In the competitive world of fashion, designer Christiane King is one to watch. She was born in the Cote d’lvorie ( The Ivory Coast) where she earned a Bachelors Degree in International Trade in the city of Abidjan, but she quickly realized she was more drawn to fashion. The opportunity presented itself for her to participate in the very popular reality show Project Runway. We had a chance to catch up with Christiane and ask her a few questions:
1) How long have you been designing?
I have been designing professionally for about 6 years ever since graduating with a B.A. from Woodbury University in Los Angeles.
2) What designers from past or present influence your work? Did design come naturally to you?
The designers who have been influential in my life are Yves Saint Laurent for his tailored looks and John Paul Gaultier for his use of bright colors. Both designers have completely different styles, but have greatly impacted my creative thinking and artistic ability to make unique designs.
3) Your work is incredible. For those who may not know, you were chosen for “Project Runway”. How did that make you feel? How would you say being on “Project Runway” changed your life?
Being on Project Runway was definitely a very interesting experience. Although the outcome was unexpected and not as favorable as I wanted it to be, the experience of being on the show gave me the opportunity to grow and expand in many directions. It allowed me to share my vision and creative sense with others in a global way. I learned so much in regards to who I am as a designer and how I can give back to others through fashion. Through that experience, I also learned to believe in myself regardless of any criticisms and keep moving forward.
4) You design for celebrities. Have you always wanted to design for celebrities? Can you name some of the celebrities you have designed for?
It’s always an honor to have a celebrity wear one of my dresses to a well-publicized event. It gives the brand some great exposure. Some of the celebrities that have worn my designs so far are Ashley Tisdale, Teri Hatcher, Lisa Raye, and Shaun Robinson.
5) Where do you see yourself and your company brand in five year?
I would like to see my label become a household name throughout generations and continue to create designs that are in tune with women’s wardrobe needs.
6) What do you use for inspiration on each design? (e.g. environment, current fads)
I truly enjoy nature and I draw a great deal of my inspiration from the outdoors. But the woman’s body is my greatest inspiration.
7) Do you have a certain element that's signature to all your designs?
My signature look is a piece that embodies three characteristics: Feminine, flirty with an organic twist. I definitely like a “girly” look and flowers really speak to me right now. So you’re most likely to see a ruffled or flower-inspired piece in most of my collections.
8) We would like to offer a bit of advice to our audience who may be aspiring to pursue a career in design. What tips can you offer to any aspiring designer out there?
First and foremost, I think it is really important for anyone who chooses to become a fashion designer to be passionate about this field. The fashion business is very competitive and cutthroat. It is not all the glitz and glamour it is often made to look like, but instead it is a lot of hard work. You also have to be able to build a tough skin to filter through all the criticism (good or bad) that you will receive throughout your career. Be persistent and believe in your self, never give up and never forget who you are!
For more information about Christiane King and her designs visit her official website at http://www.ChristianeKing.com