Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Designer Of The Day: Marsha Barkley

Designer Bio:
Ani-Couture is taking crochet to another level. I was introduced to crocheting when I was six by my mother. I would sit and watch her endlessly make beautiful pieces. I began to love it and would take the hook and yarn everywhere I went. I started off with the usual afghans & granny squares, but eventually evolved into crochet berets and ties . I would make matching sets and wear them to school. When I got older and had children of my own, I taught them to crochet at the very tender ages of 4, 6, 9. I would take them to crocheting class with me and have them teach the young ones as I taught the older ones. We all would make bags & garments and sell them at local shows, bazaars and on the street. I would make them all halter tops and get compliments and orders. So I created Ani Couture in 2000.

1. What inspired you to get into fashion design?
At an early age I experimented with fabrics, clothing, and yarns and my mother’s closet. I was always mixing and matching pieces. My first inspiration was my dad wearing a fur coat. He was always impeccably dressed.

2. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I didn’t have any formal training in the fashion industry. However my mom always had me signed up in sewing classes, pattern making knitting and crochet. My dad was always up to par with clothing, trends and had access to all the designer garments of that time.

3. Describe your philosophy about fashion?
I believe in classic garments. Simple, classic and timeless pieces should make up the majority of one’s closet. It’s okay to step out of the box and wear trendsetting pieces, but you need to ensure that the box you are stepping out of fits you and your personal character.

4. What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring designers?
Do not give up. Know what you want. Know who your audience is. Find one celebrity you would like to see your designs in. Ask yourself why? For exposure? To bring in the big bucks? If you answered yes to either one, then you need to start over. The celebrity you choose if were to dress them, should speak your brand to the audience with your clothing.

5. Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Family and friends and magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Old Vintage catalogs such as Bennetton and Yook.com

6. What is a typical day for a fashion designer like yourself?
Currently because of the high demand of orders coming in it has been extremely chaotic, but I love what I do. I use the wee hours of the morning and night to design. I am currently working on my 2011 line and have already expanded to a children’s line through the urge of my clients and an international line celebrating the heritage of my children.

7. Which fashion designers have been important points of reference for you?
My favorite designers are Missoni, Donna Karen, Catherine Hererra, Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez. Each designer incorporates classic pieces but also with a trendsetting flair. I have loved Missoni since I can remember.

8. If you had the opportunity to design an outfit for one person who would it be?
Posh Spice. Victoria Beckham. I can see her wearing The Caroline. She is the epitome of fashion, couture and style. Second Choice would be Halle Berry.

9. Can you tell me about your new collection?
The Fall/Winter 2010 collection consists of only hats and scarves that were inspired by Vogue Magazine, issues June 2010 to Sept 2010, family and friends who have a sense of style and eclectic personality to their fashion. Each piece is named after someone  who influenced me in one way or another.

10. Where can we find your collection?
I am currently having the website built and will be ready by the end of November. You can currently find me on
·         https://shopopensky.com/Ani