Next Tuesday, October 11, is the start of 2011's St. Louis Fashion Week. For the seventh year, Brown Shoe will be presenting Project:Design!, a competition featuring the work of six designers based out of, or near, St. Louis.
The lines of the top six designers, chosen online by the public, will be featured in a fashion show October 11 at Fashion Week. Judges will then choose a winner, who will receive prizes including a consultation with 963Collective and coverage in ALIVE Magazine.
Daily RFT is highlighting one finalist each day until October 11, showcasing the best talent this area has to offer.
Kelley Miller, 24, lives in St. Louis. Her product line is called Kelley Christine.
What is your earliest memory of an interest in fashion design? Every girl likes to dress up. One of the first things I remember is in fifth grade, I wanted to make my own Halloween costume and my parents were helping me. I begged my parents to get me leather pants because I wanted to be Geri from the Spice Girls but they refused. So my stepdad, who is an artist, helped me make fake leather pants out of trash bags. It was so much fun. After that, I just kept making my own shirts and other things.
What inspires your designs? I like to look at a lot of fashion blogs. I try not to look at blogs too much, though, so I'm not influenced by what is already out there. I like to look at photography from the '60s and '70s, but I also try to keep my designs as new as possible.
Where do you like to shop? Does your line reflect that? I don't go shopping anymore, really. I mainly go to thrift stores to buy items and recreate them. I think my designs definitely reflect my personal style.
What makes your designs stand out from others'? I have a real feel on how to make things feminine. What I aim to do is make women feel comfortable in their own skin. I think all the designers in the competition have a pretty unique look, though.
Why do you think you were chosen as one of the six finalists? I think I have a lot of support, especially from the online community. But I hope people voted for me because they like my stuff, too.
What are you going to do if you win? I'm going to continue to create and try to get my name out in St. Louis. This is the first big thing since I graduated from design school, so I'll just have to keep working hard.
Where do you want to go with your career? Because I had to get a full-time job, designing has become such a side job for me. Hopefully in the future I will be able to move to a bigger city with more opportunities to break into the fashion world.