Interview with fashion designer Amanda Casarez

"I am mine" with designer Amanda Casarez" Photos by Marcus Carter. Amanda is topless and covered in black hand prints, with red lipstick. Style concept by editorial stylist Patty Chism
Designer Amanda Casarez, photos by Marcus Carter

Three years ago I met fashion designer Amanda Casarez at a Macy’s fashion incubator event in downtown Washington, D.C.. Amanda was part of a group of new designers sponsored by the incubator program to showcase their first collections. As soon as I saw Amanda’s collection, I fell in love with her design aesthetic. Her clothes were a direct reflection of who she was and I was totally here for it. She’s edgy, unapologetic, confident and knows who she is.

We hit it off right away and kept in touch throughout the years. When Amanda released her fall/winter 2017 collection, I was so inspired by the collection that I had to create an editorial photo shoot to capture how beautiful her designs were. Amanda was gracious enough to lend me her clothes and let my creative team and I snap beautiful photos on a cold January morning by the Thomas Jefferson memorial.

Amanda Casarez 2017 autumn winter collection. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism. Photography by Marcus Carter.
Models Kym Laird and Kwami. Styled by Patty Chism, photos by Marcus Carter.
Amanda Casarez 2017 autumn winter collection. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism. Photography by Marcus Carter.
Model Kym Laird in Amanda Casarez designs styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism
Model Kym Laird in Amanda Casarez designs styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism
Amanda Casarez 2017 autumn winter collection. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism. Photography by Marcus Carter.

After that shoot, we began to collaborate more on projects and fashion shows. I’ve loved watching Amanda’s design aesthetic evolve. Collection to collection, shapes and patterns change, new lines and fabrics introduced, but there is a continuous message throughout her designs. That message is “I am mine.”

"I am mine with designer Amanda Casarez" Photos by Marcus Carter. Amanda is topless and covered in black hand prints, with red lipstick.

Once the dust settled on our “Imagination come to life” photo shoot, Amanda and I sat down for a quick interview so I could learn about her start in fashion and what style means to her.

When did you start your business?


“I officially started my business in 2015 when I was accepted to the DCFI fashion incubator program at Macy’s at Metro Center. I was one of 8 designers that was selected for the inaugural year.”

What motivated you to start your own brand?

*Big laugh* “I can’t work for somebody else so I had do my own thing.”

What has been the most surprising thing about having your own business?

“How hard you have to work and you don’t see any results immediately. That’s probably been the hardest because, especially in fashion, so much money goes into putting a collection together, putting a show together and you don’t see any revenue coming in.”

"I am mine with designer Amanda Casarez" Photos by Marcus Carter. Amanda is topless and covered in black hand prints.

Describe your everyday customer.

“My everyday customer is between the ages of 28-35. She does not like frilly, she does not like pretty, she is more of a tom boyish style. She likes to be able to wear something that will last several years versus buying something that she will be able to throw away in a year. She’s really into fashion, art and music and she likes to be part of everything that encompasses that.”

Model wearing "I am mine" tshirt by Amanda Casarez. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism.
Photo by Thurston Willis
Model wearing "I am mine" tshirt by Amanda Casarez. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism.

Name a piece in your collection that everyone must have.

“The yellow crop jacket from my 2018 autumn/winter collection.”

Yellow crop top jacket by Amanda Casarez. Styled by dc fashion stylist Patty Chism.

Who is your favorite fashion icon?

Yohji Yamamoto

What does style mean to you?

“So style is, I think you either have it or you don’t, or you need somebody to teach it to you. Because you can have the coolest piece, like we just mentioned, the yellow bomber jacket from my collection but if you don’t know how to style it, how to put it together, then it won’t look as good as it should. Style is putting your own personality into all these pieces. Essentially you have to be able to wear these pieces and not the pieces wearing you.”

Models wearing spring 2019 collection tshirt by Amanda Casarez. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism.
Photo by Dave Mentzer

What’s your favorite item in your closet right now?

“It’s probably my black tunic because it’s one of my pieces. It’s sheer in the front and has a floral burn out in the back. I wear it with everything. I can wear it with cut off shorts, which I practically live in. I can wear it with ripped up jeans or I can wear it with tights, I can wear it with a skirt and a belt. It’s a very versatile piece, you can take it from day to night. I love everything about it.” 

Amanda Casarez collections

Model Kym Laird in Amanda Casarez designs styled by dc personal stylist patty chism
Model Maggie Tehan in Amanda Casarez styled by dc fashion stylist Patty Chism
Model Kym Laird in Amanda Casarez designs styled by dc personal stylist patty chism
Model Maggie Tehan in Amanda Casarez styled by dc fashion stylist Patty Chism
Model Maggie Tehan in Amanda Casarez styled by dc fashion stylist Patty Chism
Model Maggie Tehan in Amanda Casarez styled by dc fashion stylist Patty Chism
"Amanda Casarez Fashion Presentation" Photo by Bruce Allen, styled by dc stylist Patty Chism
Photo by Bruce Allen
"Amanda Casarez Fashion Presentation" Photo by Bruce Allen, styled by dc stylist Patty Chism
Photo by Bruce Allen.
Models wearing spring 2019 collection tshirt by Amanda Casarez. Styled by dc personal stylist Patty Chism.

I’m so honored and blessed to know this incredible visionary. Not only is Amanda Casarez a bad ass fashion designer who plays by her own rules and stays true to her self, she is a super hero mom who stays on her hustle day and night. She’s a perfect example of what it truly means to work hard for your dreams!

Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me and for being an awesome creative to work with. I look forward to more exciting collaborations in the future and more “I am mine” collections from you!

Keeping it Confident – Patty

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