I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Beverly Hills designer, Margi Kent. Margi's accomplishments are myriad, talking with her reminded me of why fashion is so special, there really are no limits - anything is possible.
Brianna: How did you get started in the business?
Margi: I was a fashion design student doing things for myself and my friends. One day, we decided to put a line together and sold wholesale on Beverly Hills. It really evolved from there.
Briana: I find that fascinating that your business evolved from casually putting things together for your friends. It must've taken a lot of persistence and perseverance on your part. Your clothing line is so elegant, refined, and original—it seems to be wearable by such a broad range of people. When you’ve been designing as long as you have is there anything that inspires you to create your designs?
Margi: I am really inspired by anything it can be something ethnic, sometimes it is colors that inspire me, It can be primitive— it can be anything really. It also depends on the person I'm designing for, my inspiration comes from all over.
Brianna: That is incredible, especially because you have designed for so many people such as Neil Diamond, Gloria Gaynor, Stevie Nicks, the list goes on. I know that you were instrumental in creating Stevie Knick’s image —you created her iconic look—what was that process like?
Margi: Basically it’s the same with any person and anything you're doing custom. I heard the music and loved it and was inspired. I then contacted Stevie and spoke with her about the fabric she liked, we went through a plethora of them and we found chiffon was her thing. I started sketching, always keeping in mind that a person's frame, figure, proportions are important to design around. Her characters were so strong and she is so petite she needed to having something that would project her sensitivity. We built things that would make her more powerful. We were very focused on what she wants to project to the audience, all artists are different this was ideal for her. The designs allowed her to fragile but she was then able to grow big and powerful. We knew that the we had come up with a wardrobe that would work.
Brianna: Wow, that's so inspiring and impressive how you were able to build Stevie's entire look from just a few subtle things such as her delicate frame and structure. Stevie mentioned that you were able to translate her vision of the character created for the stage. She said that it was based on a sketch you made years ago— can you talk about that sketch?
Margi: When I first started working I worked for her opening band, we did Jesus-style clothes for the guys. Stevie saw the clothes and said "hey, I should have a designer." We began working together and I went in and showed her different types of fabric. Stevie immediately saw what would work. I did one mock-up outfit and it went from there. She trusted me completely which made the process really fun.
Brianna: I think that it is so amazing how you two were able to work so well together and together you created Stevie's entire image. Now, going back to your clothing line can you put into words the overall essence of the line, what it means?
Margi: What I do is create a silhouette thats flattering too the person in front of me. I look at their proportions and make the clothes based on that. Anytime you go off of someone's proportions the clothes become much more flattering. I am very much inspired by the fabric, the movement and the drape. In my studio we have an abundance of fabric, any kind of fabric you could think of, we have it. That's what's so great about the design process there are so many possibilities.
Brianna: I am just so inspired by everything you've said. I love that when it comes to you designs you so carefully craft a piece that is just for one person. You say a line which I really like “everything old is new” in my opinion that’s a very intriguing statement. You say that a lot of the pieces of your collection are pulled from your early work, do you have a favorite piece of early work you’ve done, a staple perhaps?
Margi: [My designs] are my children. My marketing director Lauren has the same eye I do, which is really funny. We have similar taste. She was looking at some of my early work and said 'Margi, we have to do this collection'. She was inspired by my archives. I think, it became a really beautiful collection. It's very elegant, timeless, relaxed. It's everything I envisioned, really, come to life.
Brianna: I can see why you love them so, your designs are breathtaking. As soon as I saw them I was impressed. I could see someone as young as myself wearing the pieces as well as someone older, such as my mother wearing them. When I was looking through your website I clicked through your look book. I noticed how everything looked so well put together and attractive. How do you go about putting them together?
Margi: I’m couture trained, I went to UCLA, The Shard Art Institute, I'm actually a fine artist. What I do is I Build from the ground up, we do every level: evening, black tie, gowns, bridal. We do all kinds of stuff all the time. My studio is on the same level as Paramount, we can build anything. One of the greatest things is that I've been really lucky to have such a great team working with me.
Brianna: I am truly amazed, Margi. I can not believe that you are able to do so many things and you work with so many different styles and levels. The fact that you can really build anything when it comes to costumes and clothing is stunning. I have just one final question for you, if you weren’t doing what you are now what would you be doing?
Margi: I would probably be a Paige or a sculptor.
Brianna: Margi, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I will always remain so taken and impressed by your work and all that you have accomplished. I wish you all of the best.