“Women want to feel special, and custom garments have a way of validating that feeling,” says McLemore. “It’s a very personal and organic process, unlike most.”
With Social Media giants like Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr it’s always a pleasure to find raw talent, especially when they design beautiful garments… I strolled upon the designer/seamstress via IG while looking for new designers and her selections of full circle skirts with pockets… YES, I said pockets, ladies we all love a great pocket on a skirt or dress, right! At that point, I knew she would be featured on RowASeat1 and now the rest is history.
Check out the exclusive interview of Shanavier McLemore x RowASeat1 below as we chat about personal style, her favorite designers and what’s next for the brand
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Shanavier McLemore: Elementary school was when I first noticed I had an affinity for fashion. My teachers wore a variety of boring plaid (circa the early 90s). I remember being repulsed by their choices! I was so inspired by the brand, Cross Colors and geometric shapes of that time I couldn’t imagine why they’d choose such homely garments. That’s when I knew if I had the power and resources, I would dress women impeccably well for the rest of my life.
RowASeat1: Who is Shanavier McLemore?
Shanavier McLemore: Honestly, I am ever changing. Each New Year in my life adds a new experience. I believe I’m an eclectic chameleon. I adapt well to my surroundings and it becomes evident in my fashion. I can be a whimsical princess one-day, and a bohemian hippy the next.
Although, I am very expressive, I am also very refined. Everything has a time and place in fashion. I like to play with the juxtaposition of hard and soft, loud and quiet, feminine, and masculine. I am lady-like with a serious edge. I could go on and on. (Laughs)
RowASeat1: How did you get inspired to become a designer?
Shanavier McLemore: In middle school, I was very explorative when it came to design I was engulfed with all forms of Art! Very soon I was obsessed with apparel fabrications and drawing women’s silhouettes. It was in Art class where I discovered fashion design, and I’ve been hooked since.
RowASeat1: As a custom apparel designer, what trends are requested most by your clients?
Shanavier McLemore: Most of my clients prefer customized, tailored looks. They request items to compliment their body. They want their garments to feel individualized and personal. I’ve gotten requests from pageant queens, and stay-at-home moms, and they all are looking for something they can call their own. Women want to feel special, and custom garments have a way of validating that feeling. It’s a very personal and organic process, unlike most.
RowASeat1: Name your favorite designers.
Shanavier McLemore: I’m an avid fan of classic Dior. Alexander McQueen. Badgley Mischka. Marchesa. Karl Lagerfeld. Elie Saab. Tracey Reese… I could go on!
RowASeat1: What are your fall predictions?
Shanavier McLemore: For Fall, definitely neons and metallics! I predict pops of color mixed with traditional fall schemes. You’ll see metal and jewel tones that gleam, and hints of neon to compliment the deep color palette.
RowASeat1: Within five years, where do you see the direction of your company?
Shanavier McLemore: Ideally, within five years my brand will have established three brick-and-mortar (customization) boutiques that uphold the overall philosophy of the brand; “to dress women impeccably well.” My clients will be able to walk in to our establishments and receive one-on-one consultations for their custom garments.
My non-profit will also be in full swing, teaching young girls and women how to sew all across the country. Women’s liberation is very important to me, and I desire to edify Women and girls by teaching them the valuable trade of sewing. It is both profitable as well as practical. It’s the reason I can chase my dream and follow my passion.
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