Portland Designer Leanne Marshall is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco and a recipient of their Levi’s Dockers Fashion Designer of Tomorrow award. Marshall rose to prominence when she won the 2008 cycle of Project Runway. You can purchase a Leanne Marshall Original of your very own in her Etsy shop. For more of her work visit leannemarshall.com and petalsandwaves.blogspot.com
Tell me about yourself, Leanne.
I make mostly one of a kind/custom garments and bridal gowns. Each one is made with my own two hands and the occasional assistance from my helpful interns. After graduating from design school 10 years ago, I have been making clothing for myself and others.
Oh yeah, I also won that show Project Runway in 2008.
How did you originally get into your craft?
When I was 12 years old, I started designing costumes for my ballet performances. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a designer.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
There are three things that I really love. 1) Sitting outside and listening to music while I sketch. 2) Riding my bike. 3) Yoga.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I always underprice myself. I want my fans to be able to afford my pieces, so I often discount them so deeply that it comes at a loss to me.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A designer or an artist.
What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Because my inventory is constantly changing, I have a new favorite all the time. My current favorite is the Mirah dress.
What other artists out there do you love?
I am really inspired by Henrique Oliveira, Eika Dopludo, and Noriko Ambe.
What does your future hold?
First of all, I want to continue building my brand and open a namesake shop. In the immediate future, I have plans to enter bridal boutiques a the country.
Eventually, I would like to be part of a collection for a mass brand like Urban Outfitters/Anthropolgie or Top Shop. Their designs are fashion forward while still being accessible to the public as a whole. I also like the idea of having my designs more accessible to my fans.