TOP DESIGN COMPETITION WINNER 2016 - Brik Allen: Haus of Brik
Quirky, eccentric and always inspiring a laugh, this year’s Top Design Competition winner kept us cracking up until silencing us with awe on the New Orleans Fashion Week runway. The vote was unanimous. Brik Allen was named the winner of the Top Design Competition for his collection Haus of Brik. Not only did Brik leave the judges in awe, he amazing the audience and took home the Yelp People’s choice award as well.
Brik studied Apparel Design at Louisiana State University before venturing to New Orleans to pursue his design career. We gathered a little insight into the young designers experience as a Top Design Competitor.
NOFW: Describe your initial reaction to winning the Top Design Competition?I felt intense relief. BRIK: I put every ounce of my energy into making my collection and made so many sacrifices along the way. As soon as I heard the announcement I was overwhelmed with a feeling of relaxation. All of my work had paid off. I knew I was going to sleep well that night.
NOFW: Not only did you win the Top Design Competition, you won the People’s Choice as well! How did it feel to be the overall favorite?
BRIK: Winning both awards was such a great honor. My goal as a fashion designer is to not only create work that earns the respect of industry professionals, but to create work that people outside of the industry like and want. I felt a sense of accomplishment the likes of which I’ve never felt before.
What is your biggest advice to aspiring designers?
BRIK: Nobody with money cares about your sketches unless you know how to make your visions a reality. Learn how to construct clothes flawlessly and try to work with a variety of textiles. Make as many mistakes as possible along the way and push yourself to work outside of your comfort zone. Great things will happen. Do yourself and the rest of us a favor by focusing on quality before quantity, unless you want to sell your designs to K-Mart.
NOFW: Describe what it feels like to compete in the Top Design Competition?
BRIK:I felt accomplished going into the show because I knew I had challenged myself and I was proud of what I had created. However, the idea of competing to win always excites me and there’s a whole lot of testosterone-induced adrenaline that pulses through me in such situations. I always want to win when I enter a competition. That desire brings a lot of stress but ultimately gives me the drive to do my best.
NOFW: What do you feel made your collection stand out from the competition? BRIK: I think I showed a modern, interesting style that people could relate to. I feel like my attention to detail, quality of construction, and respect for the traditional idea of clothing are what made my work stand out from the competition.
NOFW: What was the biggest challenge you faced as an aspiring designer?
BRIK: It’s a challenge that I still face: financial stability. Bridging that line between art and commerce has always been difficult for me, but it’s a challenge I’m finally ready to tackle.
While early into his design career, the possibilities seem endless for the young designer. A melding of creativity, talent and general joy for fashion, we can’t wait to see where Brik’s garments end up next - and hope he dresses us for the occasion!
Be sure to catch Brik on this season of Project Runway starting in September.
New Orleans Fashion Week, recently wrapping its sixth year, took place at New Orleans Board of Trade. The five-day fashion fete featured designers from throughout the Southern region, as well as select retailers to showcase their fashions on the runway in front of an audience of buyers, media, industry professionals and fashion aficionados. One of the highlights of the week long fashion celebration is the emerging design competition. The Top Design Competition shines the spotlight on a new generation of emerging designers in an exciting fashion competition with a highly coveted prize package. As Fashion Week New Orleans 2015 Top Design Winner; Kristine Pichon, received retail placement in Hemline Boutique, a Brother "Project Runway" sewing machine compliments of AllBrands.com, a featured in Amelie G Magazine, a professional photo shoot with Photographer Gustavo Escanelle, a mentoring/consultation with the World Trade Center on business development, resourcing and manufacturing. Kristine also is invited to return to Fashion Week New Orleans 2016 as a featured designer to showcase her newest collection. A total prize package value over $2,500.