Christian Siriano: 'I don't care if fashion editors don't approve'
Christian Siriano would rather his customers approve of his creations than fashion editors.
The designer has soared to success since winning Season 4 of Project Runway in 2007 and now creates gorgeous customised gowns for select clients. He's previously designed wedding dresses for Norstrom, but now his attention has turned to Kleinfeld Bridal for a 25-piece collection set to launch later this month (Apr16).
“You have to find what your customer, your world likes, wants to wear and wants to buy each season," he told WWD. "We try to do that even if it’s not what every single editor wants or what every person in fashion wants to support. Trust me. I don’t get that kind of support from everyone.
“But we had a huge profit this year and I’m so proud of that. I don’t want to be a struggling young designer forever. I want to build a business. And that’s why I do these projects because they all help build the bottom line.”
His communication skills evolved after working at hairdressers Bubbles Salon as a youngster, where he shampooed customers' hair. It wasn't just about cleaning their tresses though, as he found people opened up more while having a rinse.
“When you work in a salon people tell you their deepest, darkest secrets," Christian recalled. "It’s such an emotional thing. To be honest, working there prepared me for a lot of different things. It was just a different world. Everybody felt accepted. You could be yourself, you could be creative, no judgement – and that’s a great thing. There aren’t a lot of places like that. So yeah, that will always help long-term for sure.”
After this he had stints interning for big names like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, before he wowed on reality TV competition Project Runway. Alongside his busy work life Christian is planning a wedding, as he prepares to tie the knot with partner Brad Walsh this summer (16).
“I must say it’s been pretty wedding-heavy for the past couple of months. But bridal is actually a nice break," he shared. "Fashion is a tough business. But the wedding industry, even though brides are so intense and crazy, is just nicer."