Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2017. This week, meet fashion designer Brittany Arriola, the owner and designer of Odd Bird Designs, creating distinctive fashions for quirky women.
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
First fashion job: My first fashion job was at a bridal boutique in Tucson. I sold bridal, quinceanera, formal, and prom dresses and did alterations as needed. It was a whirlwind of a job because I was painfully shy at the time. I didn’t know how to talk to people in a firm way and got walked over a lot by customers. It was a trial by fire, but I learned some powerful lessons from it.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion: I started drawing clothes at a very young age, but didn’t really realize why I was doing it until I reached high school. I was cutting and redesigning all my outfits (poorly), adding my own little touches to everything. I just had so many ideas and visions of outfits and realized that I needed to learn how to properly design clothes, so I could do it all the time.
Person who has impacted your life the most: I would say my husband. We’ve known each other since second grade and he has been a part of my life ever since. We didn’t always get along, in fact I drew devil horns on him in our 6th grade year book. But he is such an uplifting and supportive force in my life, and I couldn’t do it without him.
Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: I think my proudest fashion moment is the first custom dress I ever made for someone. It was a camouflage dress for her prom and it was kind of terrible looking back on it…but it felt so good to get photos afterwards and know that I made it happen. I’ve made so many other custom dresses since then, but this one stands out the most because it was the first.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Shyness. I used to physically shake when I was put on the spot or had to speak in public. That shyness never went away entirely but I can now quiet that negative inner voice and be myself.
A designer who inspires you: I’m inspired by Stacey Bendet of Alice and Olivia. Her brand and personal sense of style is vivacious and puts a smile on my face. Her style is always imaginative and that inspires me.
Favorite quote: No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you-just listen to the voice that speaks inside. -Shel Silverstein “The Voice”
Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Stay persistent and remember what inspired you to work in fashion in the first place. It’s hard work and not everyone is going to be nice to you, but if you want it bad enough and don’t give up you can do it.
Favorite piece you have ever designed: My favorite piece I ever designed, is a wedding dress for the bridal boutique I work in. I named it after my little sister Kaelea. It was a strapless “peony” colored ballgown with a tulle ruffled skirt.
For more information, visit oddbirddesigns.net.
If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2017, you can purchase tickets here: bit.ly/PHXFW2017FABAZ. Use promo code FABAZ for a $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).