Why Brides Might not Be Ready for 'Project Runway' Alum Leanne Marshall
CAMBIO: What was your inspiration for this collection?
LEANNE MARSHALL: The inspiration for this collection was starting out with [a] very dark world, very disconnected...people are just completely oblivious to their surroundings. A big tidal wave, tsunami apocalypse, essentially, happens and wipes it out. After a while, things calm, things refresh, waters recede and fade, and new life starts to blossom.
How is your process different when you're making a bridal collection versus a ready-to-wear collection?
For bridal, you always have to keep in mind, "Is the bride going to be ready for this yet?" Because so many times, I have designed bridal collections that are very fashion forward, and the brides are not ready for it. And then, only to find out three or four years later, they're calling us for a discontinued dress that I made three years ago that nobody at that time was interested in! So you kind of have to ease into the trends little by little by little, where as in ready-to-wear, you can go for it. You can throw it at people, and yes, they're gonna love it, they're gonna hate it, they're not going to be ready for it. But there's more of a market for every kind of variety than there is in bridal. Bridal, people have to take into consideration, "Is my mom going to like it? Is my grandma going to like it?" You can't just bear it all like you can [on a regular day].
What would you say is your driving force?
In life, in my aesthetic, it's always about movement. The way a garment moves, what it can do when it's on a human body, the way that it makes the person inside of it feel when they wear it.
We are partnered with an initiative called #BUILTBYGIRLS that inspires girls everywhere that they can do what they want to do and build what they want to build. How does that resonate with you?
That's my story! I came from a small town, my parents didn't have the money to send me to college, I won a scholarship, I built my business selling one dress at a time, from nothing. I've been self-funded the entire time; I've never had an investor. I've just grown organically, step by step, the whole way, and we continue to grow and my team grows. It's incredibly rewarding to see this little tiny baby that I've grown into what it is today.