On April 2nd, Dear Laney hosted their Spring/Summer 2017 fashion show, La Vie en Rose, in Philadelphia. It's been just shy of a year since our first look inside the brand during a live interview with CEO + Designer, Cali at the Dear Laney Rad Girls Brunch, and this year's event was another Sunday well spent! The sound of classical music from a distance greeted me as I entered Northeast Studios and walked up three flights of wooden stairs adorned with rose petals. The music got louder with each step and once I reached the top level of the beautiful sunlit warehouse, I was greeted by a hostess to check-in. In the front section of the venue was a pop-up shop of local vendors with various products and forms of art ranging from baked goods to costume jewelry on display. Behind a large curtain that sectioned off the space was the Dear Laney runway for La Vie en Rose, resembling a private garden of roses.
As guests arrived, filling in every seat, the host/DJ kept us uplifted and excited for what was to come with a mix of good music. Around 4PM, the showcase began and the first looks hit the runway. Lots of blush, vintage vibes, and feminine silhouettes for women of all shapes and sizes made up the La Vie en Rose collection — true to the Dear Laney aesthetic. Every single model, whether experienced or new, had a cool girl aura; a glow to her that exuded confidence and the essence of being comfortable with all ayes on them... Something that speaks volumes of the clothing they were wearing. After all, it's part of Dear Laney's mission to make all women feel rad + sophisticated in their designs.
"My inspiration behind the collection was the color blush and the song, "La Vie en Rose." Typically my inspiration is a place or time, like my previous collections, but this time something different came to mind while listening to old records on my record player. In total, there are 30 pieces, a few not shown yet. I am launching a more affordable brand called RGO by Dear Laney which stands for "Rad Girls Only." It's for the on-the-go college girl who loves the brand but can't quite afford the prices right now. The RGO brand has garments under $99 and wont go a dollar over 100." — @Cali_Shabazz
By creating a world of its own, Dear Laney has been able to really connect with customers in a genuine way — a cool advantage of being a smaller, boutique-esque brand. Consistency is key when it comes to the branding of any fashion line, but coming up with creative ways to expand while still staying true to what's already been established is a MAJOR key... So essentially, the creation of RGO by Dear Laney was a genius move, and its debut during the La Vie En Rose fashion show made for a perfect complement to this collection. (The "Hustler in Heels" bomber jacket turned me into a heart-eyed emoji at the first sight of it!)
With being a young boss and designer, comes a lot responsibility and challenging situations... But Cali is one who embraces and loves the pressure. In the midst of designing, marketing, and branding for her business, she's been able to plan events that positively contribute to the creative community of Philadelphia while accomplishing her personal goals along the way. For anyone interested in pursuing a similar career, she advises to get a strong team and stay on top of everything. Also, when it comes to your brand... Micromanaging is totally acceptable!
Dear Laney tells us that up next for them are some summer pop-up shops and new projects as well as a winter fashion show. The spring collection is available as of April 15th along with a preview of RGO by Dear Laney on the site — xodearlaney.com.
Stay updated with what's going on by following the brand @xodearlaney on Instagram!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.