Powerful Women & Feminine Energies
Designer Spotlight: Andrea Marie Long Designs
Calli: What inspires you?
Andrea: I’m into powerful women and feminine energies who get stuff done. I love learning about other decades and world views. I try to connect nature in my designs and I definitely am inspired by all the great artists making it happen in KC.
Calli: Do you have a signature sewn into your pieces? Is there a "mark" that is recognizable to Andrea Marie Long Designs?
Andrea: I love using velvet and highly textured decorative trims so that’s generally consistent for one of my pieces. And I use the Sagittarius symbol in my tags and labels because I like the angular shape of an arrow and I identify with many of the strong and loyal Sagittarius qualities.
Calli: When did you land your first internship or job and what was the most valuable thing you learned from this experience?
Andrea: I worked my first college level internship in the costume shop at a repertory theatre company in a small Colorado town. We opened up to ten shows in one summer and rotated productions on the same stage each night. It taught me an incredible amount of time sensitive sewing and construction skills as well as how to make the impossible feel possible, how to work with a small crew and the importance of loving your work. You don’t dedicate 70-hour work weeks to a craft you don’t have an intense passion for. A successful internship will be one that you wholly dedicate yourself to, absolutely pitch in wherever needed, and be willing to learn new skills but ask for help when you don’t know something.
Calli: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
Andrea: Have more confidence in your abilities and love yourself more, know your path is never linear—all things you do will serve your future self so don’t be afraid to say yes! And stay as kind and helpful as you always were as that opened so many of your doors.
Calli: What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
Andrea: I thought if I took a job outside my dream job it was a failure. But looking back, the skills I learned in all my design and non-design jobs absolutely serve me now as a business owner.
Calli: How is working in fashion different today than from when you started?
Andrea: There are absolutely more opportunities. It doesn’t make things easy for those hustling artists starting a label or brand, but it’s definitely a broader pool of potential. That also means more talent around me that pushes me to work harder.
Calli: What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Andrea: Collaborating with other artists and seeing my work transform the wearer to their most powerful self. And the feeling of ‘birthing’ a new collection into the world.
Calli: How do you want people to feel while wearing your clothes?
Andrea: Luxurious, comfortable, powerful, unique and ready to tackle the world.
Calli: Why KC?
Andrea: There are really so many opportunities both in fashion and with side hustles to support a fashion dream. It’s a city that makes doing art sustainable and where you feel supported.