Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Designer? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught Designer?

I have always been interested in fabric, clothing and style. From my first sewing projects in high school, I was addicted to fabric and manipulating it to fit on the human form. For years I sewed without patterns, seeing the shape needed in my mind then fitting it to myself or models. I have always loved sparkle, glamor and femininity and have worked on achieving these things in my designs.

Originally, I am from Alaska. I left the state for college and have lived in many different places from New York to London since then. I received double degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Business from Baylor University. At the end of my time there, I really wished I had focused more on design. A year later, I applied and went to Parsons-The New School AAS program to get concentrated technical training in Design. There I learned technical patternmaking and draping and was inspired to start creating more designs. I now use a mixture of these techniques as well as creating without patterns.

I also have a love for accessory design and tend to also create headpieces, jewelry and hand painted shoes with my looks. I like to style to whole look from head to toe to create a concept, not just a garment.

picture1/2: Model – Anna Belanger, Photography – Cherry Blossom Photography, Make-Up & Hair – Ashley Baker
Do you think going to school for design is important to excel in the business later on?

Not Necessarily. I think that many things have to come together the right way to achieve success in the fashion industry. I have seen designers with no formal training create much better things than those with a formal education. However, school is definitely a way to hone your design skills and receive valuable feedback from talented artists. However, overall I think success in fashion depends on talent, motivation, networking and business savvy.

Did you always want to be a Designer or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a company? When How did your freelance career begin?

I have always designed for fun. I prefer working freelance because it gives me the opportunity to be much more creative with my designs. After school, I have been working only freelance and have created one of a kind looks for different events, shows and editorial shoots.
A few years ago, I decided to officially name my designs and to start creating more cohesive ideas. For the name, since Ashley Baker doesn’t really have a designer ring to it, I decided to choose something that spoke of my heritage. Elizabeth is my first name and Roche was my grandmothers maiden name. She grew up in Paris and her mother was a wonderful clothing designer, so I chose to name my line Elizabeth Roche in honor of the family tradition of clothes making.

picture3: Models – Taylor Lee, Cheryl Day, Photography – Gil Monreal, Make-Up – Molly Hutchins, Hair – Sarah Sonnentag

Who or what inspired you to become a Designer?

Honestly, I don’t think it was one person or event. I have always had a love for fashion and the ability to understand shape and form in a way that comes together in design. I feel the need to create and fashion design is one of my outlets for this need.

What are your biggest challenges?

Time is my biggest challenge. I work a full time job in marketing and therefore have very little time to devote to fashion design.

How do you work? What is your process?

Many designers sketch and them create. I am the opposite. I am completely inspired by the fabric. Once I find a fabric I love then I let it speak to me, most of the time, the design almost creates itself out of the fabric. I know that if I am working to hard to ‘make it work’ then it isn’t right and I start over. I mostly drape fabric, then go back and pattern make the pieces I need to be precise.

picture4: Model – Natalie Travis, Photography – Cherry Blossom Photography, Make-Up – Tess Weaver

What other projects are you working on?

I am collaborating on ideas for a couple of books, I am working on some digital art pieces and I am working on creating more designs for editorial submissions.

Elizabeth Roche

Model Mayhem