We are here with eccentric fashion designer Gloria Edwards. First off I’d like to say, I love your style and electrifying edgy designs. Your infectious clothes remind me of say Betsey Johnson. I understand you have had a lot of experience in the fashion industry starting for such a young age.
Thank you. Well I guess it’s been part talent, luck, and perseverance. I kept landing myself with all these great jobs with luxury market lines such as Guess and Vince. As well as groundbreaking lines like the revolutionary Morphine Generation, the street wear sensation Kik Wear/ Kik Girl/ Greed, and like them or not Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier. They took the world by storm. I couldn’t believe I was working with Erik Hart at Morphine Generation and Dusty Cohen at Kik Wear, fresh out of school and in LA, from North Carolina, it was pretty life changing. I kinda caught all the waves in the fashion industry in the recent past.
What made you start designing to begin with?
I was an artist and a poet at a young age. I was raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. My mother made garments and things as a hobby, my dad was a photographer, all my friends were into visual arts, fashion, and music. I was a really creative person, so it kind of came naturally and with also help from my mother. Then all my friends were venturing off to move to NY to work on their creative careers, and my dad had lived in NY, I was always inspired by the city and the arts. I worked at Boutique Hypnotica in the 90’s and read the California Apparel News weekly and that inspired me to move to LA. I was bent on success and ambitious. I was featured in a major fashion show only after a year of residing here and appeared in the California Apparel News.
Besides designing & making clothes what are some of your other interests?
I Love the dessert, Palm Springs, Vegas, I love the dry heat out there. I feel like the triple digit weather sometimes is very therapeutic for me. There are so many amazing art galleries and some of the best restaurants; I’ve become friends with a lot of artists, musicians and restaurant owners. I find it inspiring. I am looking into doing a show at the Fashion Week El Paseo or either a full on photo shoot in the desert. I also really enjoy traveling to Europe, or along the east coast, mainly to Washington DC and New York. I use to frequently travel to shop on M Street in Georgetown in DC, and of course East Village in NY. When moving to LA about 10 years ago, it kind of changed to shopping more on Melrose, Hollywood, Beverly Center, and the Grove etc. Reloaded on Melrose is one of my favorite stores. I also enjoy traveling back home to the beaches on the North Carolina coast, it is really beautiful and quaint there.
What is currently going on with your line?
I have about 9 piece outfits completed and working on my next photo shoot. I have already scooted the right models, and now deciding on shoes and accessories to pull. As I said earlier, fashion week in Palm Springs, and possibly New York would be ideal. I’ve just started a marketing campaign, and a complete overhaul of my website, even considering an online ecommerce store mainly for custom made goods.
What do you think of the current trends in fashion and the voluptuous women celebrities setting the pace for fashion?
Well you know I have always been more into the Twiggy thing in fashion, I am not sure if I am that into the Kardashian’s for setting the trends for fashion. LOL. I love Betsy Johnson, Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott, and I’m going blow the whole thing up with some of the stuff I have in mind!!
It’s funny you mention Betsy, you have a striking resemblance to her in her younger years.
Laughs, I have heard that I’m quirky like her before. I love her ragged, funky and kinda punk designs. I do own several items forsure. I admire the fashion empire she built. She also beat breast cancer, went thru a bankruptcy, had her own reality series on Style Network, and now at 70 she looks great! What a career, I feel like I have the same bent on success, ambition.
You have a passion and a talent to be reckoned with. I am really curious to see your new collection of clothes, can you tell us a little about it?
Well, I am really into the more edgy designs that consist of exaggerated shoulder pads, chains; I am using some exotic fabrics that have always been one of my signature trademarks. It would be safe to say its rocker, edgy, kind of gypsy inspired, and dark evening wear. In addition to that I’m working with a very successful brand doing that whole Coachella Valley, bohemian thing. It’s all the rage right now, and I’m feeling it too. My horizons and life has been brightened by this new inspiring trend.
I understand attending a fashion design school can be very costly, and only around a small percentage of the graduates finds bona fide careers with luxury brands in the fashion industry.
This is true, I went to FIDM in Los Angeles to finish my degree in fashion and It ended up costing me about $70,000 with the interest etc. It was a challenge to pay back fresh out of school & I had to pay it back regardless. The cost to live in LA is so high and fortunately I was able to get some help from my parents for the first year after graduating. I guess I’m one of the lucky percentages that persevered it through. I’m really fortunate and lucky that I am where I am right now. But the contacts I made through the school were really cool, because they ended up being small companies and brands, and I worked for so many. I was able to learn various techniques and make it the industry experience I have today, knowledge that well exceeds far beyond just a college degree. I’m still learning more about the business side of things. I think the essentials are that you are not only a designer but to understand marketing, distribution and the rest, and it will give me the edge. As with music and film the Internet and technology’s changing things in the fashion world too, I find it very exciting. I’m really inspired by someone like Sophia Amoruso who has become one of the most prominent figures in retail and a cultural icon who has worked from the ground up and landed on top of a fashion empire named Nasty Gal, now she knows the fashion business.
In closing what advice would you have for any aspiring fashion designer’s?
Well I’ve learned it’s kind of a cutthroat business. I mean there are the fashion shows, the shoots, the fittings, the models, the glamour, and the excitement, but it still is a business so beware. Next as I explained 70k at FIDM was a lot of money, but I guess I did well and being from North Carolina. I kind of had to do it, but if you already live in Los Angeles or New York there’s other ways in the doors such as family, friends, connections, internships. It’s important for new and aspiring designers to have a vision and stick with it, no matter what obstacles come up. I suggest stepping outside of the current trends and trying something different and working hard to achieve the vision.
Well, Gloria it has been very interesting talking to you, I have seen some of your past designs and love them. You are the real deal, a raw edgy talent that can’t be denied. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and I am sure it will be fabulous. Look out world, here comes Gloria Edwards, the next Betsey Johnson!
Rock Star Publicity 2015