September 13, 2012

Getting Personal with Allison Parris

Since New York Fashion Week ends today, we'd like to celebrate by featuring the face behind the eco-friendly and socially conscious, Allison Parris New York, Allison Parris herself. We were lucky enough to attend her Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Event last Friday and not only did we have a blast, but the clothes looked fabulous – from sequin embellished racerbacks to fun, silk party dresses with cutouts!

MBF Trend Consulting: How did you get into fashion? And what is your background?

Allison Parris: I grew up in a creative household, my mother is an interior designer and my father is a photographer and public relations consultant, so artistic development was highly encouraged! I started training in pattern making and sewing while still a teenager, and I was designing gowns for clients in the Detroit area. I then moved to New York and graduated from the Fashion Design Program at FIT with a specialization in special occasion. I’ve then worked with Catherine Malandrino and Cynthia Rowley for a couple of years before starting my collection.

MBF: How would you describe your personal style?

AP: Haha, well on a daily basis – jeans/t shirt/ no makeup…not very glam…but when going out, it’s always the highest heels possible, tutus and beaded party dresses! I love dressing up!

MBF: What is the story behind your collection for Spring 2013?

AP: The designs of SS13 have been influenced by a handful of women I know who are confident, successful, ambitious and kind. They all have an enviable distinct personal style and a dedication to what they do, which is something I always find inspiring.

MBF: We know that you utilize the factories here in New York’s garment district and we have read that you support “Made In The USA” on your blog, what inspired you to do this? And how else do you incorporate sustainability into your line?

AP: I use sustainable and organic fabrics such as raw organic silk, recycled PET satin and netting. We use recycled PET for all of our linings, as well as for many of our softer nettings and one taffeta.

MBF: How would you describe your customer?

AP: We have many different types of customers, but overall, our girls are not slaves to the fad of the week. Despite the occasional loud color, sequin, whatever – we tend to stick more to a classic style and our customers do too – at any age.

MBF: We’ve heard a couple of celebrities have been spotted wearing some of your pieces in the past. If you could dress anyone, who is someone you would want to design for?

AP: I already do dress the women I design for :) But there are always different people who I would be happy to see in my dresses for different reasons…I love both of the Deschanel sisters, Isla Fisher, any of those “cute/quirky girls.”

MBF: What are some key pieces every girl should own?

AP: Every girl should own a mini tutu and one of our new sequin dresses like the Greta or the Arden! :)

MBF: Do you have any advice for aspiring designers or people looking to break into the industry?

AP: Persistence and common sense are the two most important qualities I look for when hiring someone – it sounds ridiculous I know, but those are two qualities of paramount importance to success in the industry which can't be taught to you when you’re on the job, you have to work on it on your own. Also, read everything you can get your hands on – WWD, Vogue, blogs, etc. (industry focused, not celeb focused).

MBF: We loved your concept for Bishops & Barrons where you designed the uniforms. We thought it was very innovative! What’s next for Allison Parris?

AP: Thanks :) Still sorting out the next big partnership, so who knows! Just playing it by ear right now!

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