Meet Brooklyn bred, Texas living, LA bound, Haitian-American designer Venny Etienne. Etienne is the designer extraordinaire behind LeVenity whose SS16 line will be featured this Friday at LA Fashion week.
Haitian Times Style: How long have you been designing clothes?
Venny Etienne: I have been designing for about 5 years now.
HTS: What does the name LeVenity mean?
VE: The name LeVenity is the representation of myself but encoded. Basically it has all the letters of my name except for the L which I added for a touch of flare.
HTS: Where does the inspiration behind your designs come from?
VE: Life, music and architecture. I love to mix textures together that you wouldn’t normally pair. The brand merges authentic Italian sophistication and technique with an American pragmatism and ease.
HTS: In 2 words, how would you describe your style of clothing?
VE: Edgy and Sophisticated
HTS: Who do you design for? Where would someone wear your clothing to? What’s the profile of your ideal customer?
VE: I design for the affluent woman who loves fashion. She’s a downtown girl, that has a great head on her shoulders. She loves to take a night out with her girlfriends but also loves date night with her boyfriend. She loves contemporary art and travels to places to learn more about culture rather than relaxing at a beach.
HTS: What can we expect for this new SS16 season?
VE: Growing up in New York certainly has its perks, needless to say. As a young boy, growing up in Brooklyn exposed me to a wide variety of street style and having a love for sneakers at a young age. It became a sort of fascination for me. As a child I would collect sneakers and seeing the women pass back and forth on the street and on the subway made me start to think of fashion in a different way. Now I’m ready to bring my love for sportswear and sneaker to the forefront on this SS16 collection.
HTS: What does it mean to be a Haitian-American designer, showing at Style Fashion Week?
VE: It means a lot to me. In our culture, the arts are not really praised or appreciated, we were taught to be pastors, doctors and lawyers, but when it comes to becoming dancers, musicians, painters, or designers we were always told to do it as a hobby. So now, as I go through my design career and see the support of my parents and my Haitian community, it means everything to me to show at a caliber such as Style Fashion Week LA. I had to do a lot of proving to my parents to show them that I can do this and I did. For this, they are appreciative.
HTS: How did this opportunity come about?
VE: It was through winning the RAW Artist Designer of the Year (national title) and part of the win was to showcase at Style Fashion Week. I am truly honored and blessed.
HTS: What advice do you have for other aspiring Haitian designers?
VE: Don’t allow your background or your heritage to stop you from your gift. If you are in the arts, don’t be ashamed. Be the best you can be and work your butt off.
HTS: When and where is your show? How can we come support?
VE: My line LeVenity will debut its 2016 collection on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 at 8pm. Venue: Style Fashion Week Tent at the Reef – 1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles 90007
If you’re in the LA area, RSVP your tickets today before seats runs out. The humble and obviously talented designer, Etienne, has come so far. Let’s join in this journey with a future legend of design.