Rory Beca is a fashion designer. But she's not just any fashion designer. She is an LA phenomenon. Just getting married last year, collaborating with Forever 21 TWICE and getting ready to launch her exquisite Spring 2012 Collection, I think it's safe to say Rory is in a great place. She loves what she does and doesn't consider it work. She took the time to talk about everything from her secret to success to Spring trends, along with a sneak peek of her upcoming collection. It was a breath of fresh air talking to her. Rory is a lovely and talented designer.
Check out the interview below.
How did you decide that you eventually wanted to become a fashion designer?
There was no deciding point. I did an internship with Debra McQuire who had her line. I majored in English and went to Boston. I moved to LA and worked out of my mom's kitchen. Her kitchen was my office where I did shipping and design. It was my office.
Describe your philosophy about fashion.
My philosophy is to feel beautiful about yourself. It's really simple. I want to give women the opportunity to feel confident.
Who is your inspiration?
I'm not sure I have one person. I'm inspired by the 20's, 30's and 40's. I also love old photos of my grandmother in the 80's.
Your designs are vintage-inspired. What do you love about vintage clothing?
The craftsmanship is impeccable. There are incredible details on vintage pieces. I love old vintage dresses. Color and prints come back so it inspires me to build a collection.
How do you put your chosen colors and prints together?
I usually buy prints from an artist. The images and colors create a color story. I have a cork board where I hang all my inspirations. I look through it every day and if anything starts feeling boring to me, then I take it down.
When you create something, what goes through your mind? Any pre-design rituals?
I push to look at previous seasons. I stick with pieces that do well and incorporate new, fresh designs.
Does the prep of a seasonal collection take time?
The design and sketching take so long. But the most work happens in the very last 2 weeks.
Where do you find inspiration in LA?
I'm always on the beach and find a lot of inspiration there. I'm married and we're very active. We spend a lot of time hiking and riding bikes. I find inspiration everywhere, even when going to a bar or the farmer's market on the weekends.
Let's talk Spring 2012. What can we expect? And what key pieces should a woman have in her spring wardrobe?
Maxis are still on trend. I was just in Jamaica and got a lot of my inspiration there. When looking through my lookbook, you will see the prints are subtle but the colors are bold and beautiful. There are a lot of easy tops and blouses with sexy, shear fabric.
Why did you choose to team up with Forever 21?
It's a whole different animal. They have a price point that is affordable. People buying Forever 21 are fashion-forward women. And they have an extremely broad audience. People who wear Prada wear Forever 21. So I thought it would be an incredible way to get my name out there.
What is your all-time favorite piece you've designed?
I would have to say the knit lace motorcycle jacket from my holiday collection.
What's your secret to success? Any advice to aspiring designers?
It's a tough industry and very competitive. So many people putting you down. But once you find yourself, everything seems to come together. I started going to trade shows and people started reaching out. There's a good balance of creating your own design and listening to others.
Rory & her showroom
Take a sneak peek into Lori's Spring 2012 Collection...
Rory mentioned she was married so I had to ask about her wedding and how she met her husband! "I actually met my husband through my sister. We knew each other through the years and started dating. After 3 years, we got engaged and we just had the wedding last year. I wanted a simple wedding so I was looking for a simple dress. I was looking everywhere - Oscar de la Renta, J. Crew, Barney's and didn't fall in love with any of them. I finally came across a beautiful (yet simple), small sequin dress at Vera Wang. It was the one. I paired it with a pair of bright, bold red shoes!"