Born in Indiana, but now based in Chicago, Brianna got a knack for fashion and designing through the sewing machine, but it wasn’t until high school that she knew she wanted to do it full time.
I talked to Brianna, the owner of B.La Shae Designs, ahead of her first NYFW and we talked about her designs, her color palette, and what is next for the designer.
How did you get a knack for designing and what was you’re a-ha moment?
I was always into drawing and playing with Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. One day my mom gave me this sketch pad and it had stencils of dresses that I could draw and make clothes. So, I was designing for Barbie dolls. I think around sixth grade we had Home Ed class, and they taught us how to sew a pillow. I thought it was so cool to use a sewing machine. I talked about it so much that my grandmother bought me a sewing machine. Once I got into high school, there was a class called Fashion Textiles, in which we did make clothes for ourselves – and decided that that was it for me. From that point on, I wanted to go into fashion.
You gracefully blend vibrant blue and greens together. Are those your go-to dominant hues?
That’s funny. I really don’t do it intentionally. I usually gravitate towards those colors. I think the bolder, the better. My teachers said I have a good eye for putting things together. It’s all about what catches the eye, honestly.
I read in your bio that you adopt slow fashion. Is that the same as sustainable fashion?
It’s sustainable, but as with normal lines, clothes get manufactured, and the clothes sit and wait to be sold. I take it by order, which creates a more connection with the customer.
So what is the process of ordering something from you?
BLaShaeDesigns.com. On there, there’s options, I show how you to record your arm and leg length. I talk through text and email.
Do you think e-commerce is the way to go now?
I say it’s 50/50 because some people know their size. Some customers are now going more towards customization. To say this was made for me is a good thing. Customers are open for me to come their home and take their measurements. Some people did not want to go to the stores due to Covid. That changed things. Now everything is evolving.
You also do Bridal Wear.
Yes, it’s something new for me. It’s definitely different. I’ve done three brides and flower girls for one bride.
What does the future of fashion hold?
Technology and fashion might merge. I think people will go backwards to fashion from back in the day. Trends are trends, but people will do their own thing. Maybe early 2000s, people were paying attention to the celebrities and what they were wearing, now designers are doing their own thing.
Your motto is to empower individuals who embrace their uniqueness and live boldly. Where did you get that from?
I think it comes from my own life. I am comfortable with who I am. We connect what we feel with what we wear. If I am feeling confident and bold, then I am going to wear that too.
What you would be doing if you were not in fashion?
I’d probably be a teacher. People said I’d be a good teacher. That would have been my plan B.
What’s next for you?
I do have a little surprise. That will be a big moment but will say it once I know for sure. For now, though, I am trying to pump out this collection.
You can catch Brianna and her collection, B. LaShae Designs, light up the RISE NYFW Showcase September 8.