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"Fashion Designer Lantie Foster Is Making Her Mark In The Big Apple"
1. Lantie, we have known each other a long time and you have always had a passion for design. Tell us how you made that dream come true with so much competition in the big Apple?
Hi Devin! Yes we have known each other for a while, It’s been wonderful to watch our sisters grow & become even more beautiful & watch their talents expand!
Regarding your question, I will tell you part 1 of my personal journey coming from the experience of having no partners or a big bankroll to assist me. A lot of it is keep at it & don’t give up. It can be a long and expensive road to fill a fashion designer's dream, especially if you are naturally the type to do things on your own. I was fortunate enough to know what I wanted early on, attend fashion design school & build on my natural skills. These skills allowed me to be able to create an entire collection on my own without sending anything out & paying any extra fees. To professionally hire & develop just 1 style is typically $1,000-$1,500 in costs per style here in NYC. This does not include photoshoots or websites as I took extra classes in Adobe illustrator & taught myself through YouTube to learn these skills as well. You tube is amazing for info. I strongly believe It’s important to keep your skills & knowledge up to date in any field.
It takes all your waking hours to complete a fashion collection on your own & in the meantime you have to pay your bills.
This is where the internet became more & more prominate in my workroom. After the bad years of 2009+ & loosing many private clients, I immediately upgraded my Comp & illustration skills & re-learned how to design using computers. With these new updated skills, I found a few online job websites which also featured fashion designers for companies or people looking to hire designers for seasons or projects. These clients were from all over the world, London, Germany, Paris, India, Dubai etc, etc. With my new online portfolio, samples of my sewn clothing, I obtained job after job & competed with hundreds of designers from different countries. After a few years and a lot of work, I’ve been ranked the number #1 freelance fashion designer out of over 20,000+ online designers worldwide. The fashion arena is so global now, you do not just compete for a job just within your city any longer. I believe this applies to many fields as well. From this online work, I built my own “contract for hire” fashion design business using several assistants, pattern makers, sewers, etc, here in NYC when there was too much work for me to do alone.
2. You recently had an appearance on Project Runway, how was that? -
Yes I did! That was both extremely exciting & terrifying at the same time as I’m not one to enjoy being in front of a TV camera. I realized it was incredible to be chosen out of over 10,000 other US design applicants for sure & I felt at the time it was a great avenue to get my name out as a designer. Unfortunately, I found out I was the “Tortoise" & not the "Hare” on the show. If you want to know some show secrets, I found out quickly on the show that I do not do well with only 4 hours of sleep allowed every night which is designed to break you down, make you crazy emotional, cry and restrict your ability to create/make decisions to say the least. I was amazed that some were able to creatively function in that environment but I was not one of them! I’ve realized there are different styles of the creative process. I’m the type who will take my time on a detail, look at it, get a coffee, sleep on it, come back, & think about it some more! In the end, it’s fabulous but it can be a windy road before I get there. On Project Runway with the design process ramped up x100, I found out in front of millions of people that my creative process was not suited for that show! Oh well! Facing your fear of failure is not for sissys let me tell you. lol! Let me say that 3 months after the show, one of my designs for a client landed her on the hollywood red carpet, in editorials & photographed all over the world. There you go!..:) On another positive note, I made many friends with the other designers & I organized our own Project Runway showroom sale in NYC with all the Project Runway designers from different seasons! A plus in the end!
3. What makes Lantie Designs different and where can we find them?
My personal aim is to keep things a lil’ timeless, elegant, sexy, & luxurious. Combining different textures, fabrics, leather metal & trims. I love to also use common everyday items in a new & fresh way, such as using the size tags in clothing & creating a new & interesting trim out of it! Our designs for clients have been in Posh hotels, private jet companies, featured on the Hollywood Red carpet, Europe, India all over! You can find our freelance fashion design services here....
Fabric is usually the first thing that grabs me. Some fabric stuck way up on a top shelf, ignored for years, is something that will always catch my eye.More ideas come from everywhere, taking a walk & noticing the design of the cement, shopping in Home Depot, visiting a museum, bookstores, the color scheme of a kitchen! All kids of places. I notice textures, lines & colors in everything. When I decide on a story, I zero in on anything that relates to it then it is most important to add a sense of wit to it…:)
5 Can we get a sneak peek of some of your designs?
Absolutely, attached are a few, however for many clients, I’m required to sign a NDA document as many clients do not wish anybody to know who designed their best selling look. For my personal designer dress line, I’ve decided to operate a lil’ differently. Rather than present a large collection all at once, I’ve recently decided to use the trickle effect. Which means revealing a few new designs per month as the seasons change that way there is something new & exciting each month to look for. Quality over quantity! It’s extremely intense to try to develop an entire collection of 20 pieces all at once & shortly after, people want more so I think this will be an interesting selling approach.