard and soft aspects. I can be really adamant about certain aspects of the line — constantly embracing and harnessing my fire energy, and in others, my creativity and sensuality come through to create something really organic, beautiful, soft and unique. They also both have a worldly feel to them, as if they’ve seen things or been places because I feel that I’m an old soul and it is reflected in my design aesthetic.
WHAT ARE SOME FASHION PIECES TO SPLURGE ON? AND THOSE TO SAVE ON?
I always tend to purchase the things I know will sell out the quickest or that are the most unique. I feel when it comes to more basic pieces, they will always be around in one way or another so I can wait on them. Sometimes, I feel like the things I can definitely make for myself I don’t need. But, I love leather and I love shoes..so I would say the majority of the things I buy are in those two categories.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
There’s so much that I love. Mostly, I love inspiring people. I’ve been so blessed to get to do that as my job and I don’t take it for granted in any given moment. It’s really magical to me. I love doing interviews and photoshoots where I can really verbalize my artist expression, as well.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Sometimes my ideas are so out there that it can be hard to break down the technicality of them. For example, you’ll see in my next collection what I’m referring to as we are creating a pattern that is so detailed and requires a lot of handwork. My biggest challenge is also is not working, as I’m here 6-7 days a week and just love it so much that I bring my work home with me!
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING TO GET INTO FASHION?
Make sure you know this is what you want to do. It’s not glamorous by any means, it’s a lot of hard work so you need to make sure it’s something you want to devote your life to. Also, get as much experience as you possibly can at a range of companies to develop your taste and what type of environment you want to nurture or work in.