Lauren Bagliore (Fashion Merchandising Management ’05), one of the emerging designer winners presenting a collection at the Polyvore Live fashion show, told us about her FIT education and how she now applies her business sense to create clothes women love. Read more about how this opportunity to showcase her clothes will help her expand the Lauren Bagliore brand.
How did you hear about the emerging designer competition?
As an alumna of F.I.T., I received an email about this incredible opportunity with Polyvore. I like to remain in touch with my alma mater–it is rather nostalgic to me. I had a great experience at F.I.T. and want to stay “in-the-know” with such a great college that has continued to offer a multitude of amazing and diverse opportunities in each area of specialty.
Interestingly, you were a Fashion Merchandising Management graduate, which equipped you with invaluable business skills. Do you find yourself applying that education in your branding efforts?
It’s very interesting. I feel like I am actually living out my senior thesis from F.I.T. I did a project for an incredibly encouraging Professor, Robert Vassalotti, who was one of the Deans at the time. I had to get this special project approved before proceeding, of course. Upon its approval, the thesis was called, “How to Build a Brand with Equity in Today’s Economy.” I realized recently, that I am LIVING my thesis, doing my dream!
Sounds like an interesting thesis topic. Was this competition, then, one way to “build the brand”?
Yes, entering the contest is one way I’ve applied my thesis in the real world. I am truly thankful and honored for the exposure my brand will get through Polyvore’s interactive website and on the live fashion runway. Also, I submitted my work because, as a native New Yorker, I have always desired to show my collection in my home city. That means so much to me. I honestly believe the world needs to see my clothes and begin to understand our concept, our aesthetic approach to fashion and what we do at Lauren Bagliore. So I read through all of the requirements for the competition and thought, “Why not? It’s worth a shot!” not realizing that I would be selected as one of four designers to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. What a huge blessing.
What is your collection called and what inspired it?
My inspiration for this collection titled, “Le Strade della Decsotruzione,” came from a recent trip I did around the world (literally) in 30 days. I considered the streets of the Oltrarno in Firenze, the posh 3rd and 4th quarter Marais district in Paris, and the damp and dingy streets of Khao San Road in Bangkok and found similar inspiration a midst all of these culturally and geographically diverse places. All had a similar story of war, demolition, and destruction, but are now among some of the highest places of art and culture. I like the idea of how war and demolition could not completely rob the identity of these incredibly unique places, but could only help them to define who they are in a more unique and literal way. Despite the historical happenings and changes these places went through over the years, they still had that sense of preserved identity. It is similar to what I do with my clothes–they convert and go through changes according to the wearer and how she chooses to wear each piece, but they never change who she is. They only act as a tool to help her express her own unique identity in a way that suits what she is presently going through or experiencing. It is like what we go though in our lives–no matter how trying the times we are in, they can be used to grow us, to help us to become stronger, to allow us to become more beautiful even. I think you will get a sense of that Parisian effortless street-style sophistication as well as that Asian edge–it is really signature what I do.
Has Polyvore.com played a role in inspiring any of your work or personal sense of style?
I love Polyvore and think that the site is absolutely brilliant. I had not known much about it before–not to the extent of knowledge I currently have on the ability that Polyvore has to foster and encourage creativity, using a collective of fashion and life-style products. It is unique, innovative, and very interactive–not to mention truly fun to use!
What are your thoughts on the 3,000+ Polyvore users’ sets that have been created using your products?
I am indeed inspired by the sets and works our fans have created. Some Lauren Bagliore fans on Polyvore have such creative minds and have developed incredibly beautiful works using Lauren Bagliore collection pieces. I would even consider hiring some of these people because they have shown that they really understand our brand and our conceptual and forward aesthetic approach to fashion. Who knows? Maybe the next fashion editors are making their way on Polyvore as we speak! I would hardly be surprised as I have seen such talent there.
What was it about theacademic’s set that made it your favorite?
Oh…this was so hard for me as there were so many incredible sets that were so unique, edgy, and very much our brand. But theacademic created a set that has a unique simplicity and is very well-thought out. I like how she showed both our “Tatiana Twisted Tunic Top” in the Graffiti Tortoise Printed Silk on the runway and also offered it as a product image as well. She tastefully included the necessary Polyvore info and paired our looks with a signature CoverGirl lip shade as well. Aesthetically, this set is very attractive.
How do you feel about presenting your collection at the Polyvore Live show during New York Fashion Week?
I am so excited and completely looking forward to this show. There is so much talent out there–a lot of it in New York indeed–so I think this a great opportunity for buyers, press, and editors to see some fresh talent and have the opportunity to see our work. Surely–it will be a stellar event that is not to be missed!
Would you like to add anything else about this about this experience?
It has been such a positive experience to be a part of ‘Polyvore Live’ with Polyvore and CoverGirl. I am so thankful to have been selected as one of 4 designers and cannot wait for you to see some of our looks on the runway.
After graduating in 2005, Lauren gained fashion industry insight by working for designers like Vivienne Westwood, Zac Posen and TOD’S. Her own collections, which have shown at Canada’s LG Fashion Week, are noted for their draping and unique combination of edgy yet wearable sensibilities.
Read more about the Polyvore Live fashion show here.