(8 Oct 2018) FROM DRAWINGS ON THE FLOOR TO FABRICS, FEATHERS, UPSIDE DOWN ZIPPERS, CHRISTIAN SIRIANO, TORY BURCH, MORE SHARE THEIR FIRST DESIGNS
Every designer has to start somewhere. And at New York Fashion Week recently, designers talked about their first creations.
Christian Siriano said his was "horrible."
"I think it was white and beaded with feathers, I don't know what it was. Maybe it was crochet? The zipper was upside down. I mean, I didn't know what I was doing, but I will say in the end it was actually super chic."
Siriano said he was between 8 to 10-years-old at the time and was drawn to the fabrics used by his mother.
"I was a big fabric lover. My mom was really into fabrics, you know, and so I think I just played around and tried to make things all the time, even if they were, I don't know, as I went on, I was getting pretty good."
Though the designer's first clients were his mother and sister, his list has now drastically expanded - Siriano's pieces have appeared on stars Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and more.
Siriano isn't the only designer who got his start at a young age. Michelle Smith, creative director and founder of fashion house MILLY, said she was four when she drew her first design.
"I designed a princess costume on my kitchen floor. That's a true story," said Smith. "My mother probably still has the picture."
The designer went on to study and work in fashion houses in New York and Paris before founding her own brand. Her line gained popularity and is now sold by retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Harrods.
Tory Burch, known for handbags, shoes and ready-to wear collections, said her first design initiative arose during a visit to Paris.
"I know exactly what it is because I picked it up in a Paris flea market for five dollars. It was our kaftan, our tunic, actually. It was a polyester tunic and I thought it's such a great shape. I'd seen my mom and grandmother wearing it at various stages in their life. And it's still part of our collection today."
Like Siriano, Mark Badgley and James Mischka are no stranger to clothing celebrities. Their brand, Badgley Mischka, has appeared on Madonna, Julia Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a few. The designing duo recall their first collection they designed together: 12 black cocktail dresses.
"It was funny it was right when grunge was really popular and just a lot of sportswear and layers and very casual and it never really appealed to us," said Badgley, "So we did 10, 12 glamorous little black cocktail dresses, one red one, and it's just sort of snowballed from there."
And what was Self-Portrait designer Han Chong's first collection? The designer says it was only five years ago, so he remembers the 17-piece collection very well.
Chong said it started with a dress, lace, with a "patchwork" of different fabrics.
With Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama and more flaunting his designs, Self-Portrait has made its way into the spotlight in a short period of time.
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