Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Interview with Carol Hannah

So many of us have a fascination with Bravo’s show Project Runway. The cast of characters, the drama surrounding the last minute deadlines, Tim Gunn declaring, “make it work”, and of course the endless creativity that brings about some pretty fabulous clothes. With that said we are thrilled to start off our blogging adventures with one of our favorite designers and Project Runway alum, Carol Hannah Whitfield!

Carol Hannah’s young resume already includes being a fan favorite and finalist on Project Runway Season 6, and most recently launching her awe inspiring bridal line in the spring of 2010. In addition to being super fans of Carol Hannah, we are honored to exclusively carry her gorgeous bridesmaid line of frocks. Want to know more about Carol Hannah? Well, we have you covered! CH answered a few questions for us… so enjoy!

BB: What do you think has been the most important factor in the success of your business?
CH: Wow, that's a hard one to answer, mainly because I think it has been a combination of a lot of different factors. Obviously, the huge amount of press and publicity from Project Runway was a fantastic leg up when I started the line. It took a LOT of planning and preparation, long hours, and getting my hands dirty (oh fashion- soooo glamorous!), and it most certainly helps that I have a good bit of experience in bridal and am surrounded by supportive family and knowledgeable employees that I can learn from as well. Partnering with Bella Bridesmaid has really been the icing on the cake! It's always been a personal mantra of mine that if you are going to do something, do it right. Bella is the epitome of that when it comes to the bridesmaids dress process, and I'm so glad to be a part of that!

BB: When designing for women, specifically bridesmaids, what are your inspirations?
CH: I find myself always thinking of my friends when I design new bridesmaids styles. I'm 26, so am in that stage of life where all of my friends are getting married. I try to think about how different all my girlfriends are and what I would put them in, which helps me make sure I'm covering a broad range of body types. I also really strive to do something new and different from what's already on the market. I think the bridesmaids' dresses are a great chance to lend more feeling and vision to your wedding.

BB: Was there a specific event or person in your life that led you to begin designing bridesmaid dresses?
CH: Actually, this is a pretty funny story (well, now, anyway). My first adventure into the world of bridesmaids was actually with my sister. She unfortunately had a bridesmaids dress for her friend's wedding stolen out of the box in her apartment lobby right before the wedding, and so we had to whip something up in a pinch! When her friends started getting married, they started coming to me for their maids, and then things exploded a bit. I spent my college years partly studying and partly as a one person bridesmaids dress factory out of my bedroom!

BB: If you could give any famous woman (current or historical) a makeover, who would it be and how would you style them?
CH: Not that she needs a makeover by any means, but I would LOVE to dress Zooey Deschanel. She's such a happy, whimsical little fairy, with a great personality to boot. I would put her in all of my cocktail dresses, put her on a bicycle, and send her on her way.

BB: What high school trend are you embarrassed to admit you followed?
CH: Hello denim overalls! (Hello South Carolina!)

BB: If you weren't a designer, what career path would you have chosen?
CH:I think I would have pursued architecture or art. It definitely would have to be something creative!

BB: How was your experience on Project Runway? What did you imagine yourself doing after your season on Project Runway?
CH: Project Runway was an amazing experience for me. I have never had so much fun and simultaneously been so stressed out in my life! The encouragement from the fans and the opportunities I've had from the show still drive me each day to push myself more both as a designer and as a person. To be honest, this is exactly what I wanted to do after the show! I am very blessed and very grateful.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Carol Hannah!
We loved getting to know you a bit better.

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