Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Marie Long.
Hi Andrea, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m a fashion designer, stylist, and artist from Kansas City who has been creating clothing and fashion moments for ten years as Andrea Marie Long Designs. I’ve always loved the power of fantasy and how clothing can create magic for the wearer. Growing up, I lived for theater and storytelling and majored in Theatre Design, specifically Costume Design, at the University of Kansas. I worked on dozens of plays as a costume designer, stitcher, and on wardrobe during and after college.
After a few years of doing theatre costuming, I had the opportunity to travel and work abroad in South Korea as a teacher. Being inspired by their day-to-day expression through fashion, seeing what was possible beyond what my midwest brain could comprehend, I decided to shift my focus to fashion instead of theatre. Since moving back in 2011, I’ve participated in 20 plus fashion shows and 20 plus pop-up events, dozens of photoshoots, personally styled clients, constructed custom design garments, and more.
My current focus is on more sustainable fashion by curating a vintage collection and providing personal styling services to help elevate and transform others through what they wear. Whether that’s making them a custom garment, helping source the perfect item, or giving life to their current wardrobe, I want to help people express their most true and powerful self through style.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Truly, I feel blessed at the opportunities Kansas City has provided for me, being an entrepreneur designer. And am always surprised and flattered when I’m asked to participate in something for the fashion community or even when someone recognizes me out and about. However, like many artists, my road has not been an easy one and still continues to push my limits daily. I’ve been challenged before with balancing full-time, non-design jobs, with massive hours of work for fashion shows and collections.
I’ve sometimes struggled to find part-time, satisfying work that allows me the time and money to still make and be creative. As many people do, I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome and comparing myself to others or where I ‘should’ be at this point in my career. (Which I’m telling you all are lies!) I remind myself creating a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s also a balance in figuring out what my hours and time are worth when I need to charge for a garment or consultation, and what the market will allow when it’s compared to low priced, fast fashion. (The number of hours it takes to make a garment will generally blow your mind) But I’m continuing on this road, I can’t stop. It’s in the fiber of my being to do this, in one form or another. So as I move forward, I’m focusing on creating sustainability – environmentally, emotionally, physically and financially – while also sharing my talents that hopefully make a positive impact in others’ lives.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Many of my fashion collections are created in connection with a story or unexplainable idea that I need to express. The design elements in my work have been refined over the years using a style framework I learned that helps anyone find out what colors, cuts and details of garments best reflect the inner workings of their self. While my colors and style aren’t for everyone, I am true to MY aesthetic which then becomes desirable to be viewed by anyone.
My garments are both for the every day and for special moments. My color palette is rich and robust, in jewel tones and vibrant earth tones. I love using velvet in many of my past collections because of the feel, texture and luxuriousness it provides. Velvet is also soft and comfortable, which is something I strive for too. Glamorous, but never at the expense of feeling good in it. My work has lots of texture and movement whether through fabric choice, brocades, gold-embroidered elements, etc. I also love to be inclusive with my sizing and model casting. All humans are beautiful, in all ways.
My recent work in construction and styling is my favorite as I’m always striving to improve my skills and can see the progress drastically over time. I’m also proud and humbled that I’ve been able to show in nearly every fashion show Kansas City has to offer and that my models, photographers and style teams that I’ve worked with have generally noted my kindness, organization and execution of concept. I’m proud of my human work as much as I am my fashion work.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
These last nearly two years have been a massive shift in thinking and life for so many. I think we’re really still IN IT and processing it at the same time. For me, one of the biggest shifts was releasing expectations around my productivity and creativity. Like many, my world changed and the uncertainty over where my talents and skills fit into the ‘new’ world was sometimes hard to move through. I’ve seen so many people reevaluate their priorities in their work, their time, their energy.
I’m also navigating that personal and global change while also trying to stay true to what my heart calls me to create, beautiful things. With so much heaviness and trauma to move through this year, making things for the sake of art and beauty can sometimes feel useless or pointless. But it’s not! I tell myself, and anyone out there creating, that beauty, art, and magic have a very important place in our world. It always will. Our spirits need inspiration and joy and new ideas. It’s critical for our survival I believe.
- Personal/Event/Photo Styling Services – $45/hour, 3 hour minimum
- Personal Shopping – $40/hour, 2 hour minimum
- Closet Audit – $45/hour, 3 hour minimum
- Custom Garments – Range from $75 and up
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.andreamarielong.com
- Instagram: @andreamarielong
- Facebook: @AndreaMarieLongDesigns
Crush Model Studio
Local Runway Event
Volunteer KC Event
Kris Davi Photography