Shawn Denise is a designer with a vision and a message- and like all great artists, she makes her own rules! Based in Atlanta, PaintbyShawnDenise is a plus size brand that has just launched a new collection! The Paw Patrol Spring Collection features bold colors, fierce animal prints, and a variety of curve-loving options! Bold recently caught up with Shawn Denise to hear more about her approach to fashion, challenges and life!
BOLD: We love that your clients are referred to as “Painters” and described as “free, fearless and fierce; elegant, classy and chic.” Tell us more about this goal!
SD: I want my clients to feel empowered when they wear PaintbyShawnDenise. My brand is for a person that’s willing to be bold, daring and sexy. Existing clients have stated, once styled, or clothing #PAINTED on them, that they wowed at events or informal gatherings. All eyes were on them and everyone was asking where did they get their clothing from. The glow my clothing gives my clients-I want everyone to feel that and I want everyone to be and feel what it’s like to be #PAINTED.
BOLD: Like us, you’re clearly not a fan of the boring, restrictive rules about how plus people “should” dress?
SD: I don’t believe in rules. Wear whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if I like and I’m going to wear what I like no matter who likes it. Don’t yourself in to what others like. #DontBoxMe
BOLD: What inspires you when you design?
SD: I’m inspired by art, shapes or architecture, and colors. I can look at prints and see shapes that are not there but can add other pieces or accessories to create the aesthetic I’m visualizing. Everything is art to me and trying to tell a fashion story for everyone to see. My collections are my sexy alter ego and I try to push the limit or where a limit shouldn’t exist.
BOLD: Where do you feel plus fashion is now- and where can we do better?
SD: I believe plus size fashion has grown a lot within the past seven years. The designs have been amazing from all designers, especially other indie designers within the community. Indie designers could definitely use more support, as always, but it’s great to see the diversity in creativity.
I also believe the plus size industry is ready for more luxury, high end brands. Becoming a luxury brand or having a luxury tier is a goal of mine for the future of the brand.
BOLD: Young people are so influenced and affected by fashion. What are your thoughts on that?
SD: I think people of all ages are influenced by fashion. Everyone has some celeb or some person of influence that helps them identify a style or a look the want to achieve or possibly tweak. We all are or have been influenced by someone.
BOLD: And on the other side of the issue, what do you think about plus options for older shoppers?
SD: I think there has always been options for older shoppers. Most departments store carried items for older shoppers. To me the issue has always been the 25-50 demographic, as well as 16-25.
BOLD: What have been your biggest highlights and challenges?
SD: My biggest challenge to date was learning the ends and outs of manufacturing my own clothing. Manufacturing PaintbyShawnDenise and my other brands, in my own factory, is a goal of mine. There are so many steps and details that have to be done to ensure the quality and consistency of the clothing before it can be sold. Right now, I’m doing everything myself, full on manufacturing start to finish, as a divorced mom of three and still working a full time job. But, last year was my biggest FY Sales to date since I started my business in 2013. The process has been slow but the education and experience I’ve gained making mistakes along the way to learning will last with me forever as I continue this journey.
BOLD: WOW! You may have just answered this but it’s our favorite question: What makes you Bold?
SD: I’m bold because I’m unapologetically me. What you see is what you get. What you hear is what you feel. Lol
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