We love to feature emerging designers but especially designers in the Atlanta Area. When Amanda Chapman reached out to us via Facebook we could have not been more excited. She started out as a graphic designer wanting to design high fashion magazines. Upon graduating she realized that not only did she want to design magazines but wanted to design the fashion that went in them as well.

Taking a look at Amanda’s last collection we could definitely see the influences from her influences such as House of Holland and Peter Pilotto. After seeing her collection we could not wait to pick her brain, so we asked her a few questions.

 

1. Why did you decide that you wanted to create unisex pieces? Most of my professional career has been in retail management. So I would hear firsthand what the customers wanted but couldn’t find. Women opted for more androgynous pieces that masked their femininity but still made them feel sexy. Men of the other hand were showing more interest in bright colors and prints. There for taking on a more metro-sexual approach. This fact along with I was receiving a lot of requests from men to add menswear inspired me to create a unisex collection.

 

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 2. Who is your biggest inspiration? I’m inspired by many things such as music, shapes, past eras, art and so much more. But I have to say my biggest influencers are House of Holland, Clover Canyon, and Peter Pilotto. When I first started designing, most people were not into all the bright prints and colors. After researching other big designers, I came across Clover Canyon and was thrilled to see that we shared a lot of similarities. Soon after, I discovered House of Holland and Peter Pilotto and became inspired to continue on my path of fashion in living color. I found my niche, just as these amazing designers who also embrace bright colors and prints have.

3. Describe your design process. My process is a process that never stops, as the smallest thing will inspire me and create a chain reaction. I create spring/summer collections so I start a year prior to debuting the collection. I research trend reports that share what colors, prints, patterns, and silhouettes will be popular for future seasons.  There are so many themes to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one sometimes. Next I look for different objects, shapes, sounds, people and other elements that inspire me.  I combine all these things and create flat hand drawn sketches. I sketch throughout the year so I pull and tweak sketches from time to time.  The next step is to turn my hand drawn sketches into computer sketches using Adobe Illustrator. Once sketches are complete, I travel to India to source exclusive fabric for the collection.   I then have to source fit models to take measurements.  Once fittings are concluded, I create a tech pack to send to my manufacture to make the garments. Once garments are shipped back, I put together a team of talented individuals such as photographers, models, hair, mua, and stylists to create editorials for marketing.

4. How would you describe your current collection? My current collection is light, fresh, fun and youthful.  It’s full of bright colors and prints of course and can be worn various ways and for multiple seasons.

 

 

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5. What’s your favorite piece from your last collection? My favorite piece is the “Brent” unisex shirt/dress. It is light weight and color blocked in solids and prints. Men can wear it as an oxford button down, while women can wear as a dress and buttoned down shirt as well. The color/prints choices allow you to enjoy in the spring/summer and can easily transfer to your fall wardrobe as well.

 6. Are you planning on making just a women’s or men’s collection in the near future? Yes, I am, sooner than later actually. My ss16 collection will include both men and women wear. Although there are a few pieces that are unisex, majority of the collection has a clear and defined target. The collection will debut in PLITZS NYFW on September 12, 2015

7. Any advice for other emerging designers? Never give up. You are going to receive a lot of no’s and maybe’s before you start generating those yes’s. Everything happens for a reason. Remember that there is a lesson to be learned in everything you do. Take your setbacks and your negatives and turn them into positives and make them work in your favor.

8. What’s a quote that you live by? I have two favorite quotes that I live by: It’s “OK2BU”. “Envisioning your ending, to start your beginning”.

 9. What do you think about the growing fashion scene in Atlanta? I love it. Atlanta has so much history and talented people. I’m excited to see us step up to the plate and be a part of the fashion industry and all that comes with it.

 

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 10. What can we expect to see from you in the future? Continued growth and expansion. I’m working on a project that involves emerging designers from around the globe. I’ve applied for the Girl Boss Grant that if awarded, I can began putting things in motion for the project. I’m also working on putting together a crowd funding campaign to help fund my “It’s OK2BU” campaign. The campaign will help me bring awareness to depression through the use of the fashion community. OK2BU supports accepting who you are on the inside and outside. It will create a lifestyle where people can express their individuality through the world of fashion. The campaign will focus on not being defined by gender but being defined through the freedom of knowing who you are and owning it.

 

 

We are so excited to continue to feature emerging designers here on the blog! Stay tuned for the next interview with fashions latest emerging designer.

Shop Amanda’s collection and keep up with her here.