DESIGNER AT LARGE:: Interview with ELLY BLAISE designer Amanda Flagg

Amanda at Elly Blaise
Today, I had the fortunate opportunity to talk to Amanda Flagg, CEO / Director / Designer for Elly Blaise, a clothing outfit in Chicago. She is well known for her swanky, eclectic outfits custom designed for clients. Amanda is also Creative Director Vivid Variations Studio. She got her Master of Fine Arts from Fashion Institute of Technology in N.Y.C. and Bachelors from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Lately, she's been busy with new projects and fashion shows.

Hello Amanda. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me tonight! Can you start off by telling me a little about your favorite designs?

My favorite designs from famous designers or my own designs?

Your favorite from famous designers and how that has influenced your own designs -

Some of my favorite designers are Valentino and Chanel which inspired my romantic classic look, that I have. I love their classic styles and lines that make a woman look and feel beautiful

Is a large percentage of your clothing made for women then?

Most of my clients are women, however I do custom design which is called Couture, which can be anyone. I prefer to work one on one with someone to make them feel good.

What is the process there with Couture?

I generally get clients that come to me with ideas of their own and I explain whether the idea can be executed or not. Then we go from there. We choose the fabrics, and design elements; incorporate, and execute the design in a time frame.

That really sounds like the ideal way to work. I always wanted my own clothing designer ... I'm not sure if I still have a sense of style - unless comfortable is a style. I've noticed many combinations of fabrics and furs among, other textiles in your outfits. I really like it. Is that your own influence coming into play?

Yes, that is my style, which is an incorporation of different cultures and looks from different times in my life and different places I've lived, it's a collection of looks combined.
Everyone has a style they just have to know what to enhance in their wardrobe. Its about playing off of a theme.

Is there an music artist, genre or mix that gets you hyped when designing?                               

I love listening to love songs it's something about them pouring their heart out while I'm pouring mine out.

Now I assume most of your clients come from word of mouth and shows that you are in ... do you have an Etsy or any portfolio online?

I had an Etsy, but I couldn't keep it stocked. I sold out pretty quick. I'm about to launch an online site here in a month or so. Most of my clients are from different places and I have a lot of people who come back because they love who I am and what I am about. They believe in me so they know I love what I do and want to support that. Its beautiful, I'm truly blessed.

Yes, keeping up with demand is always a challenge. It's also a good challenge to have. I did look at the portfolio you sent me and noticed that you've done quite a bit of silk screen, including totes and hoodies as well as clutches hats and shoes. I can't even imagine what it entails to make a custom shoe. Are you still doing those types of accessories?

Yes I do accessories all the time. I just got a boot machine

Nice ... I've always wanted a pair of classic Air Nobles for my birthday. The cassette tape skulls tote is dope. I want to buy that design on a hoodie if possible. Now, am I tripping or did you just get married? 

I did just get married!! Thank you!! You could get a hoodie if you would like.

I do want one and congratulations, Mr. Craig is a great guy.  Is there anything else you want to add?

I just wanted to add how fun this was and how awesome you are!! Thank you for doing this!

You are very welcome ... oh one last question - Elly Blaise? Is it a double entendre?

It is my alter ego. It means little fire

Of course it does ... Thanks again Amanda!

Here are a few more designs from her portfolio. You can follow Amanda at https://www.facebook.com/ellyblaise30/

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