Designer Shavonne DeAnn is a true embodiment of fashion gone rouge – during the Sept 2010 and 2011 Fashion Week, the New Jersey Native stormed the steps of the Lincoln Center with models and put on an impromptu fashion show to showcase her designs of the season. Her edgy, feminine designs caught the attention of June Ambrose, Angela Simmons, Claire from The Fashion Bomb, and countless publications. Even world renowned New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham was intrigued!
The Moore College of Art and Design graduate took a moment to talk with KP Fusion and share the F/W 11 collection, give us the deets about the line, a day in the life, and where she seeks inspiration.
First, let me say, crashing NYFW not once but TWICE is a total badass move, lol. Describe how you felt after it was done.
LOL, thank you. I felt really good afterwards. I was happy, ecstatic, anxious. It was like I felt liberated by showing people my God given talent.
After graduating from school and prior to designing, you were a stylist. Had you always wanted to design, or did a job/project inspire you to finally take the leap?
Yes. Actually, I wanted to design before styling. Designing was short termed for me because while in school I interned with TRACE magazine as a fashion assistant fell in love with going to showrooms, seeing all these clothes, meeting celebs, etc. That’s how styling came about. I was in awe! After doing some styling, however, I felt like that wasn’t my true calling so I stepped back into design and am happy that I did.
For Fall, your collection consists of bold, warm colors, but for Spring, they’re candy-coated pastels. Natural choice because of the weather (and what they represent) or did inspiration come from somewhere else?
Ummm…I think it was a splash of all points. For Fall, weather played a key part because Fall is about layering, coziness, and warm colors, but I wanted to continue those bold colors and intertwine them and not make it so dull and muted. So, I added color by making the pieces pop out and it makes the look more fun.
For Spring, it was more so based on a concept/inspiration that was integrated from my grandparent’s house. Funny true story: I named (the collection) Vintage Candy because my grandfather had these pink pants from like, the 70’s that he wore in the 90’s and my uncles always made fun of him, and while staying at my grandmother’s house, she always had those malted mints that were pastel pinks, greens, yellows, and white. So that’s how the colors came into place and how I came up with the name.
Apart from fashion, what inspires you?
Hmmm… apart from fashion, I think other people doing positive things and doing what they love inspires me. I like to see others do well, be happy, and succeed. Especially people in my generation; it’s a beautiful thing to see young black entrepreneurs or young black people in general making their dream a reality!
Another inspiration for me is my story because I believe I speak for so many people around the world wanting to go out and pursue their dreams. I watch that video from time to time and read the comments that are left just to remind myself and know that this is so real and beyond what words can explain.
As you build your brand, what’s “a day in the life” like for you?
A day in the life of lil ol me, lol, is filled with emailing, and tons of research on how to maintain/build my brand because Shavonne Deann is very new. People think I’ve been doing this for years and I haven’t. It’s almost been one year, but I’m truly blessed and thankful of all the accomplishments I have made. In addition, finding new big blogs, sites where I can be featured, creating, sketching, documenting, networking, swatch shopping for upcoming collections, sewing, pushing my collections to boutiques and stores, etc. Just staying busy as much as I possibly can. There’s ALWAYS something to do when running a business and it isn’t easy lol.
What matters to you most as a designer?
Good question. I think what matters to me the most as a designer, and even as a human being, is staying humble; that’s very important. Always making gorgeous clothes and keeping my clients and supporters happy. In addition, spreading my story as much as I can because it’s relatable for so many people. I always say my story first, fashion second.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into this industry?
I can have tons of advice for days, but I’ll spare you, lol, because everyday I’m learning soooo much. Along the way, I’m making mistakes, failing at some things, but to me it’s good; it’s a beautiful struggle! However, for anyone wanting to get into the fashion industry or any industry it’s just always, always, always have faith and believe that you can do anything, no matter how big it is. You can do it! It may sound cheesy, but it’s so real! Just think it, feel it, and act on it! Don’t even second chance it! Just do it!
Are there any upcoming projects that you can speak about?
I’m in the process of participating in tons of shows in February 2012. There are some other (projects) that I would LOVE to share, but I can’t just yet =( lol, but they are amazing. I’m quite sure you will hear about them and I will update via social networks, etc as they come. =)