Check our interview with talented designer Monica Leigh who is a strong leader, guiding her team positively and upholding excellence, consistency, fairness, brand aesthetic and brand quality. Monica wanted to do things differently than what she experienced in the corporate world and desired to make some changes for herself and the industry by bringing her own culture and philosophy to her own company and team. Passionately and aggressively kicking off California New Work, LLC initially with a partner, Monica shouldered the costly expenses and responsibilities of starting a new apparel company, producing and delivering two higher volume and profitable collections into exclusive boutiques and museums and reinvesting operating profits back into the company to gain further traction and momentum.
She is known for her immense skill, commitment to perfection, honesty, integrity, business acumen and transparent business practices, her loyal staff and unwavering commitment to her clients every step of the way. Monica continues to exceed her clients’ expectations because every project, every collection, every garment that moves through the pipeline at California New Work is given full and intense attention.
“Monica Leigh is a genuine reflection of my inner creativity and emotion. In its design lines, detail, and feeling, The Monica Leigh Collection captures the complexity of the dark romantic light.”
Tell us about Monica Leigh.
Monica Leigh is an artistic aesthetic embracing the edgy and beautiful all at once. Alluring and confident, unique and quintessential.
How was your fashion brand conceived?
It was conceived from a natural creative vision to design nouveau shapes into apparel and using experience in the industry working with high end fashion brands. From experience, I learned to listen to what is comfortable, yet high style, and then working this into my natural creative vision.
What is your vision for the brand?
My vision is having The Monica Leigh collection known for its luxury gowns and cocktail dresses, beautiful and unique, then culminating into an elegant rock n roll jacket collection paired with Monica Leigh separates.
What matters the most to you?
The spirit and the soul to express ones genuine person, know happiness, and to have strength and fortitude. Balance. Having this be a part of childhood for our young ones out there.
What is your favorite look from your collection and why?
I love the laser leatherette cut tulip wrap skirt with the eternal autumn halter top (and when I wear it, with skinny pants underneath)! Then pairing this look with a quick jacket or sheer open blouse. I love this rock n roll yet elegant aesthetic. Why?; because it captures the true identity of the collection and me!
As a Creative force for other brands, what do you find most challenging?
Pushing forward with the newness! I find when I think of new designs, they catch hold into a collective consciousness in the next five years. The longevity is something I appreciate and admire, yet I have to remain confident and stand my by sense of style as concepts take hold.
What is a typical day like for you?
A full one! It starts off with my husband and I ensuring my daughter is prepared for the day and loving her up! Then it is packed with design work, sketching and drafting the designs, business planning strategy, outreach and promotion, and design and development meetings.
What would you say a color that resonates with you the most and why?
A deep dark blue, as a Spring Time Evening 8 pm Sky. It is rich, deep, dark, and mysterious, yet embodies a vibrant, exciting color!
What inspires you to create?
The physics of life and the cosmos; the unending possibilities to create new combinations of lines and curves into shapes translating these into seams, darts, pleats, and tucks cut in such an array of choice in fabrics. Creating is from an internal inertia, the flame lit by movement and nature.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“Bewilderment is an X Factor”
Why?; because there is something that drives me, and has shaped my life creating both deep sadness and ultimately, happiness. It has taken years, but now understanding what that “it” is, has given me profound insight.
What’s next for Monica Leigh?
Breaking into a larger known audience. Growing the brand internationally and moving into markets where those who wear Monica Leigh are touched with a little artistry!
Where can we find your collection?
Online at MonicaLeigh.com and pop up shops and trunk shows to come!
What advice can you give aspiring designers?
Listen to your self and your true sense of design, gravitate toward brands that speak to you to work for first if the intent is to start with an established brand. Do not compromise yourself.
Will you be showing your collection anytime soon? If so, where and when?