Luciana’s experience on Fashion Star was “a dream come true.” She loved being able to get feedback from the mentors and the buyers, but admits Terron of Saks Fifth Avenue was the one buyer she was always trying to impress. “They are looking for unique items, so I think they are more willing to take a chance with new ideas.” This is definitely true, as Saks Fifth Avenue purchased Luciana’s dresses from week number four’s high-low challenge. What was Luciana’s reaction to the buy? In her latest NBC blog post she wrote:
“I am so grateful that Saks bought this look! I can't believe that tomorrow it will be available in Saks... This is a dream come true!”
Luciana is a hard-working designer with fresh ideas and unique sense of style. Her drive and passion for fashion make her fierce competition for the final prize (the chance to sell her collection in Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M as well as the title of NBC’s Fashion Star).
Want to learn more about Luciana? Read on to find out what happened when College Gloss’s Annie Robinson chatted up this full-fledged designer…
LS: I believe that the first top that I ever made by myself was when I was around 15. My grandmother was a seamstress, and my mother knows how to sew. I learned from watching them. Ever since I was little, I was very creative and would beg my mother to make garments for me. When she was busy and couldn’t make them, I would sit at the sewing machine, and after a lot of frustration and failed projects, I finally learned how to sew!
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
LS: I always give the same advice to anybody that has a dream and is aspiring to build something. Before you sell a thousand or a million, you have to first sell one. Step by step is the key! Set yourself small goals that are reachable, always pushing forward into growing. The idea of selling a million is great, but it is impossible to do so at the beginning, and most people get disappointed and abandon their dream because it seems too far out of reach. You can always reach your goals with hard work and determination! The whole growing process is very gratifying as well. It is never about the destination and always about the journey.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
LS: I really admire designers that create beautiful garments with so much attention to detail like Valentino, as well as designers that push the limit and try to break ground for new ideas like Alexander McQueen. Every designer is unique and has different aesthetics. I try to see the beauty in everything they do, whether it is my taste or not and value the thought process and work behind every garment.
What are some of the personal touches you like to put on your clothes?
LS: I feel like the market is so big and there is so much variety and options out there for the consumer that I need to make each garment special and stand out by itself despite the whole collection. Usually there is a lot of detail and a lot of thought behind my designs. I like to manipulate the fabric into trying to transform it into something different and try to give everything a special touch that is mine.
Do you have a personal favorite garment that you have designed?
LS: I think it is probably the first garment I sold in a real store. My sewing wasn’t the best and not even the thread matched perfectly, a rookie's mistake! But someone went to that store, tried it on, loved it and bought it. It was such a great feeling!
Who or what inspires your designs?
LS: My line Scarabello is young and fun! It is catered for women who are gong on a date, going to a dinner party, a lounge, a bar, a club... out and about to have fun! I really like to listen to these women and understand them better because they are my inspiration, and I’m designing for them to feel special and beautiful.
Which of the three stores do you think your clothing would fit the best in?
LS: Saks! I know they will appreciate the thought and detail behind the garment. They are looking for unique items, so I think they are more willing to take a chance with new ideas.
LS: When I was little, I actually wanted to be an astronaut and then an FBI agent and the list can go on! I remember very clear the moment it hit me that I wanted to be a designer for the rest of my life. I was going to college in Boston (studying marketing), and I was still making clothes for myself on the side just for fun and for me to wear. One night I was out with my friends and I was wearing a top I made, and I remember a girl approached me and said she loved what I was wearing and [asked] where she could buy it. It was such a gratifying feeling to know somebody admired something I made that I turned to my friend Keiko and said to her "I know what I’m going to do the rest of my life.... I’m going to be a fashion designer!"
What was the best advice that the mentors gave you on the TV show?
LS: To be true to myself. You can't always please everybody, and there will always be people that admire your work and others that might not understand it. It’s okay to take a chance as long as it is true to yourself.
Why do you think you have what it takes to win Fashion Star?
LS: I feel like my attitude is always positive and I like to take criticism in order to become a better designer. If something doesn't work, I move on and make it work. Oh, and I always do better under pressure, which is a big plus.
What was the best part of your Fashion Star experience?
LS: Being able to work with such great people. The opportunity of having feedback from the mentors and the buyers on a daily basis and making a sell and realizing your dreams just came true!
By: Annie Robinson | Images: Luciana Scarabello