Phoenix Fashion Week: My Interview with Designer Amanda Casarez
When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
I became interested in fashion design at a young age due to my mother. I first learned how to sew and cut from her, by the time I was in high school I could make my own gowns. I always knew I wanted to be a designer, it was just difficult trying to pursue a career in fashion design while living in a small town in the Central Valley in CA.
Where do you find your inspiration for each collection?
Fashion is my art, and my art is a reflection of what is going on inside of me, I don’t talk feelings but I sure do ‘wear’ them.
How would you describe your style/design aesthetic?
It took some time to develop my style as a designer, because in the end I want it to reflect me and my personal style, and it was even harder to learn how to explain it to people. I’m not very girly, I rarely do anything to my hair, and I only wear makeup when I have to, yet my outfits are very well thought out, with one idea in mind…. effortlessly cool. My style is tomboy chic with a contemporary polish.
What is your design process like?
My design process always begins the same way, with an idea and mood board. Once the concept is developed then sketching and fabric sourcing follow. My favorite part of the entire process is taking a sketch from paper to pattern.
What’s your average day like as a designer/business owner?
I am a mom, a grad student at WashU STL, and I run my own fashion business… my life is very fast paced with very little sleep, but I love it! I’m either at my home studio drafting patterns and sewing or I’m in my art studio, creating is part of my everyday life.
What is the biggest struggle you’ve faced as a female designer and brand?
The biggest struggle that any designer faces, either male or female, is funding. It takes a lot of money upfront to get a fashion business started and running.
Do you manufacture locally, as in the state the brand resides or the US?
I have manufactured in DC, Atlanta GA, and in SLP Mexico.
What are your thoughts about eco-friendly and sustainable fashion?
I would love to eventually transition my brand to an eco-friendly and sustainable line. As designers we share that responsibility, and it is important to understand the repercussions of fast fashion and the fashion industry as a whole has on our planet.
Where can your brand be found?
My brand can currently be found online.
What’s next after Phoenix Fashion Week?
After PHXFW, we have local events scheduled in St. Louis and Washington DC. The strategy is to focus on selling the brand in Phoenix, DC, and St. Louis, and grow from there.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a designer starting out?
Be patient, it takes time and a lot of work to run a competitive fashion brand. If you are going to do it, its because you love it, and its for the long run….. and of course find a mentor!
If you want to see more from Phoenix Fashion Week check out my recent blog posts and head over to my Instagram .