Raun LaRose is a fashion designer from Brooklyn, and as a new talent his collection for Autumn/Winter 2011 has attracted plenty of attention. With solidcuts, layering, strong colours and sleek tailoring, his vision is contemporary and refreshing.
Schön! decided to interview the extremely talented designer to find out more about the man behind the design.
Schön!: Have you always known that you wanted to be a designer one day? What drew you to a career in fashion
Raun LaRose: I Didn’t always know that I wanted to be a designer. I discovered that I was attracted to fashion at an early age. I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion, but at around age sixteen was when I knew I wanted to design.
Schön!: Brooklyn is known for being a cultural and creative hub, would you say that growing up there influenced you?
Raun LaRose: I would definitely say growing up in Brooklyn has influenced my work as a designer, I think it always will. But I also like to draw inspirations from other sources.
Schön!: You mentioned in other interviews that your Mother was a seamstress. What was the best advice she gave you when you decided to follow in her fashionable footsteps?
Raun LaRose: She advised me to always stay true to my vision and to always put God first. The fact that she was from a third world country wasn’t easy for her to follow her dreams to become a designer because the opportunities were limited. So she moved to the states and started her seamstress business full time. I saw the struggles she went through and how dedicated she was to her craft; she taught me a lot about quality and attention to detail.
Schön!: If you had to pick one word to embody your collection, what would it be?
Raun LaRose: The Backpack woven hybrid.
Schön!: Is there any one look that you’d consider to be your signature?
Raun LaRose: Autumn/Winter is my favorite season to design. I feel that there’s a lot more room to be creative and expressive. I also like layering and designing outwear.
Schön!: Are there any designers that you’d compare yourself to? Any that you’d seek to emulate?
Raun LaRose: No. I have designers that I am inspired by but I never try to emulate anyone. I feel like the purpose of being a designer is to have a unique viewpoint. The reason I design is because it challenges me creatively.
Schön!: What do you like most about autumn/winter fashion? What other designers work do you look forward to seeing?
Raun LaRose: It’s a tie between Givenchy (Ricardo Tisci) and Raf Simons. Those are the designers that I anxiously look to for new collections. They have both changed the face of menswear fashion in their own unique way.
Schön!: You’ve had your own brand since 2009, what was the most difficult part of starting up?
Raun LaRose: The most difficult part has been establishing the brand and getting people to know the brand exists. When I decided that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I had to come to the conclusion that it’s going to be a long journey to get to where I want to be as a designer.
Schön!: If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be?
Raun LaRose: Probably a teacher. I really like working with kids. They are our future! I’m inspired by youth so I could see it being a job that I would never get tired of.
Schön!: You originally studied women’s wear at the Art Institute before pursuing men’s wear at FIT; would you ever design for women in the future?
Raun LaRose: I thought about it. I don’t see a women’s wear collection in my immediate future, men’s wear is my primary focus for now.
Schön!: Is there a piece in your collection that you’d consider your favourite?
Raun LaRose: I don’t really have a favorite piece – I like everything. When I design I make sure that every piece has something special about it.
Schön!: Which one person has affected your life the most, personally or professionally?
Raun LaRose: I would definitely have to say my older brother. He has been supportive of my career since the very beginning. He’s my hero. He’s an Air force veteran and has always inspired me to follow my dreams.
Schön!: Your collection isn’t currently available in stores; do you have an ideal retailer in mind for Raun LaRose?
Raun LaRose: I would love to carry the brand in Barney’s Jeffreys’s NY, Seven NY and a couple of other international retailers.
Schön!: Have you ever worked with other designers?
Raun LaRose: Well, I’ve Interned for Zac Posen in Paris and most recently worked as a design assistant for Native Son (Menswear Label).
Thank you Raun!
All clothes by Raun Larose