CC: Your Fall Collection is entitled “The Bail-out”. Please explain.
LC: Well, while I was designing this collection and in the process of officially starting my business, every time I turned on the t.v. it was “Recession, Depression, in this economic time”…on and on. I thought this is not a good time to start a business. I had to bail myself out of that mind state and just forge on and have faith. So the “The Bail-out” is more of an emotional thing, and some of those emotions came out through the collection.
CC: Where and how were you trained? Did you always know you wanted to be a Designer?
LC: I always knew I wanted to do something where I could create and own my own time. I hate to admit it but I am a political science major. Over the years I have taught myself to sew and about the apparel industry and have been blessed to run across people who are willing to help.
CC: Your pieces are exquisitely wrought. What unique materials did you use in this collection?
LC: Well this collection I had a lot of fun with the fabrics. If it felt right, I used it. Everything from a heavy cotton linen to make a coat, to metal mesh to make a lingerie inspired dress. The metal was the hardest to work with because I had to cut every piece on a straight line but make it fit around the curves of the body.
CC: Who are your favorite Designers and primary style influences?
LC: I really do look up to Yves Saint Laurent. The man himself was so stylish and what he did for women’s wear is something I can only dream of. One thing I have wanted to do forever was pose nude like he did for his own fragrance ad. I think that is so awesome and such a statement. That picture is iconic. I don’t even think most people realize that that is Yves Saint Laurent in the picture. I love movement in clothing and love it when a very nonchalant woman is walking down the street with a confident swagger and fabric flowing around her.
CC: Where are you from and where is your Atelier?
LC: I am from Key West, Florida. Currently my Atelier is located in a small town in North Florida but I plan on relocating to New York. I have never lived in a big city so when I visit I find myself talking to people in the subways and crossing the street without a game plan.
CC: How do you envision women wearing your clothes . . . casual or dress?
LC: The Ellie Owen woman views clothing like costumes and everyday she ventures into the world she plays a certain role. Ellie Own is meant to mix and match. They are pieces though bold, are meant to be worn in a variety of ways. I could see the button down dress being worn with a pair of skinny jeans, platform heels and a motorcycle jacket, or the leather tank dress being tucked in to baggy pleated dress slacks. What is fashion without style? So I would say both.
CC: Do you intend to sell your Spiked Leggings and other fabulous pieces in stores, and if so, where and when can we buy them?
LC: I do intend to sell them in stores and hopefully they will be on racks in the fall. The right buyer will come along and not be scared to stock my spiked leggings because I know girls will not be scared to wear them. Unfortunately my budget is not big enough to go to trade shows so I spend all of my days contacting buyers. It is stressful but I am hopeful and I know God didn’t bring me this far to leave me. So any buyers out there want something that is going to fly of the racks contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lol (shameless plug).
CC: Does the modern woman need “armor”?
LC: Today’s woman does need armor. She needs to be armed with class, confidence, education, and a little bit of sex appeal. Being raised by a single mother who had her own unique sense of style really helped me develop a mix of edgy strong femininity in my pieces. Today’s woman should also know that fashion does not only apply to clothing.
CC: How do you envision your business evolving in the coming seasons?
LC: Ellie Owen is a coming of age story, and as women get to know her they will find out that Ellie Lives in them. I see Ellie Owen being sold everywhere. I envision steady growth and creativity oozing from everywhere.
CC: Is there anything else you’d like Couture Carrie readers to know about yourself or Ellie Owen?
LC: I want people to know I have been living a double life. By day I am a student of political science and by night I have been everything from a touring stylist with a music group, a tailor, a show producer on and on. This mix has created Ellie Owen, and if Ellie breaks through this industry please believe she is there to stay lol. Also my name is Leon. L.E.O.N = Ellie Owen.
CC: The name is pure genius, as is your collection! Thank you, Leon, and best of luck!
Read more about Ellie Owen here, darlings, and keep an eye out for this star on the rise! In the comments, please tell CC what you think of the Ellie Owen design aesthetic and Leon's philosophy!