I had the awesome chance to interview Blake Smith awhile back, and I wanted to post it on here. He competed on the Lifetime show Project Runway: Under the Gunn, of course hosted by Tim Gunn. It was such an amazing show. And Blake was definitely one of my favorites. I got the chance to be friends with him on Facebook and he was nice enough to let me ask him some questions about his experience on the show and his passion for fashion
So Blake, how did you get interested in fashion and wanting to design?
I have always had an interest in fashion and clothing. Ever since I was a young boy, my mom made sure to dress me with flair – and that same attention to personal style has grown with me throughout the years. With a love for drawing, I came to find myself sketching or doodling fashion ideas on my homework. It wasn’t until a high school art class when I learned that fashion design was a career possibility.
What was your experience like on Under the Gunn? Was Tim very supportive?
My experience on UTG was a BLUR! 6 weeks of 15 hour work days filled with creatively draining mini-projects was exhausting – but honestly one of the most exciting and thrilling experiences I’ve ever had. It was a dream of mine to be on Project Runway, so I look back on filming with a proud sense of accomplishment.
And of course Tim was supportive! He has tremendous respect for each designer’s point of view and will always do what he can to help you see it to fruition! With a great use of vocabulary you can’t comprehend, no doubt!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am inspired mostly by intangible experiences for concepts – dreams, emotions, memories, music. And I often find myself immersed in the wonderful textures and palettes that one might find in nature.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
For me, the sole purpose of fashion design is to inspire a wearer to WANT to wear what you are producing. With that in mind, I love creating garments that provide a sense of stimulation for my customer – maybe my clothes make them feel self-confident or maybe they feel more attractive, more unique, more badass? The point is to allow them to be who they dream to be while wearing a piece from my line.
Who are your favorite designers?
I, of course, have to pay respects to Alexander McQueen – a visionary and storyteller. But, I also love what Sarah Burton does for the current line. Olivier Theyskens for his romance. Dries Van Noten for his ability to make wearable clothing filled with life.
Do you have any new collections coming out?
I don’t want to jinx myself – but I am currently working towards re-launching my brand after almost a 2 year hiatus. I want to start small and focused, but with a sharper focus. Maybe even a little menswear…..
And lastly, I know this is a cliche question, but what advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?
The only advice I can give is to go after what you love whole-heartedly. If it truly is your passion, you can make it happen. Be prepared to work hard – study everything there is to learn, take every opportunity (as you never know where it can take you), and keep your eye on the end goal