By Kathleen Leblanc
Daniela Tabois, a name recognized in the YouTube world as a DIY guru, launched her bridal jumpsuit collection October 2015. Bridal and jumpsuit are rarely ever used in the same sentence but with these exquisite designs, some of you brides-to-be might reconsider the traditional princess gown, and opt for a Tabois piece.
Meet the designer.
Haitian Times Style: Tell us about yourself. What do you do?
Daniel Tabois: My name is Daniela Tabois and I am a bridal jumpsuit designer.
HTS: Bridal jumpsuits are such a unique niche, how did you decide that’s what you wanted to do?
DT: When I was in high school, for my senior prom I chose a cinderella dress. It was a big white dress with pretty pink appliqués on it. It was strapless and had lots of tulle, and I thought it was awesome because I’d be noticed at prom. When I was in the limo, I basically took up half of the seating. The dress was not what I expected because one, it was heavy, two, it got in the way and three, people kept stepping on it. I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted to. At that moment I decided I would never wear something like this for my own wedding. I said to myself that I want something that I can freely move in.
As I started designing, I made sportswear; mainly skirts, tops and jackets, then a little bit of evening wear. I started including at least one pair of pants into my collections and people would love the way they fit. I realized that pants were more practical and most women wear them during the day to work. That led to me trying to make my first jumpsuit. I wanted to make something easy that I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a top to match my bottoms. At that time, jumpsuits weren’t really popular in the industry but still I began receiving requests to make them for bridesmaids and then for brides.
HTS: You have a DIY channel of about 35,000 subscribers. What was your inspiration behind being a DIY blogger?
DT: I like sharing my sewing tips and the journey of building my brand. When I’m designing, I tend to get frustrated so I like to step outside and get away, see something different and try something new that gives me fresh inspiration. My DIY channel gives me that.
HTS: As you’re moving into focusing more on being a bridal designer, how do you see your channel changing?
DT: I will still continue to inspire the DIY community and push them to dream bigger than just being a home sewer, but I will also be starting a new channel based off of my bridal designs. It will feature the “Daniela Tabois” client who wants to be distinguished from the norm. This client will see herself on this channel and see how the wedding jumpsuit goes from wedding to evening wear thereafter.
HTS: Who is your target market? Who do you see wearing Daniela Tabois?
DT: Daniela Tabois is a luxury brand for nontraditional, cool brides. The women who wear my pieces are fabulous and fearless. They’re more relaxed. She’s either eloping, getting remarried (smaller ceremony or destination wedding) or perhaps a lesbian couple. My jumpsuits can also be for a bride-to-be’s bridal shower or a bride’s reception look.
HTS: How would you describe your collection?
DT: Feminine, glamorous, relaxed, edgy and cool.
HTS: Where do you see Daniela Tabois, the person and the brand, in 5 years from now?
DT: I’m not sure, but definitely more evolved into sports wear, work pieces, home, have a shoe and bag line but as of right now, I’m focusing on weddings.
HTS: Were you always into fashion?
DT: I started getting into fashion in elementary school. My parents being Haitian put me in frilly dresses and we thrift shopped. I was tall and had big feet so they had to buy me oversized sneakers that I could grow into. We didn’t have money to get nice things so I started embellishing my clothes by drawing and painting on them.
In middle school, I started getting an allowance and would buy a pair of inexpensive jeans then sew my own top. I couldn’t buy them so I made them. I didn’t want to be the geek who had bland clothes because they really were so I spruced them up the best way I knew how.
HTS: What words of advice do you have for young aspiring Haitian or Caribbean designers?
DT: Haitian parents take so much pride in children who excel. At first my father didn’t like the idea but now he just wants to see me thrive. Some of my family told me “sewing is not a job, it’s just peasant’s work.” My father knew that this was what I really wanted to do, so he paid for my schooling. I worked hard to show my father that his investment was worth it.
My advice is that you have to respect your parents but this is a life for yourself. They’ve lived theirs and you know yourself more than they do. Make sure you’re 100 percent sure that it’s what you want to do and just do it. It’s going to hurt the feelings of a lot of people (particularly close family) who had other plans for your life and it’s going to be tough. However, you’ll be happier succeeding at what you wanted to do as opposed to doing something to make someone else happy.
HTS: What’s your mantra?
DT: Just go for it, let the chips fall where they may. I’m like Mrs. Pacman. If I hit a wall, I back up and go in a different direction. Just go for it, just do it.
HTS: What’s the most valuable piece of advice or word of encouragement you’ve ever received?
DT: For some reason, people tend to say “I’m not worried about you, you’re going to be fine.” I don’t know if that’s advice, but it makes me feel like they believe in me.
If you’d like to see more, visit Daniela Tabois’ website. She will be releasing a new design every week so stay tuned.
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