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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog Archive: A Conversation With Bri Seeley on NW Beauty Magazine

Bri Seeley is a locally based fashion designer in Seattle. Recently she has created a huge splash with her brand, showcasing at Phoenix Fashion Week and having a major online retailer pick up her designs.  Her accomplishments in the past year are notable for Seattle designers, as she has done what many of them have not been able to.  She has had a major retailer pick up her collection all while showcasing in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Seeley creates contemporary and uniquely feminine garments with great care and attention. Each piece is designed to enhance the female figure and allow the wearers inner beauty to shine. The styles are simple and classic with intriguing details and high quality fabric. Bri’s clients rave about her talent and ability to invoke a feeling of confidence. Her creations are unmistakable for their fun, wearable, sassy, and versatile style.

Bri began to create at a young age when her grandmother taught her to sew in rural Minnesota. She continued to build upon her knowledge throughout her high school years, and naturally progressed into a Fashion Design major in college – obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Textile Design from North Dakota State University. Bri then spent two years living in Florence, Italy attending the Accademia Italiana and obtained her Master’s Diploma in Fashion Design. During her formal education Bri fell in love with historic fashion and regularly draws upon this, as well as nature, for inspiration. She now resides in Olympia and is planning a move to Los Angeles soon.   Also a friend of mine, I wanted to ask Bri a few questions about her latest collection Escape and more.
Designer, Bri Seeley
Maile: Describe yourself in 3 words? 
Bri Seeley: “Loyal, Stubborn, Creative.”

Maile: Finish this question. I never leave home without my __________?
Bri Seeley: “SUNGLASSES!!!”

Maile: What inspired you for the collection you debuted in Phoenix and LA?
Bri Seeley: “I began designing based on the definition for Escape, "to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint and the avoidance of reality." I have been in a place this past year where I'm wanting change in my life, and design is my literal escape from reality. So I used my personal life situation and translated it into a gorgeous collection of feminine apparel.”

Maile: What is your favorite piece and why?
Bri Seeley: “I love the Jaclyn skirt - it was featured in my 2011 collection and has been brought back by popular demand in two new colors. It's a high waisted skirt that is super flattering on a variety of figures.  Plus it has pockets!”

Maile: Where can we shop for your collection other than your website?
Bri Seeley: “The new collection, Escape, will be available on zappos.com starting in April, 2013.”

Photo Credit: Steve Yap
Maile: Congratulations! Having your line picked up by Zappos.com is a huge accomplishment!
Bri Seeley: “Thank you! I’m really excited.”

Maile: So, what sizes do your pieces come in?
Bri Seeley: “The current collections range from Small to Large.”

Maile: What is the price range of your collection?
Bri Seeley: “The prices range from $90 to $300.”

Maile: What was your biggest challenge putting this collection together?
Bri Seeley: “It's the first time that I have outsourced to a manufacturing facility, which I have found is a bit like speaking a different language. I'm learning how to communicate on an entirely new level and identifying key management skills that I need in order to be a successful business person.”

Maile: I have no doubt you’ll be able to figure it all out.  So, tell me, which piece are you most proud of?
Bri Seeley: “I am actually incredibly proud of the entire Escape collection. It is a cohesive collection that speaks to a variety of women and has already begun to ignite women to be inspired with their own wardrobe choices! Plus, it is the collection that helped me win Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week and the collection that has pushed me to up-level my business.”

Maile: Do you have a mentor who has guided you?
Bri Seeley: “I have a "Big Sister" who lives in Portland that has mentored me for over 20 years. She began as a personal mentor when I was young, and has become a business mentor over the past few years as she has owned two wholesale businesses of her own. I visit her and her family often to receive advice and just overall decompress.”

Maile: What can we expect to see from you next?
Bri Seeley: “I'm in the process of expanding my business significantly and increasing brand recognition.  I will personally be relocating to Los Angeles in the next several months to spearhead these goals, but plan to keep my manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest, pending the successful completion of the current production run.“

Maile: When you're not designing, where can we find you?
Bri Seeley: “I’m usually at home!  As much as I love networking and being fashionable, I'm really a homebody at heart!. My favorite evenings are spent with a group of close friends and a bottle of wine.”

View Bri’s Collection on her website at: http://www.briseeley.com.  Fans can also tweet with her at @BriSeeley.

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