The RAW Artists Awards highlight talent from across the nation, and even has a part of their site dedicated to emerging creators in multiple media here in Salt Lake City. Often you'll see people go from starting their careers to being top-tier talent within a couple years, all by getting their start there. A name that's been popping up on fashion radar lately thanks to RAW is Alex Posselli, who will be showcasing her latest designs at the RAW show "Verse" at The Rockwell in The Complex on June 15. Today we chat with Posselli about her career and creations before heading into next month's event. (All pictures provided courtesy of Posselli.
Alex Posselli on Twitter
First thing, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm from Salt Lake City, and I attend the University of Utah majoring in Entrepreneurship. I love traveling to new places and learning about different cultures. I'm always looking for new adventures and places to explore. I also have grown up with a passion for dancing, and I try to take advantage of every opportunity to continue with it. Over the past few years, I've discovered my love for designing clothes, and I want to expand my line.
What first sparked your interest in fashion and made you want to design?
When I was 14 years old, I started modeling for an agency. I got exposure to various designers, photographers and the life of being on the runway. I was always so intrigued by the intricate detailing that went into the clothes I wore, and I wanted to be able to create something of my own. I started by interning for Rebecca Fenton and got experience in different sewing techniques, alterations, photoshoots
and fashion shows. I then decided it was time for the world to see some of my own creations.
What were some of your early creations like as you honed your skills?
It was all about experimenting. When you're not using a pattern to base your pieces off of, it's important to try different things and learn from them. I remember my first pieces were done before I had a serger to finish the edges, so I had to find ways to make them look finished without it. I look back at my first pieces, and I'm still proud of them because of the scrappiness I had to use with my lack of resources and equipment. Now I've figured out processes and techniques that have improved the time it takes to finish a design and the look of the final product.
What made you decide to attend the University of Utah and seek out a major in Entrepreneurship?
I was drawn to the Business Scholar program as a freshman, but I wasn't sure what focus I wanted to dive into with business. The entrepreneurship program at the U is incredible. We are put in situations with real clients where we need to innovate a new idea, create a business plan for it, calculate all the financial models and be able to pitch it to investors. This gives me the experience and knowledge needed to create my own business for my clothing line.
How did the decision come about to pursue a career in fashion design?
I always have loved fashion, but I never realized the work that went into creating a design. Watching the audience as my designs go down a runway is indescribable. It's like a rush of adrenaline even though I'm not the one walking. My favorite part is seeing the confidence in the women who wear my designs. I want them to feel beautiful, successful and unstoppable. I want to change the world with the clothes we wear.
What kind of designs do you like to create, and what drew you to making them?
I tend to make avant-garde pieces, or ones you wouldn't normally wear every day. This style allows you to step out of the box of what's socially accepted and create a piece of art that has a part of you in it. There are no rules with avant-garde—it's all about perspective.
What's the process like for you in creating a new piece?
Before I start sewing, I draw out potential designs to see different options. Then I pick the fabric I want to use and figure out how to replicate the shapes I have on paper. I then begin draping the fabric on dress forms or my models to determine the correct fit before sewing it all together.
Do you mess around with your creations a lot or stick to a plan once you think of it?
It honestly depends. Sometimes my designs look just like my drawings and others aren't even recognizable by the drawing.
Being relatively new to the fashion scene, how has it been for you getting your work out and getting noticed?
It's been so helpful interning for an amazing designer such as Rebecca. She's been able to give me the experience and connections to make my journey more successful. It's all about having the courage to put yourself out there even if you are new to the industry.
How was it for you participating in Utah Fashion Week this year?
It was absolutely incredible. This was my very first show, and everyone I worked with was so talented. I received a lot of exposure and connections throughout the whole process. The best part was seeing my little sister model my final piece down the runway.
Are you looking to having any of your designs in local shops, or is this mainly for one-time creations?
I'm aiming for something bigger than local shops. I want my designs featured in fashion weeks across the world. I want to create my own line that can be sold in high-end department stores, but I'll focus on custom-made work.
What can we expect from you over the rest of 2017?
I am featuring a line in the RAW Show in June, and I will continue making custom dresses for individuals. This year I will start preparing a line that can be shown outside of Utah.