We had the opportunity to interview Sherri Hill, a distinguished and respected fashion designer, whose expertise in special occasion dressing is filled with iconic design achievements for some of the world’s most prestigious brands and fashion labels, culminating with the launch of her own design house in 2008.
Born in Oklahoma, Ms. Hill attended the University of Oklahoma majoring in Fashion closing, textiles and design. She grew up in the family retail clothing business, enjoyed selecting merchandise for the stores, then was drawn to the creative aspect of design. “I enjoy art, learning about other cultures, and spending time with family” Ms. Hill added. Her design achievements can be found work by Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Katie Armiger, Shontelle, Maria Sansone, Kate Gosselin and many others. Sherri’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in her selection of beautiful fabrics and trimmings combined with innovative combinations of cuts to accentuate the best features of every woman.
What does fashion means to you?
Fashion is when the utilitarian aspect of clothing changes to expression.
How would you define your city’s fashion?
I’ll have to say casual.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
An apron as an elementary school project. I was disgusted because I wanted to make something glamorous. I thought “Who wears an apron!”
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
I seldom construct an entire garment now, but work with pattern makers, sample makers, then the factory to finish the garments.
Who is one of your favorite local models to work with?
I work with several, usually selecting the model to fit the look of the garment.
Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing
I start with a sketch, then go to pattern making or draping. This pattern is cut and sewn into muslin, fit corrected, necessary changes made to the pattern. Then the final garment is made from this pattern.
What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
I felt most successful when my customers look and feel better than they ever dreamed for their special occasion.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Halston was amazing for making garments that looked effortless, but fit he body beautifully.
How do you select your models?
I choose models who are able to show joy. I never choose models who look hungry or miserable. My clothes are for special occasions where women are usually celebrating.
What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?
Fabric is, of course, important, but pattern making and construction must be done by the finest skilled artisans.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
It is important to me to make a woman look and feel wonderful for her big event.
What is your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
The finish. It can often take months to realize a design from original sketch to final sample because of all the processes involved.
How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
We choose the garments to be shown, find accessories, choose the location, models to suite the mood of the garments. Our photographers, Fadil Berisha is very involved in this process.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Experience, experience, experience! Seize every opportunity you can to be around any part of the industry. Retail experience is very helpful If you assist customers in selection and fitting, you get a sense of what works and doesn’t work on an actual body. No school can teach you this.
What do you like best about your personal style?
I enjoy the creative aspect of designing
How would you define the style your line exemplifies?
My line is all special occasions, from prom to wedding, to red carpet events. We do gowns for the special events in a woman’s life. Our line is designed to celebrate the moment.
What are some of your fashion goals?
I want to create with my family a fashion company known for high quality products that are enjoyed and treasured. Of course, we would love to grow the company to a world-wide enterprise and have taken the first steps towards this goal.