Liesl is a Seattle, Washington native who traveled to Los Angeles over three years ago to study Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). She was ready for the adventure because she loves traveling, trying new foods, and getting lost in big cities. As if moving to a new location and her studies were not enough, she started blogging as an outlet to share her experience as a fat girl in fashion school. At 24 years of age she has graduated and created her first plus size fashion line for women size 14 to 26. Being a size 18 has given her insight and perspective on the process of design, style, and construction. She took some time out of her crazy-fun schedule to talk about fashion and designing.
Q & A with Plus Size Fashion Designer Liesl BinxMoe: Your first line is online! How do you feel?
Liesl Binx: Absolutely elated! I have been working on this day and night and it's pretty awesome to see it all coming to life.
Moe: What first inspired you to become a designer? Why plus size?
Liesl Binx: I wanted to become a plus size designer to help create and be a part of positive changes in the fashion industry, especially when it comes to plus sizes. It's all about looking good and feeling great but also combatting sizism and fatphobia through the clothes I design and the people who wear them.
Moe: What has been the biggest hurdle of your fashion education?
Liesl Binx: As an aspiring plus size designer, school was a struggle, I was constantly stifled creatively. I was told that there was no difference in pattern making, grading and illustration for plus sizes when in fact they are different (technically speaking). Not being able to work with plus size bodies was my main source of discouragement.
Moe: What would say to a plus size woman wanting to enter the fashion design industry?
Liesl Binx: Go for it! I waited until I was 21 because I was taught being in the fashion industry wasn't a realistic goal. As long as you are willing to work hard and gain the skills it takes, you can do it!
Moe: How many pieces are in your premiere line – Liesl Binx?
Liesl Binx: I have 14 pieces altogether and 4 of them are currently for sale on MadisonPlusSelect.com
Moe: What was the best part of designing your new line?
Liesl Binx: Having all the creative freedom I could ever want! It's great to be my own boss and have complete control of every aspect.
Moe: The worst part?
Liesl Binx: Managing all things design and business simultaneously. I wouldn't call it the worst part but it has been the hardest. It's a constant tug of war between my right and left brain!
Moe: What do you hope women see when they look at your line?
Liesl Binx: I hope they see something they want to wear! Having someone wear or want to wear my designs is the highest compliment. I also hope they see designs that are unfiltered. A lot of times mainstream fashion trends are interpreted differently for plus sizes but I just don't think this is fair! Fashion is fashion and although there is a distinction between straight and plus in the industry we all want the same thing, to look good and feel great! Ideally I would like to see this distinction between "plus" and "straight" fashion fade away.
Moe: Do you have a favorite piece from the Liesl Binx line?
Liesl Binx: That's like asking a parent who their favorite kid is! I especially love the Raglan Leather Trim dress right now. The sleeves make it perfect for winter.
Moe: Do you have any suggestions on how women could style that piece this season?
Liesl Binx: The Raglan Leather Trim dress is so versatile, you can really make it your own. I would wear it with sneaker-wedges for a casual /sporty look, or throw on tights, a luxe fur vest and jewels for a more festive (and warmer) ensemble!
Moe: Right now four of your pieces are appearing on the Madison Plus Select shopping site, when can we expect more pieces to appear?
Liesl Binx: I will be releasing more styles in Spring.
Moe: What's next for you? Your line?
Liesl Binx: I'm gearing up to design my Spring/Summer collection, and soon I'll be making the move from Seattle to New York where I will continue to grow and expand my brand.
* Learn more about this up and coming fashion designer on her official website.
* Shop the Liesl Binx label at Madison Plus Select.