This week, Marie Claire UK released an interview with Avery Dennison Emerging Fashion Brand Award nominee Angelys Balek. Educated in Bangkok and London College of Design, Angie is a designer to follow – already with her first flagship store – and a great example of a fairy tale rise (her first collection was aptly title “Kissing the Frog Prince”). She has a wonderful combination of texture, diverse silhouettes, and nods to the storybook references in her collections. Below are some of our favorite snippets from the interview.
How did you get to the point you are today?
‘I work 24/7. I never stop thinking about my designs and my company. I am the first to get into work and the last to leave. I treat each collection as though it is my first collection and I give it my all.’
What advice would you give someone trying to break into your industry?
‘You need to know someone with deep pockets! Starting a fashion label is not easy and it certainly isn’t cheap. You need a lot of cash upfront to buy the fabrics and put the line into production, so having investors on board at the start are key. Also be realistic and be ready to change your life. You need to have incredible determination to succeed and this is going to require a lot of sacrifice in your personal life – but if you love what you do, it’s easy to give up the work/life balance.’
Tell us your five-year goal.
‘In five years, I would love to be accepting a CFDA Fashion Award at the Lincoln Center – that is my dream! I would also like to have expanded Angelys Balek, so it includes footwear, jewelry and designs for the home. I want to create a full lifestyle brand.’
What skills do you look for in new employees?
‘First and foremost, I look for loyalty in my employees. There is a lot of copying of designs in the industry and I look for employees who want to protect the designs and the brand. I also look for those who are hard-working and have the same work ethic as me, so we can burn the midnight oil together. And thirdly, I look for creativity – the more imagination and eccentric thinking the better – I like to work with a team who see things differently from everyone else.’
We think Angie is spot on. Success is about thinking big, setting goal-setting goals, and having the grit and determination to reach those goals. At Nineteenth Amendment, we hope to help designers with the financial hurdles and non-design time commitments in starting a line so that designers can do what they do best (see examples of Angie’s best below).