Q&A with Dallas Designer Abi Ferrin

Greeted with a warm smile and ease of a longtime friend, celebrated designer Abi Ferrin graciously invited me to her chic Dallas showroom to talk shop and chat about her inspiring career. Named Texas’ Next Top Designer in 2007, an award that launched her into stardom, Ferrin has since been churning out coveted collections for fashionistas and celebrities alike. And so, I give you my interview with the lovely Ms. Ferrin. Enjoy!

You’ve created a thriving brand, how did it all begin?

In 2000, I moved to LA to begin working for Paramount Pictures. I picked up my childhood hobby of sewing, and in my free time would make clothing for myself – clothes that made me feel beautiful and confident. Soon my friends and colleagues started noticing my designs, and before I knew it Dayna Devon requested one of my dresses, wore it to a premiere, and it was featured in InStyle as the look of the week! 
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by my surroundings, most recently by women’s street style and New York City. My motto is “Made for You, Not the Hanger” so that’s always a driving force behind each collection I produce.

Who is your fashion icon?
I love Alexander McQueen, because he always demonstrated a similar appreciation for women’s form. I truly believe he’s the greatest designer of our time.

What is your favorite piece you’ve ever designed?
The Nikki also known as the “Five Way Dress.” It was one of the first dresses I ever created and continues to be a staple in so many women’s wardrobes today. Every time I see a woman wearing it – be it in Dallas or Aspen – they put their own spin on the dress and look so confident and beautiful. I recently spotted an editor wearing it in New York which was great.

Tell me about The Freedom Project?
Inspired by my own experiences and my sister’s lifetime commitment to helping empower people, I started the Freedom Project in 2007, and created it to aid those who are constantly faced with seemingly impossible circumstances. The Freedom Project supports Sak Saum – a ministry in Cambodia dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation, and rehabilitation of exploited men and women – with a steady stream of income through the purchase of handmade buttons and other accessories used in my line’s garment production. Every garment is tagged with a special handmade button, so every purchase is a loving contribution.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned? 
I learned early on to follow my intuition.

Do you have advice for young entrepreneurs? 
If you believe in what you’re doing, take risks and never give up, or in the words of my tag line, “Persistence beyond what seems reasonable.”

Abi Ferrin’s Showroom
Abi Ferrin’s Showroom
 Beautiful pieces from the fall 2013 collection
Her design workroom where the magic happens!
Me and the lovely Abi Ferrin

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