My Chat with Bri Seeley

By Heather Toner

A couple weeks ago, I had the extreme pleasure of sitting down with LA based designer Bri Seeley to discuss her collections, her inspirations, and the importance of embracing femininity.  
First, some background.  Bri grew up in Minnesota, where her grandmother taught her how to sew at a fairly young age.  She gifted Bri with her own patterns from the 1950’s (many of which Bri still refers to now for design inspiration.)  This sparked an interest in Bri that carried her through a bachelors and masters degree in fashion design, as well as a stint in theater costuming, before she decided to design her own line about 2 years ago.   
She began designing her new line part time from her apartment bedroom in Seattle.  Spurred on by her desire to help women feel excited about their clothes, the collection harkened back to the classic femininity of the 40’s and 50’s.  She wanted her clothes to make women feel powerful and demure all at once.  
“I want women to feel excited about the clothes they get to put on everyday,” Bri explained.  “And I wanted to bring heart back to women’s work attire.”  Indeed she does, with tailored dresses and skirts (all with pockets) that can easily go from the office to a night out, Bri’s collections simply ooze sophisticated versatility.  It wasn’t long before she realized she needed to give her line a real shot, so she packed up and moved to Los Angeles to design full time.

Before she knew it, Bri was named the Designer of the Year at the 2012 Phoenix Fashion Week, and was a featured emerging designer at WWDMAGIC.  In a bold move, she decided to forgo LA fashion week and set up her own show, just 6 months within moving to the city of angels.  Despite the immense amount of work and pressure, the show was a huge success – Using bloggers instead of models, and showing the elegance and relatable styling of her designs on “real women.” Her designs were picked up by Zappos, and fashionista’s all over Los Angeles have begun sporting her high-waisted skirts and delicate sheer blouses (myself included!) 
When I asked if living in Los Angeles has any effect on her designs, Bri quickly fessed up that her collection has gotten edgier after moving here and cited her sheer blouses as an example of that…She had never made something so sheer before.  But in LA, it works.  
I was lucky enough to snag a few Bri Seeley pieces at a recent sample sale directly out of the designer’s studio (whom she shares with another brilliant LA designer Jennifer Lynn, of Linden Fashion.)  My absolute favorite item is the Mae Skirt, which I proudly wore this past Thanksgiving!  
Bri Seeley is definitely an LA designer to keep an eye on.  Be sure to check out her website and I promise you’re sure to fall in love with her cool, classy pieces too!  

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