The Mansion on Delaware in Buffalo NY will host the Thomas Lee Designs runway show as part of the 3rd annual Mercedes Benz of Buffalo fashion week. Shana Feeley is a fashion designer on this rise and as the owner/designer of Thomas Lee Designs she’s is awfully busy, designing clothing, and accessories for the Thomas Lee Designs 2012 collection. Shana Feeley is a native of Olcott NY. She started sewing at just 7 years old. Shana Feeley is well known for drapery and her use of couture techniques. Thomas Lee Designs 2012 collection will make its debut at Mercedes Benz of Buffalo fashion week 2011 on Wed. Sept. 7 at the Mansion on Delaware 414 Delaware ave. in Buffalo NY.
Shana states, “Fashion is art, and art is an opinion”
I reached out and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to interview her and get the inside scoop on Thomas Lee Designs. Showtime is 6:30 for tickets info got to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/e/186498
TB: How did you get started in fashion?
Shana Feeley: When i was young (age 7) my grandmother taught me to sew useing barbie dolls, and as i grew I taught myself to design without useing patterns by creating sketches and useing yards of fabric. When I turned 17 i started selling my designs in a boutique in Olcott called Natures Child. Rory eventually incoraged me to pursue fashion as well as my family and friends. I am 100% self taught and now sell my designs in several storefronts including my own called The Olcott Boutique!
TB: Describe the Thomas Lee line?
Shana Feeley: I often describe Thomas Lee Designs as wearable art. My personal qoute that I follow with all my heart is ” ” Fashion is art, and art is an opinion ” in many ways this allows me to create designs that are simple or over the top and enjoy the process over all without second guessing myself! But the words i would use to describe Thomas Lee Designs would be Wimsicle,feminine and romanic. I often draw inspiration from old school fairy tales and stores ( my current collection was inspired by a mix of hte song black bird by beatles and the story of Romeo and Juliet. I took those two inspirations and created my unqiue and fun collection. I think you’ll find that Thomas Lee Designs is a wimsicle,romantic and feminie brand!
TB: WNY is slowly becoming a fashion hub for many upcoming designers where do you see your self and what impact would you want to make in the fashion world?
Shana Feeley: Being an up and coming designer i find myself often over whelmed at the thoughts fo the future. I know my wishes for where i will be and do all I can to make them come to life. I am happy that fashion is finally finding a foothold here in buffalo and WNY and being seen as a form of art in a way of self expression. I see my designs as an expression of my current self, often changing but still with the same underlinings. I can only wish to show others my art ( my designs ) and help improve or grow there views of the world of fashion. I would love to see Thomas Lee Designs sold in more than local boutiques and stores maybe even have my designs shown at NYC fashion week one day, but with this goal and all goals it takes time and determination, whcih I have plenty of both!! Nothing thrills me more than seeing my designs come to life on another human being!
TB: What do you want people to take away from your show at Buffalo Fashion week?
Shana Feeley: After people see my show, i would love nothing more for them to want to see more from me and my design lable Thomas Lee Designs!
TB: Is your focus mainly on branded merchandise or private label?
Shana Feeley: Well for now it’s a private lable. Sold at select stores and made and self manufactured by me. One day it would be nice to have a design team and manufacturing company to work with. Thomas Lee Designs avalbile to the masses… this is the dream for any designer I am sure!
TB: The show is at the Buffalo science museum which is awesome will that play a big part in your show?
Shana Feeley: ( I assume you meant to say the mansion on deleware or for this question to be for madahawk who is showing there) but in actuality I didn’t really know where i would be showing untill after I started creating my collection. The mansion fits the feel dn vibe of my designs very well so it’s a perfect fit! Lauren did a great job pairing designers with venues!
TB: I see your line a very vintage with lots of lace and feathers which I love Describe is a Thomas Lee girl?
Shana Feeley: A Thomas Lee Girl is someone who has a great love of self! Strong and sure of who they are but still very much a fan of woman friendly designs that highlight some of a womans best features! Her curves, her natural shape and her natural beauty!
TB: If you can design for any woman would it be and why?
Shana Feeley: I would have a hard time picking between Emma Watson and Anne Hathaway. Both woman are strong willed and powerful,smart and sure of themselfs! I think that both stars would be a dream client. They take risks but are very sure fo what looks good on them, I could see both woman pulling off Thomas Lee Designs more high end designs with no troubles!
TB: What are some of the goals for your line?
Shana Feeley: I want to make 2 sections to Thomas Lee Designs… One section being a lower end line of my lable. afordable and more wearable. Sun dresses, jeans, casual wear, jackets/tees… everyday clothing that you see in most stores but with my flair added, liek my signiture ruffles,bows or hand beading to keep them interesting!
The second section would be a high end couture based part of my lable Thomas Lee Designs. Featureing hte not so wearable clothing that is closer to art. Great for events,parties and nights on the town… Made in rich fabrics and with shapes so woudnerful that they could only be that of a skilled hand!
– Not every event and venue is great for showing anythign over the top, but what better way to introduce Thomas Lee Designs – High fashion to the public that Buffalo fashion week? This isn’t an event to be lazy with, this is the time for me to show what I can do and see how the public likes my high end form of art!
TB: How are you getting the word out to consumers about your line?
Shana Feeley: What better way than online?!! Right now it’s easiest for a start up designer/company. It’s free and easily accessable to the masses! I’m working ona website but for now I have facebook pages,Model mayhem pages,etsy.com and twitter accounts… all these help!
I also advertise when I can in my local papers and retailors and flyers/hand outs… but word of mouth is another wounderful thing! I love having someone contact me who heard of my designs from a freind or someone who told them about me! It’s flattering and humbling!