Fashion Designer: Gail Garrison
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Current Location: New York, NY
Official Website: http://www.gailgarrison.com
At a very young age, she discovered her love for design and fashion. Both her mother and grandmother taught her how to sew and by age six she had her first sewing machine and began making clothes for Barbie dolls. As a teenager, she designed her own clothes and was pretty much a fashion statement in high school. At age 20 she was attending college and working at an amazing store in Denver called Max. At that time she was not only working and modeling for this fabulous and chic store but she was selling some of her designs as well. When she was 22 she moved to NY to model a year for Elite but found herself to be styling and designing. By age 23 she moved to Los Angeles and began designing clothes in Old Hollywood. Her very first clients were sophisticated actresses from the 50's such as Cyd Cherrise, Ann Jefferies, socialites such as Carol Doheny, and Beverly Cohen. With all the experience gained Gail began designing dresses that were elegant, classy, and sophisticated. Now years later she is known for her couture style.
What does fashion mean to you as a developing fashion designer?
"I believe fashion has many different avenues today, as designer, stylist, buyer, and writer. Also, there is high fashion, dresses, jeans, and junior contemporary. Many young designers make a trendy funky outfit, the real question is if it sells."
2. Do you think hair and makeup makes a difference on a model when promoting the designs?
"I always photograph women looking beautiful, hair and makeup are to make them look their best. I might follow a bit of a trend, by always making women look her best.
3. How are your designs different from others?
"I believe in making a dress that flatters a woman, making her look taller or thinner with draping the fabric. When a woman puts on a dress and feels great about herself is what makes her want to buy it. So as a designer one must know what the real woman wants and what her body shape is. I love the look of a leopard, therefore every collection will have a leopard print of some sort."
4. Do you try to send out a message or theme in your clothes?
"My biggest fashion statement is to have a strong sense of self-worth. Not arrogance, be humble, but never stoop to a low level, never believe someone is better - women should never give their power away. To know their value system and what works for them. Do not try to be something you are not."
5. Who is your fashion icon?
"My all time favorite fashion icon is Grace Kelly. She was always stylish and a lady."
6. How do you select models?
"I choose models that feel are approachable in their look, I also do not shoot super skinny girls, I believe a girl 5'9" or taller should be at least a size 4-6. Any thinner I think looks unhealthy."
7. Do you have any advice for those people who want to become a fashion designer?
"I believe strongly that as one door closes there will be another door for us to open. Everyone faces challenges in their life. I believe overcoming them and confidence is what makes a woman truly beautiful."
*** Gail Garrison has turned a trendy dream into a stylish reality. "Today, I sell to over 40 specialty stores. I have a NY showroom on Seventh Ave. I have a couture collection which dresses sell for $2000-3000. I have had Town and Country ads and The Knot."
Interviewee: Gail Garrison
Interviewer: Barby McQueen
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2013
Pictures Provided by Gail Garrison