Allison Parris is an up and coming fashion designer. Her feminine and adorable designs are making its way to the hottest events in Gotham city. It's definitely taking over NYC's fashion scene, one cocktail dress at a time. We even heard that one of her former interns include Natali Germanotta (Lady Gaga's sister). We were able to snag an interview with the California born designer.
Has it always been your intention to become a designer? Yes, since I was about five years old.
How did the Allison Parris fashion house come about? It was really a spur of the moment decision after fashion week in September 2008. I had already spent time working with a few other designers and really wanted my own thing, so I decided to just go for it. With no funding, no staff and no idea what to do on the sales end of things- it’s amazing that this company made it past its first season, but it did and every day it grows and gets stronger.
It’s different for each person who wants to step into the limelight of the fashion industry. For some, it’s a long and difficult process and others are lucky and arrive at their desired destination easily. How was it like for you as a rookie designer? I don’t think anyone has a perfectly easy time getting to where they want to be in fashion. It’s a very difficult industry, even for the famous and well funded. I remember in our first years going through weeks of no sleep and working round the clock, there were many moments where I had to step back and remind myself why I wanted to do this in the first place.
We noticed that your line contains mostly dresses and a few separates… any plans on expanding? Not really- we’re adding in a handful of gowns for SS12, but that’s about it. I think when you do one thing really well (for us, party dresses) you should rely on that to strengthen your brand and grow. At least in the beginning years I suppose.
What is your favorite clothing item to design? It changes every season but loud fun party dress is okay with me!
What would you consider to be an Allison Parris staple? The tutu is definitely what we’re best known for. We do a new version each season and no one ever seems to get sick of it.
If you could design a garment for anyone is history, who would it be? There’s a number of different people- Princess Diana, Marlene Dietrich and Dianna Ross would be top three I guess?
How does NYC affect you creatively? You have access to so much more here on a daily basis than you have anywhere else in the country. When I get stuck in creating a new collection, all I have to do is walk out my front door and there are 40 different things to inspire me. Plus I think living here allows you to stretch your imagination further. People here are so accepting of any style that you can really design a collection however you feel its best and there are always going to be a group of people here to support you on that.
Where do you pull inspiration from? Anywhere… everywhere.
Tell us about your Spring 2012 collection.
I was listening to a lot of random older music when designing it (June Christy, Pocco, etc) and really wanted to make it about “The Simple Life.” Not in stripping down the clothes to the bare minimum- we all know how I love embellishment- but in having everything be light hearted/ feel good items. There are no plunging necklines or anything to scandalous, but they are all dresses that a woman can feel good about herself in and wear anywhere.
Any words advice to aspiring designers? You will be underpaid, overworked, continuously stressed and worse- but for those of you who are meant to work in fashion, you will love it in spite of it all and it gets better after a few years. Embrace all new technology, but don’t think that means that you don’t need to know how to do everything the old way as well. Pattern-making and sewing are a must, the better you are at construction the more potential you will have in designing.