New Orleans based design to make debut at New York Fashion Week

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 8:21 PM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- Right now the biggest names in fashion are front and center at New York Fashion Week and one of the latest trends to hit the runway is New Orleans inspired.

In the fast-pace world of high fashion, one local designer is slowing things down, New Orleans style.

"It really pulls the viewer into the story and also gives them a chance to really look at it," said New Orleans fashion designer and native Louisianian Amanda deLeon.

For the first time ever deLeon is making her debut at New York fashion week. Her sketches and designs born right inside a single bedroom in her Mid-City home.

"You are going have these really influential eyes in the industry on your work," said deLeon. "That's a little nerve racking, but exciting too."

Her nerves were getting to her as she thought about how she was going to raise the money to hit the runway, but to her surprise the community jumped at the chance to support one of their own through a kick-starter campaign.

"I couldn't believe it, to me $7,500 is a big chunk of change," said deLeon.

She is featuring 10 complete looks for her upcoming winter collection, pieces inspired by the traditional jazz funeral and the lyrics of "At the Foot of Canal Street", by John Boutté and Paul Sanchez.

"It goes from red to gray to black and it symbolizes the stages you go through when someone close to you dies," said deLeon.

Everything in her line has a touch unique to the Crescent City. deLeon even created a few of her pieces using a digital photo of New Orleans' Greenwood Cemetery, which she printed right on to the fabric.

As a finishing touch, she added buttons made from recycled oyster shells - a theme that goes well with her overall goal.

"With me getting orders that means I can produce here locally, which will in turn grow the production industry here," she said.

DeLeon will make her debut next Thursday, February 13 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.

She also says a portion of the money earned from the pieces featuring the Greenwood Cemetery will be donated to the local non-profit, Save our Cemeteries.

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