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Designer on the Rise!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I was just cruising around Etsy for some inspiration, when I stumbled upon the amazing Carol Hannah, a designer to be on the look out for! Based out of Brooklyn this Southern Belle brings fun, beauty, and sass to dresses for any occasion! I can't wait to see what's up next for her!

I had a fun interview with Carol Hannah herself, learning all about her, her inspiration, and her wonderful line. Check it out!

BTW: Carol Hannah will be on this season of Project Runway (season 6) which is now airing! Be sure to check her out and show your support!

* Your profile says you're based in Brooklyn, did you grow up in the city or move there to pursue a career?
CH: I moved to NY to pursue fashion, but am a southern girl through and through. I grew up in a small city in South Carolina called Anderson, and I lived in Charleston, SC for 5 years (College of Charleston, etc).

* What inspired you to become a designer?
CH: It was kind of a natural path. I learned to sew from my mom starting at age 7, and did my first wedding dress in high school, custom wedding gowns all through college. In March of 08 I was featured in Charleston Fashion Week as an emerging local designer. Then off to Project Runway and now here!

* When did you create an Etsy account for Carol Hannah and how long did it take to start getting off the ground and making regular sales? www.carolhannah.etsy.com
CH: I opened the Etsy store at the end of March, but I've been doing this for about 6 years. I started making regular sales on Etsy in the first week, and it's been growing pretty consistently each month. Lucky Mag picked one of my Etsy dresses as a summer must have in June, which was exciting!

* What are you currently drawing inspiration from for your current projects for the quickly approaching fall?
CH: Well, I'm actually currently working on my Spring '10 collection as Fashion Week is coming up in a couple of weeks and am getting ready to launch my new bridal line. The collection for spring is based a lot on Charleston and the lifestyle and colors there...you can read a recent post about it on my blog at www.carol-hannah.com/blog.

* What is your future vision for Carol Hannah?
CH: Well, I just started selling through retailers, so that is very exciting! And like I said, the wedding collection is nearing completion soon. I basically have 3 different lines...the bridal, the regular collection (evening/cocktail), and the jersey collection. The jersey one is new for me and new forEtsy and is basically a way for me to offer some things that are a little more casual and affordable. Just as comfortable as your favorite t-shirt, but much cuter!

My end goal is to create a successful company so that I can partner up with various groups to try to offset some of the negative effects the fashion industry has on self-esteem and self-image in younger girls. I got into fashion because making clothes made me feel better about myself when I was a young, awkward kid, and I love the trans formative power inherent in fashion for that reason. But the kind of catty, judgemental side of fashion has always bothered me.

* Any fun/important anecdotes that I just should mention about you, your line etc?
CH: Hmmm...well it is pretty funny that everything I make always seems to circle back around to weddings. A lot of the women that buy my dresses on Etsy are buying them to wear to their rehearsal dinners, to wear as a guest to a wedding, or as bridesmaids dresses. I think weddings and I are meant to be!
*All photos compliments of Carol Hannah*

Are you an aspiring designer in the Southeast region of the United States? Charleston Fashion Week is looking for the next big emerging local designer. The winner gets a fully produced fashion show! Go to www.charlestonfashionweek.com for details.

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