Christiane King Interview

"Christiane was born and raised in the Cote d’Ivoire. She traveled to Paris, broadening and refining her artistic sensibilities, and most importantly, recognizing her keen eye for fashion. Christiane later relocated to Los Angeles, where she graduated with Honors from Woodbury University with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design in 2005. Her final collection was judged by renowned industry professionals and received an Achievement Award for “Best of Couture” at the University’s Annual Gala. She received the Woodbury University “Rising Star Award” from her alma matter in 2010.

Christiane’s design aesthetic is strongly influenced by the many cultures and experiences she has been exposed to. She incorporates modern and timeless silhouettes with a focus on artful details. Her love for nature is very apparent in each of her collections with her use of organic draped techniques that often mimic flowers morphing around the woman’s body. Her Ivorian background serves as the foundation for each piece she designs and brings to life."

Sarah Velasco: If you could go back in time, and have one person to wear one of your designs, who would it be?
Christiane King: I would have loved to dress singer/actress Lena Horne. I think that she would have looked gorgeous in one of my dresses!

Sarah Velasco: When did you realize that you ‘made it’ in this industry? How did you feel?
Christiane King: I can’t really say that I have “made it” quite yet. I hope that by continuing to create designs that are in tune with what a woman wants, I will be able to make my brand a household name very soon. I’m very excited about what the future holds and I work really hard at growing my business and I think that I will say that I have “made it” the day I see more women walking down the street wearing Christiane King.

Sarah Velasco: What is the best and worst thing about having celebrities wear your clothing?
Christiane King: It’s always an honor to have a celebrity wear one of my dresses to a well-publicized event. It gives the brand some great exposure. I think it’s every designer’s nightmare to see one of his or her designs on a celebrity styled in a way that doesn’t showcase the style in its best light. But because we don’t always have control over how a celebrity accessorizes, you have to keep your fingers crossed that it all works out for the best!

Sarah Velasco: What is your schedule like? How did you get into this business?
Christiane King: My schedule really depends on the time of the year. My studio is definitely hectic as we get closer to fashion week . We get to relax after the shows or appointments with buyers.
I started designing professionally in 2005 after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion design from Woodbury University in Los Angeles. I was a designer at a Los Angeles private label company for a few years then decided to focus on building my brand since the Fall of 2009.

Sarah Velasco: What is your inspiration? Who inspires you when you design? 
Christiane King: I truly enjoy nature and I draw a great deal of my inspiration from the outdoors. But the woman’s body is my greatest inspiration.
My ideal woman to design for is a strong, assertive, feminine woman who has a good sense of who she is and what she wants in life. She is a woman who is not afraid of taking risks but who also knows that trends should never outsmart her personal style.

Sarah Velasco: Have there been any major changes to your designs since you started? If so, what has changed?
Christiane King: I would say that my design philosophy has definitely matured over time. My past work has a lot more draped pieces whereas now, I love to play with the fabric to create some textures and add some organic elements to my designs. But the one thing that remains is that I always strive to create clothes that are flattering to the woman’s body and bring forth her best assets.

Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your designs?
Christiane King: I would describe my designs as feminine and flirty with an organic twist.

Sarah Velasco: What is your personal style? What other brands do you wear (other than your own)?
Christiane King: I definitely like a“girly” look and feminine details really speak to me. I have a pretty broad range of designer and non-designer clothing in my closet. From a Diane Von Furstenberg blouse to J Crew shorts, what really matters to me is how the designs work together in creating the perfect outfit.

Sarah Velasco: Any mottos you go by?
Christiane King: I love this quote by Jim Cathcart: "Aim high! The future you see is the person you will be".

Sarah Velasco: What’s in this season and what should readers expect for Fall 2011?
Christiane King: We are seeing a resurgence of the 70’s retro/Bohemian and Ethnic themes. So we can expect the see fun 70’s inspired prints, high-waisted and wide legged pants, crochet/sweater dresses. Details such as lace, fringes, feathers will also be prominent. But when it comes to designing, I always try to stay away from fads and create pieces that will sustain the test of time. I think what women should remember to never let trends outsmart their personal style and stay true to who they are.