I’m Alexis Phifer and this is how I made it.
My first introduction to fashion was when I was about 10 years old. My grandmother would take my two cousins and I to fashion shows and Neiman Marcus and Saks. I remember thinking, “Wow! How is it that these girls look amazing?”
So after the show was over, she would take us backstage and we would get to meet the designers and I think it was love at first sight because I just knew that that was something that I wanted to do. I loved just that whole creative part of it.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and I think being from LA, the fashion here is more laid back. That kind of is what my style is. It’s very laid back. It was also influenced by my dad. He had a very simple, you know, just classic style. He was probably my first fashion muse without me even realizing it.
My official first proper garment, I’d have to say, was my prom dress. To make sure that no one else had the same thing, it was a combination of a dress, pants, and shorts. It sounds quite complicated but it was really quite elegant.
I would recommend anyone to go to school for fashion if that’s what their passion is. I just learned so much there that I thought I didn’t need to know. I learned how to sketch properly, how to make patterns, put together collections. It was very helpful. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to get into the business.
I realized I wanted my own line when I had a very close friend, Pega Anne Varien and she was a designer. After I would leave school, I would go over to her. She had a showroom downtown and I just saw that it was possible for an independent person to start a line. So, she was very inspiring to me and I just took her playbook and knew how to apply it to me having my own line.
Well, I wanted the line to be named after a girl so I researched different girl names and I came across Gita and for some reason, it just stuck with me. It was also associated with a lot of positive things, like the guru Gita. It was like my baby. It was something I would be watching over. It just fit with me.
The resources in place you need to start a line, I would suggest, is definitely having a business plan. You want to map everything out for yourself. It is a business so you want to follow a certain protocol. I would also recommend, you know, you need your proper production people in place and great fabric sources. So, that’s a great place to start.
My definition of style – I don’t think that it’s necessarily wearing designer brands. It’s how comfortable you are in the things that you choose to wear and how you rock them. That to me is what style is.
I love how stores like H&M are doing designer collaborations. So, I guess, overall I just feel like there’s more opportunity to get your name out there, branch off and do different things as a designer or stylist.
I style freelance and I also work with a company called The Vanity Group.
I realized I could branch out further as a stylist when I felt comfortable in the sense that I knew how to do it. I started reaching out to people I know who could help me.
I’ve been very fortunate enough, you know, where they felt confident in me. I just hope to grow as a designer and a stylist and I would love to become a fashion editor of a magazine one day and just work with good, creative people. We have the same vision and want the same outcome. So, we’ll see.
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