Gloss Magazine Online (GMO) had the chance to talk with Delcia about her aspirations and how Love Dia Couture is more than a fashion line.
Gloss Magazine Online (GMO): Tell me a little bit about your organization
Delcia Norwood: Love Dia Couture and Fashion is a custom, ready to wear clothing line. We specialize in doing things that are unique. It’s semi-exclusive: available to women in our community; but we cater to those who don’t want to look like everyone else.
We also focus on philanthropy. We fundraise and participate in volunteer events for “Red Pump Project” and “Girls Rule,” a not-for-profit that seeks to aid, empower and self development for girls in the urban community ages seven to 14.
We just have a lot of fun! We cater to natural beauty. We focus on the client’s particular body type, not just size 0s and 2s.
GMO: How did you get your start in fashion? Who influenced you?
Delcia: I had two major influences. One push and one pull. My grandmother started teaching me to sew when I was six or seven. I was really slow to catch on and I think she just gave up. She made our black history month costumes and things like that. I liked watching her. She taught me my first sketches. I liked how I could take something out of my head and create it physically in 3D. They were terrible at first, but I was learning how to put ideas on paper.
My mom was the push. She’s always been so uber conservative. Until I moved out of her house I had to wear the frumpiest, most covered up bed sheets possible. Me getting into fashion was kind of rebelling against that. The first thing I designed was super risqué and provocative. After that I took classes in college, got two fashion degrees and here I am.
GMO: What roles do you play for Love Dia Couture Fashion of Chicago?
Delcia: I do a little it of everything. I’m the only designer and full-time seamstress. I do have three business partners but they’re independent contractors and we just brought in our part time seamstress. This last year has just been incredible. These girls are dynamic. They believe in what we’re giving. It’s a blessing to say the least.
GMO: What are the current projects?
Delcia: We’re always working on our fall fashion show. We feature up to nine independent designers and boutiques. One of our major priorities is boosting Chicago’s fashion industries. We lose so much power to LA, NYC and at this point even Detroit because the industry doesn't feed us the way it should.
We are also pushing 07-17 which will probably be in April this year. It’s a fashion designers networking event and resources fair. I hadn’t seen anyone else do that and I was wishing someone would do that for me. The designer can come in and have access to small business banking, payroll, apply for grants, business planning. They can also come in and network with what we call sister vendors like fabric suppliers, accessory designers; every aspect of vendor you would need in one room
GMO: What message do you aim to convey when designing clothes?
Delcia: You don’t need to fit any standard of beauty to be beautiful. God’s greatest creation was the woman. She is beauty and life. So we want to give women the opportunity to see that no you don’t need to lose another 50 lbs, no you don’t need to grow your hair another six inches. You don’t to pile on a bunch of anything. It’s about putting the right shapes and the right concepts with the right body type for people to be able to appreciate it.
GMO: What’s your favorite season for fashion?
Delcia: I’ll say summer. That’s not the standard season but I’ve noticed a lot of my designs are really naked. The more I try to do winter stuff it doesn’t even make sense. It’ll be like halter tops and stuff. My fashion teacher always threatened to make me wear what I designed.
GMO: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Delcia: We want to be a major force in putting Chicago on the map. I’m conceited so I think I’m the best but there’s such awesome talent and people don’t know it’s here. A lot of people don’t realize designers are from here. They have to feed their kids, they have to eat so if they want to work in fashion they have to go somewhere else. We want to change that where you have to come here to work in fashion.
GMO: What fashion designers do you look up to?
Delcia: Don Galliano-- he’s a little controversial right now but his designs are insane. When I see his I feel better and think mine aren’t that crazy. His clothes are amazing. He can walk around looking like Pirates of the Caribbean and nobody would say anything.
Coco Chanel is timeless. She was innovative and so far beyond her years. she did things that women weren’t supposed to do. Me being a militant woman, I love her.
GMO: How would you motivate readers to purchase items from your line?
Delcia: So many women are going to the same mall as all the three million other people in the city; trying to buy the same clothes that everyone else is buying trying to look special. That’s fraud logic. If you really want to look special and feel special in your own skin then you need to come to us.
- Log on to lovediacouture.com to see all of Love Dia Couture’s fashions, event updates and more information.
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