Christian Siriano: 'Collaborations help fund couture'
Christian Siriano’s collaborative ventures have helped fund his couture business.
The American designer first gained attention after winning the fourth season of reality TV show Project Runway, becoming the series’ youngest winner. He then went on to launch his eponymous brand in 2008, and has since entered into collaborative partnerships with Payless Shoes, clothing retailer Lane Bryant and bridal store Kleinfeld. With the diversification proving a success, Siriano has used the profits made to invest in the custom design side of his business.
“I will say that it's nice to do projects like Lane Bryant and Payless to help fund things," he told Elle.com. “Even if editors didn't like something or didn't support it in the beginning, clearly it didn't affect me as much as it maybe would a younger designer.”
Siriano, 30, has become a red carpet favourite for celebrities, with his client list including the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Taylor Swift and Emily Blunt, as well as actress Leslie Jones, whom he created a custom gown for after she claimed other designers refused to dress her for the recent Ghostbusters premiere.
And when U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama wore a royal blue silk crepe dress by Siriano at the Democratic National Convention last month (Jul16), fashion fans flocked online to snap up the $995 (£760) item. Accordingly, the popularity of his glamorous gowns, which sell for up to $7,500 (£5,740) at high-end retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Neiman Marcus, has put Siriano in a position of power as so many major retailers are desperate to stock his bestsellers.
"It's interesting, because different retailers want the dress now," he said. "It's kind of great, because normally they have all the power. It's fun to be like, 'Oh, no. We're only selling it small and direct.'"