Marise Angibeau: A ‘Couture Junky’
Marise Angibeau is a name you should become familiar with now. This designer is slowly but surely creating a buzz for her brand that will not go unnoticed much longer. Born and bred in West Philly, 29 year old Angibeau says of her hometown, “I’ve always loved the realness here and the uniqueness of the culture, its always inspired me.” Hailing from a West-Indian background, which she credits for her relentless work ethic, she knew she wanted to go into design as early as 13. “As a child I would cut up old socks and tights and sew clothes for my Barbies.” Her pastime with drawing and designing for her dolls eventually determined her passion.
Honing her skills as a designer and learning the business side of the industry at NYC’s Pratt Institute, its clear that Angibeau is more than just a fashionista, but an actual student of fashion and its complex history. She understands the art of design, the knowledge that one must posses to simply navigate colors and textures and how best to present them together. She can rattle off the names of designers, from the well known Marc Jacobs to the more obscure names known only by those folks who are into high fashion. She names designers such as Elie Saab and Zuhar Murad as some of her favorites specifically because of the details in their couture pieces. Simply put, the girl knows her stuff. “For me, its really about paying attention and researching” she responds when asked how she stays on top of fashion and its ever changing trends and designers.
It’s undeniable that Angibeau has a penchant for evening wear. “I really love dresses” she admits, “with them you can be practical but you can also have fantasy.” Audiences at this years Haute Couture Runway Show, the culmination of Philly Fashion Week, got to experience her 2014 Spring collection, a beautiful medley of abstract shapes, bold textures and audacious colors. Angibeau’s pieces were chic, well constructed and cleverly distinctive, easily making her a fan favorite at this years offering.
Like most designers having her Marise Chantale line worn down the red carpet by actors and musicians is definitely a goal. “Who would not want Rihanna wearing something of theirs” she remarks with a laugh, “that’s like a given.” She also cites Rooney Mara, best known for her work in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” as another starlet she would love to work with. “There’s something special about her entire look. She has this mystery about her and that’s something I’m always drawn too.” But Angibeau isn’t naive to how hard it is for young designers, especially young black designers, to break into the industry. “This is still a very elitist profession” she explains, “and it’s still very tough for us.” It can be even tougher for an independent artist. “There are times that I feel drained, trying to find the balance of artistic and innovative ideas as well as having commercial appeal.” These are the times she admittedly takes a break, allowing for life and her surroundings to create inspiration.
Despite any curve balls she stands to face, whether it’s the lack of opportunities for designers (and models) of color at major fashion events, such as New York Fashion Week, or just finding the means to expand and promote her brand, Angibeau is in it for the long haul. “I often think about what I would do with my life if I wasn’t a designer. Of course there are other career paths where I could have found happiness, but this is what I have a passion for. This is who I am.”
Rock on black girl!
Stay connected with Marise on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to check out couturejunky.tumblr.com where you can view and find out information on purchasing from her MARISE CHANTALE collection and her COUTURE JUNKY line.
photos courtesy of couturejunky.tumblr.com