Q&A With Designer Carmen Veal
This week at SuperGlamNews, get to know designer Carmen Veal. Carmen has had a love of fashion for as long as she could remember. Carmen tells SGN everything about managing three fashion lines, fall trends, fashion shows, and fashion must haves for this fall! SGN: When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Carmen: Since I was a little girl -- I LOVED dressing up, bright colors/patterns and my aunts sewing machine (which I managed to break while toying around with it without permission). This phase turned into a passion during High School where I'd hand see little projects, like a multi colored cloth belt I cut up and stitched into the slits of my jeans I bleached, cut up, and washed for the rugged look. That was actually my first project. I loved it and so did everyone else!
SGN: What's your greatest accomplishment so far?
Carmen Veal: I've launched three clothing lines since 2009. It was a challenge considering my limited sewing skills but eventually I mastered them after investing time and money into private sewing lessons for about a year. I also have the wonderful opportunity to donate a portion of my sales to my Nonprofit organization (www.hope4autism.org) that I founded almost two years ago. In addition to this, I've done over 20 fashions shows, television, blogs, and radio interviews that offered me great exposure.
SGN: Any advice to aspiring designers?
Carmen:Follow your dream no matter how difficult it gets. I can't tell you how many times I've felt overwhelmed and like giving up in the first year. The beginning phase for designing is complex because it requires a lot of work, especially if you are your own company. I didn't really have a solid plan or targeted area of style so I was working by the "go with the flow" system...as in designing any and everything with all different types of material. Find your area of passion with designing and stick to it. You can always branch off down the road and add on to the type of designs you offer. Just perfect your craft and your style and the rest will work itself out.
SGN: What inspires your work?
Carmen: The best part of designing is the inspiration, so much of it exist. For me a simple walk in the park, a failed search for that perfect dress in the mall, or experience with relationships are a few things that make a huge impact on my thoughts. My next collection is inspired by someone I recently met and grew to love on a spiritual level. The feelings I have for that person helped me form the name of my next collection. The color schemes of the pieces in the collection come from this beautiful print scarf I purchased while vacationing in Europe. The designs came from a few looks I loved on people walking by and in magazines. This is the effortless yet most meaningful area of my work.
SGN: Trends to look out for this fall?
Carmen: Fashion recycles itself in so many different ways it makes trendy looks a breeze. You don't have to buy an entirely new wardrobe -- just mix and match a few new pieces with a few older ones. Some of my fav trends are tapered pants, lose jean button up tops, big purses, and blazers. I'm also a huge fan of color blocking which was a hit this Summer and carrying over to fall. Some colors to match are burnt orange and purple, teal and purple, teal and charcoal grey. The sky is the limit with this trend!
SGN: What are some fashion items you can't live without?
Carmen:I can not live without my stilettos! Even those days when I really don't feel like walking in heels, I throw a pair of flats in my oversized purse (another must have) for a quick comfort change. The top of my list must have is blazers- they compliment any look. Dresses, jeans, pant, they offer a simple classic look in an instance!
SGN: When is a woman most fashionable?
Carmen:A woman is most fashionable when she is comfortable with her own beauty and style. Trends are not for everyone, nor is the garment the next woman looks fabulous in the best look for another. What you love and feel most comfortable in is your own sense of fashion. What anyone else thinks of it is just their business...
SGN: In your opinion, what is fashion???
Carmen: Fashion to me is a manner...or certain style of accessorizing oneself. It has no rules, no laws, no restraints no matter what any person "thinks" is best. It's unique, often duplicated and imitated by people all over the world.
SGN: Tell us about your fashion show experiences?
I have done so many fashions shows, the only ones I remember are the very first and most recent ones LOL. Fashion shows are fun, I've worked with so many wonderful models, designers, makeup and hair stylist and photographers. They're great for branding and marketing as well as exposure. A high percentage of my customers were once guest at one of the shows I presented my pieces in. My favorite part of doing a fashion show is the collection finale walk. This is when all the models walk out smiling and clapping followed by the designer waving (at least I do). That moment gives me a rush that I've never felt from anything else. Those seconds of cheering compliments all the blood sweat and tears I put into making my collection a success.