Designer Background Summary:
Born and raised in Los Angeles. Started designing clothes and cosmetic bags in elementary school. Attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA and studied abroad in Paris. Launched the Alana Hale label in the fall of 2009.
How did you get started?
I always knew I wanted to have my own label so starting in high school I worked for our family business learning from my dad the business side, and assisting the designers taking notes on their every move. After design school I worked as an assistant designer for a contemporary clothing brand learning the world of fashion. About a year later, I couldn’t wait any longer and got up the courage to start my own label.
What inspires your designs?
Most of my inspiration comes from things I see that cause me to stop and think. Anything I have to take a second glance at. Colors, textures, old movies, music, people I pass on the street- I draw inspiration from around everything around me. The themes I constantly go back to are old Hollywood and rock icons with details stemming from 18th European royalty’s lavish wardrobes
How would you describe your design style, design signatures and who is your targeted customer?
I love creating pieces that are feminine yet edgy using luxury fabrics with a lot of detailing. The Alana Hale girl is someone who isn’t afraid to make a statement or get noticed. She appreciates high fashion but doesn’t take it too seriously. She dresses for herself and no one else.
Alexander McQueen for his imagination, Karl Lagerfeld for his range and impeccable taste, and Valentino for his great understanding of the woman’s body and romance in clothes.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
When I started my line I had almost no connections within the industry. I was jumping in blindly and had no idea what was ahead of me, no plan, I just figured I’d take it as it comes.
How did you overcome them?
I’m lucky that I’m outgoing and pride myself on the fact that I can talk to anybody. I asked a lot of questions and was pleasantly surprised when almost every contact I’ve made is more than willing to give advice and help new designers such as myself.
What has been your greatest moment on your journey so far?
I have been blessed with so many amazing things throughout this journey. The greatest moment was when Paula Abdul wore an entire look from my Holiday 2010 line on the American Idol season finale last year. That was the first press piece I had ever received and millions of people saw. It opened so many doors for me and it gave the line the credibility it didn’t have until then.
What has been the biggest change in your designs so far?
The more collections I create, the more confident I am in my designs and I think that is evident in each piece. My looks now compared to my first pieces are much more stronger, confident and less on the safe side.
If money were no object what would you do right now?
The same exact thing I am already doing. Designing is in my blood- I could never do anything else. Definitely travel more though!
What are the best and worst things about being a designer?
The best thing is the freedom to create. The worst is that my brain never shuts off and there are not nearly enough hours in a day to execute everything I create in my head.
Describe your typical day?
First thing I do when I wake up is have my coffee (slightly obsessed), check my emails, and lounge for a bit with my French bulldog Sophie. Then I get ready and either head to downtown LA for a meeting with my sample makers and patternmakers or to Hollywood to catch up with my showroom and PR reps. In the later afternoon I’ll come home and do office work and sketch out some new designs. I usually end the work portion of my day around 6 and either relax over some trashy tv or meet up with friends for dinner and drinks.
What’s your philosophy of life?
Joie de vivre! Love life… if you don’t enjoy it and aren’t happy than nothing matters. Always find the joy in the cards you’re dealt. Treat the assistant as you would the CEO. Be the best that you can be, and then strive for better than that.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Not one thing
When will you know you have made it?
When I know the answer to this question! haha