Style SLebrities – Kellie is so Elated!…

kellie-iwish-elate!I recently dropped Kellie Iwish, designer and owner of Elate, a note card with a query about a belt I’d purchased from her. Well, being the conscientious individual I now know Kellie is, she not only promptly responded to my question but also popped into the shop to help me out. As if that wasn’t enough, I was so delighted when she very kindly agreed to my request for an interview.

Kellie began the Elate design label one year ago today and has already achieved amazing success and notoriety. Not a surprise to any of us who’ve worn one of her delicious creations (I think Elate’s Felicity has to be my favourite dress and believe me, my inventory is vast!).  However, when I ask Kellie why she thinks she’s been so successful in such a short period of time, she modestly suggests that it’s more down to luck then talent. She responds “I have a lot of friends who are great designers and make beautiful things, but are not well known yet. I think my success is down to the right publicity, the right blog spotlight … who knows”.

Kellie’s skill in the art of SL clothes’ design is all the more remarkable when you consider her background. She has had no formal tuition in clothing design and is training to be a vet in her home state of Florida. She loves animals of course and has 3 cats and a German Shepherd cross called Ella. 23 year-old Kellie sees the irony in her contrasting passions “It’s so funny … I know that a doctor and fashion designer don’t usually go hand-in-hand … haha”.

second-life-elate!

Kellie’s interest in SL fashion design began after reading an interview with Antonia Marat (Designer of the Artilleri Label).  She explains “Antonia spoke about the expansion of her now very successful business from just a tiny shop where she didn’t sell anything. I thought ‘wow, maybe anyone can do this’! I had lots of experience with Photoshop and a passion for fashion, but previous to reading the article, I’d never thought about putting the two together. Once I got started, I was amazed what I could create. It’s such a blast”.

Talking of passion for fashion, Kellie explains that she notices it everywhere. Whilst her own personal style is simple and classic, she loves outlandish fashion on others and her designs are borne from a combination of this plus fashion media and her wide circle of close friends who she often uses as muses when looking for inspiration. Kellie recognises that her customers are willing to be a little more adventurous with their avatar’s style than in real life. She explains “You can get away with more in Second Life than you could ordinarily and its cheaper to buy things in SL so you can splurge and buy something even if it’s a little crazy”.

elate!-dressesKellie is meticulous in her work … many hours go into creating each piece and on average only one in five designs make it into the collection. It’s clear that Kellie is emotionally attached to every creation and her level of dedication is obvious. This became most apparent to me when I questioned her about the ‘I’d rather go naked than wear stolen textures’ campaign for which she is an advocate. She answers, “I take texture theft very seriously as I’ve had friends who’ve had their creations stolen and been totally shattered by it”. Whilst none of Kellie’s creations have ever been stolen, her designs have been copied. “It’s truly heartbreaking because you feel emotionally attached to each creation you work so hard on” she explained, “Once its stolen or copied it feels just a little less special”. I asked Kellie why SL fashionistas should care about this issue. She replied “I hope they understand that they ultimately suffer because of it. Some great designers have been so upset that they’ve stopped creating all together. Others are tied up in tracking down thieves instead of making new things”.

Kellie’s surprise at her own success is endearing. I asked what was the highlight of her SL career and she responded by telling the story of the opening of her boutique in Cassiopeia Isle in April 2008. Whilst this was the third of Kellie’s shops at the time, it was the first in a major shopping district and the opening was supported with a heavy advertising campaign and freebie dress. Kellie explains “Up to that point, I’d only had about one customer per week, but the combination of advertising and freebie resulted in dozens of customers on the opening day. I’d never imagined that I would ever have more than a few random customers and it was the most amazing feeling. It was like finally being validated for all the hard work I’d done”.

I put it to Kellie what, in her eyes, makes a great SL fashion piece. She told me that they have to be well made, but they also need to be “the kind of thing that you can walk into a room wearing and feel like everyone notices”. Kellie explained that she is amazed by the style of many bloggers and understands that today’s modern SL fashionista requires versatility in garments so all her current creations are offered in multiple layer options (well done Kellie!).

elate-second-life

I’m pleased to report that the future for Elate is buoyant. Kellie has expanded her portfolio into a furniture line which has just been launched and can be seen at her main shop in Wuthering Heights. Not only is it worth visiting the main store to see the great new furniture, but right now you can also join in Elate’s birthday celebrations.  To mark the event, Kellie is offering her entire clothing line at half price from today until 8th February!

Following our interview I contemplated how I should sum up Kellie Iwish in this post … intelligent, creative, talented, passionate?;  yes, she’s all of those things, but above all else a thoroughly lovely lady and someone I feel very honoured to have had the opportunity to meet through this interview. Congratulations Kellie on your first birthday … you deserve every success now and in the future!

Click here to visit Elate’s Main Shop

Kellie is wearing…

Outfit One:

Skin: Tuli Elizabeth in Taylor (L$1,200) – get it here

Hair: Zero Style Dana in Auburn (Reds Pack) (L$300) – get it here

Dress: Elate Felicity Dress in Sky (L$137  – until 8th February only) – get it here

Necklace: Canimal Strawberry Necklace (L$150) – get it here

Shoes: Periquita Funny Girl Flats in Red (L$180) – get them here

Outfit Two:

Skin: Tuli Elizabeth in Taylor (L$1,200) – get it here

Hair: Truth Mary in Fire (Reds 1 Pack) (L$50) – get it here

Dress: Elate Raeva Dress in Black (L$100 – until 8th February only) – get it here

Bracelets: Imperial Elegance Brushed Metal Bracelets – Vintage (no longer available)

Shoes: Maitreya Slinky Stilettos in Patent Black (red) (L$350) – get them here

Outfit Three:

Skin: Tuli Elizabeth in Enticing (L$1,200) – get it here

Hair: ETD Xaria in Scarlet – location and price not available at time of publication due to sim closure for remodelling

Dress & Jacket: Elate Kat Outfit in Blush (L$125 – until 8th February only) – get it here

Necklace: Swallowtail Organic Necklace (L$200) – get it here

Shoes: Maitreya Verve Pumps in Black (L$375) – get them here

Outfit Four:

Skin: Tuli Elizabeth in Enticing (L$1,200) – get it here

Hair: Truth Elizabeth 2 in Flame (Reds 1 Pack) (L$50) – get it here

Dress: Elate Maria Dress in Plum (part of the Maria Outfit in Plum) (L$137 – until 8th February only) – get it here

Collar: Elate Maria Collar in Night (part of the Maria Outfit in Night) ($137 – until 8th February only) – get it here

Bracelet: Icing Princess Pearl Bracelet (L$0) – get it here

Shoes: ETD Peep Slingbacks in Linen – location and price not available at time of publication due to sim closure for remodelling

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Filed under Second Life Dresses, Second Life Hair, Second Life Jackets, Second Life Jewellery, Second Life Shoes, Second Life Skins, Style SLebrities

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