Every week leading up to Phoenix Fashion Week, we will be posting a blog, to help our fans get to know the 2014 emerging designers a little bit better. Unlike our other posts, these come directly from this year’s emerging designers. Today we feature Natasha of Hues of Ego one of our emerging designers. Learn about her life, her work and other little known facts in today’s designer tell all post.
My path began at Arizona State University in 2001, where I was the first member of my family to attend college. My original declared major of Architecture and Design contributed towards the development of my methodology in design development, and provided a necessary foundation for the fashion world.
My journey continued in 2010 at Collins College where I first began my formal training in fashion design and merchandising. Quickly I emerged myself into learning as much as I could, and within months I got my first exposure in a runway show. As one of only three students chosen from Collins to show at Scottsdale Fashion Week, I joined students from fashion programs in both Arizona and California (FIDIM) who were able to showcase their pieces of wearable art.
Honors continued in 2011, when I was bestowed with an amazing opportunity and an award. I was the winner of the T-Shirt design Scholarship Award sponsored by Phoenix Fashion Week. I had the best polo shirt design for Shankapotomus Golf Apparel and Accessories. In 2012, I was one of the elite few who had the distinction of having our designs displayed during Phoenix Fashion Week in the Style Villa. In 2013, I was one of four finalists in the Phoenix Fashion Week Little Black Dress Challenge, where my entry was a custom designed and hand-crafted black dress.
I am also stay-at-home mom for my 2 year old daughter. I feel like I am like every other woman who wears many hats. I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a dog groomer at times I have 4 dogs, ugh! I love to work out and stay healthy, and nonetheless I have a strong passion that I no longer want to wait to pursue. That passion is to design and possibly have a presence in the fashion world. I love to design in all; from painting, architectural designing, fashion design, ect. I love to be able to share my passion, my vision, my ideas with others in a visual media. I have to say that I am not one for words, so if I can design in such a way that potential customer, viewers understand what my vision/inspiration was, and then I feel like I did my job as a designer.
Where do you find inspiration for your collection?
I find inspiration from all parts of life. I have a love for architecture, art, music and our natural surroundings. But one thing that I really drives my initial inspiration is how I think that my customer is going to feel when they are wearing one of my designs, which I think takes my inspiration to another level.
Do you have any style icons?
Some of my influences in the fashion world include Coco Chanel, Ellie Saab, Zac Posen, Stephane Rolland, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen to name a few. My architectural inspirations are Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, which have had a hand on the way that I think of design, how I pursue a design, and how I execute a design.
For beginner designers, what are some tips for setting yourself apart from other designers?
I think some tips that I have continued to use to set myself apart from other designers is that I embrace the unexpected. I feel that is a way to keep your audience/potential customers on their toes and continue to keep their interest because they don’t know exactly what you are going to do next. Now, obviously there is a fine line there that one has to think of when you take that route. And the way that I try to follow that fine line is by staying true to myself, who I am, what I am about and what my brand is about.
I do feel at times designers and people in general are always trying to portray something they are really not or be who they think who they should be, and I think that is where designers can lose their special gift of design.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
You know what, I don’t know if I have a favorite place to shop because “life” has thrown some curve balls at times which has changed where I shop and how I shop. So, now I bargain shop a lot. I’m a big fan of high end consignment stores such as Poor Little Rich Girl, which has a little of everything. So, I get the quality of the brand that I am looking for but for a way discounted price. Now, there are cons to that because you are getting past season merchandise, but I can wait for a season or two and get it at a way cheaper price.
Do you have any tips on prioritizing purchases or staying stylish on a budget?
I guess what I would say is when on a budget, don’t be afraid to mix and match brands, price ranges and styles.
Do you have an all-time favorite purchase?
I know this may sound cheesy or maybe even “cliché” but I think when I purchased my wedding dress that could be counted as one of my “all-time” favorite purchases. I love that dress. I wish I could pull it out of the closet and put it on once a month and walk around in it, but we all know that if I did that I would be considered crazy and I really don’t want to be put in a crazy house just because I love my wedding dress. I just love the memory of how I felt in that dress the 1st time I put it on, the 2nd time I put it on for a fitting, and the last time I put it on which is for my wedding day. Priceless!
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
I think my favorite part about being a fashion designer is that I get to do what everyone else would love to do which is to be able to “love what I do for work”. Not everyone is able to do that unfortunately and at this point I am able to pursue my passion for creating, designing pieces of art for others to love to wear.
What is one interesting, quirky fact about you that readers don’t know?
- That I used to be in the marching band when I was in middle school, which is kind of an embarrassing fact.
- I have also tried to be involved with about every type of sport when I was younger: volleyball, baseball, softball, track, long distance running, basketball, ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics & cheer leading.
- When I was little my dad used to take me in his low rider car that had hydraulics, mini steering wheel and all the low rider kind of car stuff in it and on it and he would bounce me in the car to get me to calm down. I don’t know if most people know what a “low-rider car” is or ever has seen one but if you do, then you know what I am talking about and you would find it as an interesting fact about my childhood.
Article by Janice Vega and Katie Snyder for Phoenix Fashion Week
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