Actress/designer BreeLayne's bio reads like a "who's who" of fashion industry contacts and a "what's what" of fashion industry accolades. With study at some of the country's best programs, and internships at some of the hippest labels, the young designer seems to have the complete package; talent and experience.
And if that weren't enough, the young designer has gotten amazing press to boot! With everyone from Women's Wear Daily to Nylon touting her as the "next big thing" in fashion. Which, it must be noted, isn't easy in the age of New York Fashion Week overload, with its 10,000* collections being presented in 10 days. The sheer volume of it leaves most young designers completely lost in the shuffle getting no more than a few twitter mentions and maybe an instagram or two of bloggers selfie-ing in front of their venues.
(*okay more like 200 collections but it feels like 10,000 when you are fighting your way through it!)
Taking this all into consideration we wanted to know what it felt like to be an emerging designer that WAS breaking through the noise, and was doing something different. So we caught up with BreeLayne via e-mail in hopes of getting to know her, and her work, a little better.
SW: Since launching your own label in 2014, you’ve already gotten some amazing press, with Women’s Wear Daily covering you among their ‘one to watch emerging talents’ and Nylon calling your collection “cult worthy. ” What did it feel like to get such great press out of the gate? Did you feel a lot of pressure designing follow up seasons after making such a big initial splash?
BL: It’s been pretty surreal. I’ve been incredibly blessed by such amazing feedback. It all happened so fast, so I think i’ve just now processed the extent of it. Ever since I could walk, this has been what I’ve done so there are few words to appropriately express my emotions other than extreme gratitude! There is definitely a lot of pressure each season to surpass the last, especially considering I do all the creative direction and designing. But, when I see people wearing and loving my designs, all of that stress dissipates and I am reminded why I do this.
SW: Your pieces are gorgeous, and glamorous, but also your brand is taking environmental issues seriously. Can you give our readers a little more background on how you were drawn to the sustainable fashion business, and how you use recycled items in your design? What elements of your designs are recycled, and how do you go about finding these elements?
BL: Thank you! Absolutely — I knew when I started my company, it had to be environmentally conscious. I am a huge nature advocate, so there really was no question of whether or not I would start a company without incorporating sustainable practices. I use all dead-stock designer fabric, so that means none of our fabrics are created from scratch as they are all pre-existing in order to eliminate a significant amount of pollution and wastage. We keep all our scraps and use them for our prototypes, little gifts with purchase, and pretty much whatever else we can recycle them for. Nature is where I find a lot of my inspiration and where I am the most at peace, so it was a no-brainer for me to find a way to give back to something that’s an integral part of my life. I search everywhere for our fabrics, to ensure comfort and quality. Luxury often is not wearable and is uncomfortable, it’s a bit of a taboo. I wanted to make sure that my line encompassed what luxury should be, in my opinion: wearable and responsible. We plant a tree for every purchase made as another way to give back, as well.
SW: Let’s talk inspiration behind the current collection. Going over the look book, I am seeing a lot of classic Hollywood glamor, but with a serious rock and roll vibe as well. From where do you draw your design inspiration? Are there specific people/places/things that served as muses for this collection? Do you think being based in Los Angeles, where both music and entertainment industries are based, impacts your design?
BL: Each season takes on its own story, so the inspiration varies accordingly. I also am an actress, so I watch a lot of movies, and am immersed in many areas of the arts. It all intertwines for me. For Spring 2016, I drew on a lot of my personal style muses, like Jane Birkin, Ali MacGraw, and Bianca Jagger. Growing up in Los Angeles has definitely shaped my design aesthetic. It has also played a part in why I choose to live sustainably and to have my company reflect that.
SW: Now for some fun stuff, because our readers want to know more about you! What is your favorite thing (non-work) to do when you are feeling stressed out, or uninspired. What do you do to recharge your artistic side?
BL: I love this! Well, besides my acting which really recharges me, I take singing lessons which I absolutely love doing. I am recently married, so I hang out with my husband and my two wheaten terriers and bunny who are essentially my children and hilariously entertaining, and we pretty much just Netflix and chill (although I think there’s another meaning to that that I’m not aware of, haha!), and I love taking baths and lighting candles to zen out.
SW: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
BL: I’m pretty much a walking potato. I love absolutely everything potato, so either that or if I didn’t have the food allergies that I do, any type of bread.
SW: If you had to make a holiday party play list what would be on it? Or would you leave it up to Pandora?
BL: Seriously, loving these questions. Because I just figured out how to use Spotify, (don’t laugh - I know I’m late to the game) - I’m more likely to leave it up to something pre-made.
SW: New Years Resolutions, yay or nay? If yay, what are yours?
BL: I’m a believer in resolutions, although, I feel as though they shouldn’t only be made in the New Year, so I could go both ways here. Currently, I’m trying to incorporate more meditation and exercise into my life, as my schedule is literally so busy that sometimes I’m not able to do focus as much on those areas as I’d like to.
SW: Finally, back to fashion, if you were to recommend one complete look from your collection that every girl needs in her closet, what would it be?
BL: It’s hard to just pick one! I love the two piece ensemble in the bronzed metallic burnout silk (Delilah and Maren). Or I’d pick our Ingrid reversible leather coat with one of our Raina slip dresses underneath and pair it with our first ever accessory called the Ivy scarf.
All images courtesy of Breelayne. For more on the designer, including where to buy her pieces check out the official brand website.